- No answer at 911? “Florida Verdict May Threaten EMS Availability” [White Coat]
- New Orleans politico Steve Theriot drops suit seeking identities of online critics [Times-Picayune and more, NYT “Media Decoder”, Slabbed, earlier]
- On a vial of anesthetic: “One patient use only.” Nevada jury finds that warning inadequate to prevent multiple patient use and awards $500 million in punitives [Carter at Point of Law, Abnormal Use] More: Ted at PoL.
- Floodgates to litigation? “Parent Can Sue Ex for Turning Children Against Him” [NJLJ]
- Lawyer who isn’t honest is a threat to the social order: noted Allentown, Pa. attorney gets 6 1/2 years for fraud [Legal Intelligencer, earlier]
- “Another European Prosecution for Insulting Religion” [Volokh; pop star Dorota Rabczewska, Poland]
- A lawyer’s advice: try to get those Rand Paul types off your jury [Turkewitz]
- If SEIU craves respectability, maybe it shouldn’t send mobs to besiege bank execs at their homes [Nina Easton, Fortune, cross-posted from Cato at Liberty; related from PoL last year; more from Big Journalism including role of D.C. police, but note denials on last point]
A bill in the California legislature held out hope for encouraging wider adoption of the lifesaving devices, but couldn’t make it past the Litigation Lobby. [John Frith, California Civil Justice Blog]
White Coat’s trial is in fact concluded, so he’s not liveblogging it, but recounting it after the fact; posting while the trial was in progress was what got Boston pediatrician “Flea” into so much trouble a couple of years ago after the posts came to the attention of opposing lawyers. [first, second posts] Some reactions: Eric Turkewitz, MedicineThink.
Convinced that the electrical sensations in his chest must be from one of those “defective pacemakers” he keeps seeing lawyer ads about, a man calls the 1-800 lawyer line and stays on hold for the longest time. He then decides instead to go to the hospital emergency room, which turns out to be a much better idea. (Throckmorton, Dec. 14).
- Go vote for Overlawyered now, please, in the ABA Journal best-blogs contest; some details on contestants in other categories;
- Update on “Got Breastmilk?” trademark dispute [Giacalone; earlier]
- Trauma patient is bleeding while you fumble to get the IV equipment out of its blister pack. Soon it’ll be even more complicated. Thanks OSHA! [Throckmorton] And where are the stand-up medical comedy routines?
- Arkansas Supreme Court’s handling of school finance litigation suggests it’s making it up as it goes along [Jay Greene]
- “Linux Defenders” is tech-firm consortium’s new effort to create “no-fly zone” protecting open-source system from patent trolls [Parloff, Fortune]
- Zero tolerance roundup: 10 year old who took $5.96 Wal-Mart cap gun to school arrested, fingerprinted, faces expulsion [11alive.com, Newton County, Ga.] Harford County, Md. mom, acting as chaperone on school field trip, “reached out to tap” third grader to shush him, now faces ten years if convicted of assault [ABC2News.com, Baltimore] Related: we’re too afraid of touch [Times Online] Teasing is bad for children and other living things. Really? Are you sure? [Althouse, NYT]
- Columnist has opposed bailouts and favored free market liquidation of uneconomic firms. Now that his newspaper faces bankruptcy, has he changed his mind? [Steve Chapman]
- Good way to suffer reputational damage: file a lawsuit claiming characters in movie “Dazed and Confused” were based on your own teenage selves [four years ago on Overlawyered]
Even if you’re an attorney, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be seen to immediately. (Throckmorton’s Other Signs, Nov. 28).
It’s enough to exasperate WhiteCoatRants (Oct. 20):
…Utter the terms “chest pain” and “trouble breathing” in the same sentence and with some doctors you’re getting a chest CT. It doesn’t matter that you have a cough, runny nose, that the chest pain is burning and only occurs when you cough, or that half the people in town have influenza because they didn’t get their flu shots. Even if bronchitis is the clinical diagnosis, there is still a 0.0001% chance that you could have a pulmonary embolism along with your bronchitis and we don’t want to miss it, because if we do, it may cause you to die and result in a lawsuit against the physician. Some doctors aren’t willing to take even the 1 in 1,000,000 chance that they’ll be sued. …
If a doctor doesn’t get every conceivable test on a patient and there is a bad outcome, then the doctor gets smacked with a lawsuit because the doctor didn’t do enough. Unless something changes, more and more patients coming to the emergency department will get megaworkups so nothing gets “missed.”
Then I read that some pompous plaintiff’s attorney said somewhere that “defensive medicine” was a myth. His theory was that if doctors do an extra test that catches a disease while it’s still treatable, then it is “good medicine,” not “defensive medicine.” Either he doesn’t get it because he is ignorant or he doesn’t get it because that attitude helps him afford his chalet in the Swiss Alps.
Medicine will never be perfect.
While on the subject, prominent health economist Uwe Reinhardt has cited our medical liability system as an important reason costs are significantly higher in the U.S. than elsewhere (PoL, Nov. 16). And KevinMD’s excellent section on defensive medicine has numerous posts in recent months we still haven’t gotten around to linking, including: guest take by “Dr. SSS” on the “two most expensive words in medicine” (“Sometimes it is difficult for me to understand if I am really treating myself or the patient.”); background on the $210 billion estimate that has been bandied about; E.R. visit + chest pains = obligatory catheterization?; quote from PandaBearMD (“Why risk our own money when we can use somebody else’s to protect us, even if it costs millions?”; a British visitor’s view of immobilization collars; don’t put the doc’s name on the chart!; and more reader reactions (“even if a patient has a good relationship with a physician and is willing to forgo various diagnostic tests, the family can decide to sue later if there is a bad outcome. … it is far easier to just order the test”)
- Lawyers and other professionals who blog should read new Kevin LaCroix post “On Blogging” [D&O Diary h/t @SecuritiesD] #
- Daily H.L. Mencken quotes [courtesy @ahndymac] #
- Funny, earthy blog by urban emergency room nurse [Crass-Pollination] # @danimari Odd how ERs generate so many of the best medblogs e.g. WhiteCoatRants, ER Stories, Movin’ Meat, SymTym, GruntDoc etc. #
- Calm down, conservatives, Dems aren’t planning to revive Fairness Doctrine [James Rainey, L.A. Times] # Or are we sure about that? [Ed Morrissey, Patterico]
- Advice on jury selection: “don’t continue to poke a bee hive with a stick” [Texas Country Trial Lawyer, h/t @HouCrimLaw] #
- Video humor for font geeks [College Humor, h/t @sekimori] #
- Do you blog, tweet, send saucy emails or IMs? You may not be well suited for a job in the new admin [Caron, TaxProf] #
- @rebeccawatson of possible interest regarding litigious diploma mills [this site, Oct. 27, 2003] #
- Beautiful photos of New York in the 1930s [Flickr h/t @CoolPics] #