- Radiologist Saurabh Jha had me on his popular podcast a while back to discuss the history of malpractice law. Now he’s written a substantial piece (link to article, gated) on my book The Litigation Explosion (1991) for the Journal of the American College of Radiology which has in turn touched off a discussion on professional Twitter;
- Certificate-of-need (CON) laws in 35 states allow incumbent firms to raise legal objections to entry by new competitors. Bad idea generally, and especially when the service involved is ambulances [John Stossel; Cato Daily Podcast with Caleb Brown and Larry Salzman of the Pacific Legal Foundation, which is suing to challenge Kentucky law]
- Cato’s Robert A. Levy discusses some of the common law background of tort and contract, including medical misadventure [The Bob Harden Show, radio]
- Trial lawyers trying yet again to lift California MICRA limits on medical malpractice recoveries [AP/KTLA via TortsProf] “Pennsylvania high court tosses seven-year medical malpractice limit” [Harris Meyer, Modern HealthCare via TortsProf]
- Politicized social justice curriculum reaches med school [AnneMarie Schieber, Martin Center]
- No repeal of Feres doctrine, but administrative claim fund could bypass: “Military medical malpractice victims could see payouts from Defense Department under new compromise” [Leo Shane III, Military Times]
“Prosecutors estimate that as many as 60,000 car accident victims may have had their confidential information improperly disclosed” in a scheme in which New York Police Department employees accepted money to pass information about 911 callers to an outfit that would then urge them to visit prearranged medical clinics and lawyers. “He told his fraudulent call center not to target victims in Manhattan, court documents said, because ‘those people got attorneys.’… ‘We want all the bad neighborhoods.’” With bonus HIPAA content: the ringleader of the scheme, besides paying off police personnel, allegedly “bribed employees at hospitals and medical centers to violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, and disclose confidential patient information for car accident victims, the documents say.” [Ali Watkins, New York Times]
Congress is racing to address a problem toxicologists say probably doesn’t exist: the dangers to police and emergency medical technicians of incidental exposure to the powerful drug fentanyl. I explain in a new piece at Reason.
In California, ambulance companies pay local governments for monopoly franchises on 911 calls, then send the bill to insurers: “So cash strapped counties are in on the business of fleecing insurance companies, and through them, people and businesses who pay premiums” [John H. Cochrane]
Yaugeni Kralkin injured himself jumping out the back of a speeding ambulance in Staten Island, and now he wants money from New York City, its fire department and four emergency workers. “Mr. Kralkin was incredibly drunk, with a blood-alcohol level so high he was unaware of his actions, he says, even as he unbuckled straps and ultimately dived from the vehicle, according to his lawyer. The emergency medical workers failed in their duty to protect him, the lawsuit contends, even from himself, in his inebriated state.” [Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times]
“Two Virginia volunteer firefighters were suspended for transporting an 18-month-old girl to the hospital in a fire engine last Saturday, ultimately saving her life.” When the girl had a seizure, the two were first to respond and took her to a Fredericksburg hospital. “[Captain James] Kelley said they were suspended because their fire engine is licensed as a ‘non-transport unit’ and doesn’t have the proper restraints and medications that an ambulance would have. He said when this kind of thing happens firefighters are praised, but then disciplined.” [FoxNews]
“You hired me to reform EMS in the District of Columbia…” Amazing resignation letter sent to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser [Jullette Saussy]
Fire unions have secured laws requiring that firefighting units be deployed to mishaps at which there is no fire risk [Coyote]
…but counsel for the Maryland State Medical Society told a panel in Annapolis that doctors fear liability should they prescribe it. In recent years police and first responders have increasingly been trained in the use of the emergency drug Naloxone, which counteracts overdoses from heroin and opiates, and a proposed bill would allow physicians to prescribe the substance to users, family members, and others who might intervene in case of an overdose. [Rebecca Lessner, Maryland Reporter]
George Tolley, representing the Maryland Association of Justice, a trial lawyers group, asked that the immunity provision be taken out of the bill, over a concern that it would have “a domino effect” and could impact people administering other emergency drugs, such as for epilepsy and diabetes.
“If (doctors) exercise reasonable care, then they cannot be sued,” Tolley said.
Bill Sponsor Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, D-Baltimore County, responded “That’s the crux of this whole bill.”
“A Colorado man, despite acknowledging that he’s lucky to be alive after being trapped in a submerged car, has filed an intent to sue his rescuers for half a million dollars.” Roy Ortiz says “he needs help paying medical bills,” and his attorney Ed Ferszt adds, perhaps not entirely helpfully, “It’s unfortunate to have to try and cast liability and responsibility for this act of God on the men and women who risked their own lives.” [ABC, CBS Denver, The Denver Channel, Broomfield Enterprise]