Tag Archives: Medical Malpractice

Preventing Harm to Patients should be Priority #1 for Healthcare Providers

Posted in Medical Malpractice

A recent BMJ (British Medical Journal) study listed medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States. The BMJ recommends that healthcare providers make prevention of patient harm the top healthcare priority and institute policy and procedure changes directed toward that objective. The study points out that the medical cause of… Continue Reading

The Benevolent Gesture Act

Posted in Legal Updates, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury

In 2013, the Pennsylvania legislature passed “The Benevolent Gesture Medical Professional Liability Act”, which is colloquially referred to as “The Apology Law”.  This statute allows a health care provider to apologize to a patient for a mistake or perceived mistake, or a bad outcome, without fear that the apology will be used against the health… Continue Reading

New Massachusetts Law Creates Process for Early Resolution of Medical Malpractice Claims

Posted in Legal Updates, Medical Malpractice

A new Massachusetts law has created a procedure designed to encourage early resolution of medical malpractice claims and avoid litigation.  For the most part, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, medical malpractice claims are adjudicated through the courts.  Unlike other types of personal injury claims, where a significant percentage of cases settle before a lawsuit is actually… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Closes Medical Malpractice Reporting Loophole

Posted in Personal Injury

Generally, physicians and their liability insurance carriers are required to report all medical malpractice payments to the National Practitioner Data Bank.  Due to a legal loophole that exists in certain states, however, doctors and their insurance companies have be able to avoid reporting medical malpractice settlements that result from a mediation process.  In effort to… Continue Reading

Can Informed Consent be a Defense in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Posted in Medical Malpractice

Before a doctor performs any type of medical procedure, they must obtain the patient’s “informed consent” to do so. In general, this means that the patient must be provided with all potential risks, side effects and alternatives to the procedure, so that they can make an educated decision about whether or not to go through with the procedure. Pennsylvania courts have long recognized this requirement and have even held that a physician’s failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent before performing a surgery or procedure may amount not only to negligence, but to a battery.

Superior Court Clarifies Scope of MCARE Statute of Repose

Posted in Medical Malpractice

The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (or “MCARE”) Act Statute of Repose is a topic that has been previously discussed in this space. Statutes of Repose are similar to statutes of limitations. They provide a date or time frame by which a lawsuit must be filed. However, they are stricter than statutes of limitations. Once a statute of repose has expired, the legal cause of action actually ceases to exist. The MCARE Statue of Repose, which applies to medical malpractice cases, provides:

Appellate Division Clarifies the Principles of Equitable Tolling and Allows Joinder of a Physician Post Expiration of the Stature of Limitations

Posted in Medical Malpractice

A two Judge Panel of the Appellate Division on November 27, 2013 found that the Trial Court erred by disallowing plaintiff’s request to name a doctor as an additional party beyond the Statute of Limitations. The Court followed the analysis of Lopez and its five factors and determined that in totality there was basis for the relief sought and plaintiff must be able to join this additional party.