Personal Injury

According to an excellent piece which recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the coronavirus pandemic has upset the way in which hospitals have arranged their businesses. In hard hit areas, ICU’s have filled up and other departments in the hospital have been forced to adapt to care for patients sickened by the illness. Emergency departments have become jammed up with sick patients when there has been no place to put them. Non-Covid patients are staying away from emergency departments for fear of catching the disease. Elective procedures have been cancelled or postponed. All of this has seriously disrupted…
I had the opportunity recently to speak with a woman who believed she had been the victim of medical malpractice in connection with a repair of her hip. She had sent me a detailed description of what had happened to her, of her concerns about her treatment and of the limitations she was now experiencing as a result of the hip repair. I had reluctantly turned down her case and she wanted to know why. We had a good talk and, when we were done, she understood why I could not take her case. I thought it might be helpful…
If you are injured in an automobile accident, you may find yourself at the Emergency Department. Maybe your injuries are minor enough that you can be discharged to home. Maybe they are more serious and you need to be admitted to the hospital. Either way, thank goodness, you have health insurance to pay for the hospital bills. After you have been home for a while, a letter comes in the mail. It is from the hospital or someone representing the hospital. It says, “This is not a bill,” and it is not. It is a lien on any recovery you…
One of the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic is that our drug development model and drug supply chain are broken.  Our western capitalist system has served us well for many years.  It provided products at a low price, which allowed us to enjoy a good standard of living.  It does not do everything well, however.  The profit motive has produced a dysfunctional drug development model and has also produced less-than-robust supply chains that rely on foreign manufacturers to produce the drugs we need. Here are just some examples of drug development and supply dysfunction. Orphan Drugs.  Orphan drugs are drugs created…
Here is a piece that a friend of mine sent me.  It appeared in a healthcare blog.  It recounts a probably fictional event in which a doctor saw a briefing paper intended for a hospital executive but accidentally left behind by a consultant.  The briefing paper described the steps the hospital administration could take to increase its control over the decision making of its medical staff.  Although written over five years ago, the trends it describes are even more pronounced today than they were then. I have written about conflicts of interest for doctors brought about by the increasing consolidation…
Heaphy v. Metcalf, No. 2CA-SA 2020-0001 (App. Div. II, June 18,2020) (J. Eppich) https://www.appeals2.az.gov/decisions/SA20200001Opinion.pdf MEDICAL RECORDS OF BENEFICIARY IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASE NOT DISCOVERABLE UNLESS BENEFICIARY PUTS MEDICAL CONDITION AT ISSUE/THAT LIFE EXPECTANCY OF BENEFICIARY IS AT ISSUE DOES NOT MAKE RECORDS DISCOVERABLE The surviving wife brought a medical malpractice wrongful death action on her own behalf and on behalf of the decedent’s three adult children. Defendants sought production of the beneficiaries’ medical records claiming that by virtue of their claim for lost companionship they had put their life expectancy at issue and their medical records might be relevant on…
The Covid-19 pandemic has upended many aspects of our individual lives and the economic life of our country as well. We will be adjusting to its effects for many years to come. Some businesses are looking to use the emergency created by the pandemic to get legislators at the state and national levels to give them something that is on their perennial wish list: immunity from suit. Nursing homes, hospitals and doctors want immunity from suit. Although they are claiming they need it because of the pandemic, they don’t want it to be limited to what happens because of the…
A Vehicle Turned Left In Front Of Me Now They Are Saying I’m At Fault. This is a comment that I am starting to hear from many potential clients involved in a left turn accident.  A Vehicle Turned Left In Front Of Me, Now They Are Saying I’m At Fault.  When a driver is making a left turn at a light controlled intersection, that driver has a duty to all other drivers not to commence that turn unless it is safe.  Now there are situations where the person not turning, may bear some responsibility, for example trying to beat the…
We all want to look like we are young and healthy, even those of us in our later years.  Beauty is big business and, wherever there is big business, you can be sure charlatans will follow.  This is true in medicine and particularly true in cosmetic surgery. Unlike many other areas of medicine in which a doctor’s compensation depends on insurance company reimbursement rates, most cosmetic surgery is paid for by the patient.  Most often cosmetic surgery is not covered by medical insurance so the cosmetic surgeon is free to charge what the market will bear.  In the case of…
Recently, I was reading some articles about added sugar in our diets.  Most added sugar comes from processed foods and is already in the box or the jar before we bring it home from the store.  Dieticians and nutritionists recommend we review product labels before purchase as an aid to reducing sugar intake.  When I actually read some of the nutrition labels, I was surprised to see how many showed sugar was a substantial addition to the product. I also discovered that fruit juices and even some fruits were significant sources of added sugar in the diet.  Grapes were a…