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Medical Malpractice Archives

Hospital-Patient Incident And Risk Reports May Not Be Discoverable In Illinois Medical Negligence Claims Against Hospitals, Physicians, and Medical Professionals

On June 28, 2018, the First District Illinois Appellate Court in the case of Daley v. Teruel and Ingalls Memorial Hospital, 2018 IL App (1st) 170891 reversed an earlier ruling in the trial court that ordered the production of incident reports. The Appellate Court ruled instead that the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (42 U.S.C. §299b-21 et seq. (2012)) and Illinois Medical Studies Act (735 ILCS 5/8-2101 et seq. (2016) provided privilege for incident and risk reports because they are created as "patient safety work product". The Court's ruling found that both the U.S. Congress and Illinois Legislature had created a "safe haven" to analyze voluntarily created materials to improve patient outcomes and patient safety. Therefore, reports and materials intended to be submitted to certified-Patient Safety Organizations are privileged from being turned over in discovery in civil litigation regarding patient claims of medical negligence.

The link between birth injuries and defective drugs

Giving birth to a child who suffered from birth injuries can be a difficult experience, as it can be something that has repercussions for the rest of the child's life. While some birth injuries can be a consequence of unavoidable complications during delivery, many scenarios can be traced back to medical errors, negligence or defective drugs.

Is That A Salesman Who's Operating On You?

The patients lying on operating tables may not know it. But it's a well-known fact among surgeons and surgical nurses that medical equipment sales representatives routinely advise surgeons regarding surgical procedures - and they sometimes actually perform them. This phenomenon is particularly common in joint replacement and spine surgeries.

SECTION 12 Examinations, Otherwise Known as the IME

You have been injured at work. Your employer is paying your medical bills. Your doctor has taken you off of work, and you are receiving your TTD (Temporary Total Disability) payments regularly and on-time. Your case is moving along fine, but your pain is not improving, and now your doctor wants you to have surgery. You then receive a letter from your employer's Workers Compensation insurance carrier, and they are requesting you to drive 150 miles to see a doctor you have never been to before. They are also telling you that until this examination is complete and they have received the findings from the doctor, they are not willing to authorize the recommended surgery. 

Steps to be taken by an Injured Worker prior to and during an Independent Medical Examination

After the worker has been injured in a workplace accident, it is not unusual for the insurance company to have him or her examined by a physician of their choosing. This right is set out in Section 12 of the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act. Sufficient notice as to the time and place must be given to the worker, along with sufficient money to defray the costs to the worker for attending the examination. These costs are usually only mileage which must be paid to the injured workers prior to the examination.

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Physicians Can't Hide Behind Good Samaritan Act

The Illinois Supreme Court has recently taken away a significant defense from careless and/or negligent physicians in Illinois. The Good Samaritan Act, generally, protects physicians who "volunteer" their services in emergencies from liability for negligent and/or careless acts or conduct in responding to the emergency situation. However, the Illinois Supreme Court has recently ruled that the Act does not shield on-duty emergency room doctors who don't bill a particular patient. See Home Star Bank & Financial Services v. Emergency Care & Health Organization, Ltd., 2014 IL 115526 (2014). In a patient-supportive decision, the Court held that physicians are held to the same standard of care when they treat patients at medical facilities whether or not they bill a patient for a procedure. The ruling by the Court was unanimous in holding that the Act cannot be used as a liability defense by an emergency room physician who was sued for negligence after he attempted to intubate a patient who subsequent suffered permanent brain damage.

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