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Tag Archives: Medical Malpractice

Med-mal bill would cap damages, increase threshold for ER claims (access required)

The state's legal landscape for medical-malpractice lawsuits would undergo a seismic shift and North Carolina would join 28 other states with caps on damages if a bill introduced last week becomes law. The bill, S. 33, is now being debated in the Senate's Judiciary I Committee. At a packed hearing before the committee Thursday, it attracted the attention not only of attorneys and doctors, but also such diverse entities as the AARP and the N.C. Chamber of Commerce. The bill would limit noneconomic damages in medical-malpractice cases to $250,000. It would also require a showing of gross negligence by clear and convincing evidence if the claim involved emergency care, and allow separate trials for liability and damages if either party asks for it.

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Hospital settles suit for failing to diagnose ‘Valley Fever’ (access required)

When Thanh Cong Le visited his family in San Jose, Calif., in late 2006, he had no idea he may have been exposed to fungal spores that cause coccidioidomycosis, a lung disease known as "Valley Fever." He felt ill enough on his return home to western North Carolina that he sought treatment at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. After he died of the disease, the hospital recently settled with his estate, according to Asheville attorney Jay Kerr. "The major significance of this case involves the corporate negligence theories we advanced and supported with evidence, and which the jury clearly based its verdict upon," he said.

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Discovery waives mandatory arbitration clause, court holds (access required)

A nursing home waived its right to compel arbitration after it used interrogatories to seek information from the plaintiff in a negligence suit, the Court of Appeals has ruled in an unpublished decision. "If you send discovery that is not necessarily going to be available in arbitration, you cannot then turn around and seek to compel arbitration," said the plaintiff's lawyer, Sam McGee (pictured). "The defense tried to distinguish [this case] from other cases by arguing that ‘this was only one little set of interrogatories.' But there is no magic number of interrogatories."

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