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Tag Archives: Medical Malpractice

Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Civil Practice – Discovery – Physician-Patient Privilege – Surgeon’s Neuropathy (access required)

Nicholson v. Thom Although the defendant-surgeon contends that her left-hand brachial plexus neuropathy is the result of an injury that occurred more than a month after she operated on plaintiff’s decedent, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in requiring the surgeon to produce records relating to her neuropathy, sealed and only to be reviewed by plaintiff’s counsel. We affirm the trial court’s discovery order.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice — Piercing the Corporate Veil – Insurance – Contribution – Settlement Agreement (access required)

Health Management Associates, Inc. v. Yerby Where plaintiff HMA was judicially estopped from asserting that the corporate veil should be pierced between HMA and Louisburg HMA, HMA was not licensed as an insurance carrier in North Carolina, and Louisburg HMA paid no monies to settle the patient’s lawsuit, the trial court did not err in finding that neither HMA nor Louisburg HMA had standing to recover contribution from defendants.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Civil Practice – Rule 9(j) – Dismissal Without Prejudice – Re-Filing (access required)

McKoy v. Beasley Where plaintiff’s original complaint failed to comply with N.C. R. Civ. P. 9(j), Rule 9(j) was not satisfied when the original complaint was dismissed without prejudice and plaintiff re-filed within one year - but outside the statute of limitations - with Rule 9(j) allegations in her re-filed complaint.

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Pro-business or anti-lawyer? Lawyers’ groups muse about the impact of recent legislation.  (access required)

As the political tides turn in the North Carolina General Assembly, so does the nature of the legislation being passed. With the new Republican majority taking up various reforms as a way to make the state more business-friendly, lawyers — particularly plaintiff’s attorneys — ended up as collateral damage. “Lawyers are not in very good odor in the Legislature right now,” said recently appointed North Carolina Bar Association President Martin Brinkley. The big bills that passed over the last session are evidence of the anti-lawyer sentiment: A tort reform bill, a worker’s compensation bill and a medical malpractice bill all gave the average Joe less ground for a lawsuit.

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A case for extra care: Malpractice suits require plenty of support and expense (access required)

The term frivolous lawsuit is tossed around a lot, but attorney Ben Smith of Price, Smith, Hargett, Petho and Anderson in Charlotte finds the phrase objectionable in his practice area. “The phrase doesn’t exist in medical malpractice, and I resent people who go in public and say it does,” Smith said. “There is a large entry price in any case. You have to have an expert review the records, and they have to give a preliminary opinion on the case based solely on the record. You don’t really get to the meat of the case until you take a deposition, and that comes much later.”

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Tort/Negligence – Industrial Commission – Medical Malpractice – Rule 9(j) (access required)

Stevenson v. N.C. Dep't of Correction A medical malpractice claim against a state agency filed under the Tort Claims Act must comply with N.C. R. Civ. P. 9(j), which requires a showing that an expert will testify that care was substandard or that there was negligence under res ipsa loquitur. We affirm the dismissal of the complaint without prejudice; we also remand for correction of clerical error.

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Medical errors study fuels med-mal reform debate (access required)

As lawmakers continue to push a bill that would limit medical malpractice lawsuits, opponents are boosting their criticism of the measure, pointing to a recent study showing that hospital errors occur ten times more frequently than previously thought. "We have always discussed the 98,000 patients who die from medical errors each year," said Sue Steinman, director of Policy at the American Association for Justice, referring to the 1999 estimate by the Institute of Medicine. "This study reinforces the fact that the numbers we have been talking about are in actuality extremely low."

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