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August 1, 2012

View Archives Issues

  • Don’t Risk Defamation Suit From Lying "Expert": AHC Media

    An expert witness for the plaintiff takes the stand and proceeds to tell the jury patently false statements regarding the standard of care. While this problem is certainly not unique to emergency medicine, it is exacerbated by the number of experts allowed by judges to testify based on limited exposure to emergency medicine, who are not themselves emergency physicians, says Hugh F. Hill III, MD, JD, FACEP, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
  • Disciplined Expert May Countersue

    The fact that an expert witness recently prevailed after suing a specialty society for suspending him for allegedly giving improper testimony in a medical negligence case wont affect the ability of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to discipline unethical expert witnesses, according to Louise B. Andrew, MD, litigation stress counselor, founder and principal of, and former chair of ACEPs Professional Liability Task Force Expert Witness subcommittee.
  • Inconsistently Available Specialty Services in ED?

    If an ED claims to have certain services available, that creates a duty to provide them, according to Douglas S. Diekema, MD, MPH, an attending physician in the ED at Seattle Childrens Hospital and director of education for the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle (WA) Childrens Research Institute.
  • Unavailable Specialist = Legal Woes for EPs

    In one case that was eventually settled, an on-call specialist admitted making no effort to come in promptly, stating that traffic would be untenable for an hour because it was near the end of a Chicago Bulls playoff, recalls Tom Scaletta, MD, FAAEM, chair of the ED at Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL, and the emergency physician (EP) quoted the specialist verbatim to make it clear why a transfer was initiated.
  • ED Attending: Liable for Bad Outcome, or Not?

    Can the ED attending physician be held liable for a patients bad outcome even if he or she never saw the patient? In almost all cases, the answer is yes, at least to some degree, according to Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, chief medical officer for Emergency Medicine Physicians in Canton, OH, and a member of the board of directors at Physicians Specialty Limited Risk Retention Group.
  • Hospital Boasts on ED Care Could Come Up During Suit

    Your hospitals public relations staff may jump at the chance to advertise that patients can expect to see a doctor within 30 minutes in your ED, but claims such as this could easily backfire if a lawsuit involves this issue.
  • Late Entries to the EMR: Do They Help or Hurt Defense?

    A plaintiffs attorney in a missed myocardial infarction case showed the jury an EMR entry indicating the patients heart rate was within normal limits, as well as vital signs taken by a nurses assistant showing severe tachycardia.