Medical Liability Monitor August 2022 Issue Highlights

August 5, 2022 by matray

Pennsylvania General Assembly Debating Bill to Consider Constitutional Amendment Empowering it to Establish Venue Rules
Certain members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly want unambiguous authority to set venue policy in the area of medical professional liability (MPL) lawsuit filings. To that end, state Rep. Rob W. Kaufmann recently introduced a joint resolution to consider a constitutional amendment empowering the General Assembly to establish venue in civil cases. The General Assembly’s interest in setting venue policy stems from a recently proposed change to venue rules by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee. The proposal would revise a 2002 rule requiring plaintiffs to file MPL claims in the county where the alleged injury occurred …

Maryland High Court Rules Loss of Years Claim Not Available via Wrongful Death Statutes
A patient’s terminal illness does not give rise to a wrongful death claim based on the argument that the person would have lived longer had the diagnosis been correctly made and life-extending treatment started earlier, a divided Maryland Court of Appeals ruled last month in a 5-2 decision. The Court of Appeals is the highest court in the state of Maryland ...

The Autonomy of Hospital Ethics Committees Post-Dobbs: It’s Unclear How Restrictive State Laws Will Be Applied to Complex Medical Situations
Since the United States Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health decision, there’s been significant discussion by lawyers, philosophers, healthcare providers and political leaders. The ruling has created uncertainty and confusion for those working in the healthcare space, and as lawyers, we are now being asked to advise our clients on myriad issues ranging from criminal culpability to the tax consequences of providing or paying for reproductive care. At the provider level, the questions we’re being asked are founded on the principle of autonomy. How can I provide appropriate care for my patient? Does my patient have the autonomy to make reproductive healthcare decisions? Is my autonomy as a provider different than it was two weeks ago? …

NM Appeals Court Holds Patient to Signed Arbitration Agreement
The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently reversed a ruling by a district court judge that denied a motion by Sunset Villa Care Center to compel arbitration for a medical liability lawsuit in which the patient signed an arbitration agreement. The appellate court determined that the district court erred in denying the motion to compel arbitration on contract validity grounds because the arbitration agreement was supported by alternative consideration and that the language of the delegation clause requires questions regarding enforceability and unconscionability be submitted to the arbitrator, not to a judge or jury …

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