A mixed bag of stuff this week, all of it interesting…
A big front page article in the New York Times on Sunday is one I wanted to blog, but didn’t get the time for: At Many Homes, More Profit and Less Nursing. It seems that Wall Street has been scooping up nursing homes, cutting medical care to the bone, and reaping the profits. And the patients? A predictable result of injury, death and lawsuits. But hey, they got those profits! Some commentary here: Lara Pettiss Harrill, Angry Bear, NewsInferno, The Consumerist, Financial Armegeddon;
The New York Post has a column on New York’s medical malpractice insurance problems (via Kevin, M.D.), but it’s too bad the Post didn’t first find out what the real cause of the problem is, as I posted in Why New York Medical Malpractice Insurance Jumped 14%;
A million baby cribs have been recalled after three deaths, and Perlmutter and Schuelke want to know whether the recall came about due to the deaths, or due to the impending publicity:
The London Sunday Times peeks behind the scenes at a drug counterfeiting operation in, where else, China, as per Adam Fein at Drug Channels;
Do doctors now need to take a personality test to obtain medical malpractice insurance (The Medical Quack)?
Ben Glass relates from northern Virginia, that a politician has figured out a way to blame trial lawyers for the massacre at Virginia Tech. I kid you not, check out the post;
Ron Miller reports on the Maryland medical malpractice “crisis” that wasn’t, and asks if it now time to roll back the “reforms” now that the cooked books have been opened up;
As those that follow drug cases know, the FDA tried in 2006, without congressional approval, to simply claim that their federal regulations regarding drug approval trump state law. This would result, if upheld, in stopping state action in “failure to warn” lawsuits. This federal power grab, by an administration that tries to call itself “conservative,” has been hotly disputed, especially since Congress declined to go along. Beck/Herrmann has a scorecard of drug preemption rulings to date on the subject. They also have a medical device preemption scorecard. And for those whose eyes glaze over at the concept of federal preemption for drugs or devices, they also provide a primer on the subject that will get you up to speed.
But…are the primer and drug scorecard outdated already? Ron Miller reports on legislation signed this week that makes clear that regardless of FDA approval, the duty to warn remains with the pharmaceutical companies to adequately provide a meaningful warning about the risks associated with the use of their product. A copy of the bill and the comments of legislators on the subject can be found at People Over Profits;
Are you having trouble with a hip or knee implant? The New Jersey Law Journal reports today on a $311M settlement of kickback charges against four manufacturers as they wooed doctors to use their products;
Consumer Law and Policy blog has a piece on anti-plaintiff bias in the Texas Supreme Court:
TortsProf reminds us of a classic res ipsa case…a toe found in chewing tobacco. I’ll be using that cite in the coming weeks in an appeal I am now working on;
Are laws suits all “about the money” as some like to claim? Apparently not, as this hospital apologized to the parents of a patient that died via a video, and posted it on the web. This facilitated the settlement (via Overlawyered);
A follow-up to the Charlie Weiss medical malpractice story: Kevin M.D. had linked to an article in the Massachusetts Medical Report on what’s its like from a doctor’s perspective to have a malpractice trial. But in the same issue I also found a front page story on the post-game analysis of the defense verdict in the Weis med-mal trial, so the link is good for two stories;
We’re used to seeing punitive damage awards decreased, but here a judge has increased them with respect to a telephone lineman being left a paraplegic after an accident (TortsProf Bill Childs);
If you took the case on contingency, you only get paid at the end. But paid how? From WSJ commentary, a problem of attorneys double-dipping on the legal fee, getting paid once from the client and a second time from the adversary (via How Appealing.
And finally for the weekend:
- The Kansas City Star has a story on the lawyer who fought Jesse James in court. And won (via How Appealing);
- A tip from Susan Cartier Liebel on furnishing your office for free;
- All kinds of risky behavior is blogged about at Cavalcade of Risk #35;
- George Bush celebrates February 30th (Legal Antics);
- And a double-amputee police officer returns to the force with bionic legs.
Enjoy the weekend, and pray for the Mets.
(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York.)