Litigation

Jun 22, 2018
Sexual Harassment Allegations in Healthcare: Rising Risks
Richard Cahill, JD, vice president and associate general counsel
Healthcare providers are not immune from the growing number of reported incidents of alleged sexual harassment in the workplace. This article provides tips on how to protect physician practices from sexual harassment lawsuits.

Apr 25, 2018
A Complication Involving Laparoscopic Lysis of Adhesions
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
A medical malpractice case about laparoscopic lysis of adhesions involved negligent performance of surgery and mismanagement of postoperative care.

Apr 24, 2018
Missed Diagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscess
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
This case illustrates the importance of promptly diagnosing and treating spinal epidural abscess.

Mar 09, 2018
Nurse Practitioner Closed Claims Study: Top Risks in the Changing Delivery of Primary Care
Our study of nurse practitioner medical malpractice claims, compared against family medicine and internal medicine claims, identifies the top patient safety risks that may lead to adverse events.

Jan 24, 2018
You’ve Been Served: Lawsuit Survival Tips for Physicians
Douglas McCullough, Esq., Assistant Vice President, Claims
Although it’s a reality that the majority of physicians will face a medical malpractice claim in, few are prepared when served with a lawsuit.

Oct 16, 2017
Electronic Health Record Closed Claims Study: Navigating the Rising Risks of EHRs
The number of malpractice closed claims in which EHRs were a contributing factor has increased continuously over the past 10 years. While EHRs have brought many positives, they have also created new risks and frustrations for doctors and patients.

Aug 28, 2017
Obstetrical Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?
Robin Diamond, JD, RN, Senior Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
These lessons learned from our analysis of closed obstetrical claims are part of our CME article series.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Jul 24, 2017
Plastic Surgeons Make Changes in Light of Malpractice Claims Study
David. B. Troxel, MD, medical director, The Doctors Company
An analysis of plastic surgery malpractice claims is leading plastic surgeons to adopt policies and procedures that help them focus on caring for patients instead of defending their practices in court.

Dec 14, 2016
Plastic Surgery Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?
Our analysis of closed plastic surgery claims identifies top allegations and the most common factors that contribute to patient injury.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Sep 23, 2016
Should You Offer Your Services as a Paid Medical Expert?
Susan Shepard, MSN, CPHRM, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company.
The decision to function as a paid medical expert should not be entered into lightly.

Sep 23, 2016
The Perils of Printing an Electronic Health Record
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
A design flaw in an electronic health record system led to a malpractice claim against our insured cardiologist.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Sep 22, 2016
Plastic Surgery Closed Claims Study
The Doctors Company analyzed 1,438 claims against plastic surgeons that closed from January 2007 through June 2015 to understand what motivates patients to pursue claims and gain a broader overview of the system failures and processes that result in patient harm.

Aug 22, 2016
Did Provider Fatigue Contribute to This Patient’s Death?
Provider fatigue and the rush to get things done when staffing levels are inadequate can lead to mistakes and poor outcomes for patients.

Apr 11, 2016
Malpractice Claims Consume Years of a Physician’s Career
On average, each physician spends 50.7 months, or approximately 11 percent of an average 40-year career, on resolving medical malpractice cases, the majority of which end up with no indemnity payment.

Oct 19, 2015
Overcoming the Stress of Malpractice Litigation: Solutions to Help Physicians Stay Healthy and Engaged
David P. Michelin, MD, MPH
A malpractice lawsuit will generate an array of negative emotions, from self-doubt to high levels of stress and anxiety. But there are steps doctors can take to ease the strain.

Oct 01, 2015
The Defensible Medical Record
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus, Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
Most errors of medical judgment can be successfully defended with a complete and unaltered medical record.

Jun 09, 2015
A Claim Involving Childhood Vaccination
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
Dr. David Troxel discusses a tragic event resulting from a failure to track a child’s immunizations.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Apr 13, 2015
Emergency Medicine: Tips to Help Prevent the Top Cause of Patient Injury
The Doctors Company’s Emergency Medicine Closed Claims Study revealed that the top patient allegation was diagnosis related. These tips can help emergency medicine doctors avoid diagnostic errors.

Apr 06, 2015
Accurate Medical Records: Your Primary Line of Defense
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus; Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel; and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
It is critical for every physician to maintain meticulous records, because every medical malpractice suit can be won or lost based on the quality and content of the medical record.

Mar 14, 2015
Analyzing Bowel Perforation Claims
Darrell Ranum, JD, CPHRM, Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management
Darrell Ranum outlines findings from a recent analysis of bowel perforation claims. Author: Darrell Ranum, JD, CPHRM
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Feb 01, 2015
Coping with Depositions
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Safety Education, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
A physician's attitude, demeanor, appearance, and conduct during a deposition or trial are as important as the accuracy and quality of the testimony.

Mar 01, 2014
Globalization and Counterfeit Drugs
Thomas T. Kubic, Treasurer, Partnership for Safe Medicines, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Safety Education, The Doctors Company
Protect yourself and your patients from the consequences of receiving or distributing non-FDA-approved drug products.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Oct 29, 2013
Malpractice Case Shows Risk from Physician Not Dating and Initialing Reports
Physicians must be certain that there is a process in place to ensure that no imaging, laboratory, or consultant's report is ever filed unless it has been dated and initialed by the physician as proof that it was reviewed.

Apr 23, 2013
Be Prepared When Testifying in a Malpractice Lawsuit
Preparation is key for doctors to give effective testimony in a medical malpractice lawsuit, because the courtroom differs from the exam room or the surgical suite.

Feb 03, 2013
Notification of an Incident or a Claim
Notify The Doctors Company immediately if any incident occurs that may lead to action against you.

Apr 16, 2012
Sinus Surgery: Key Lessons in Malpractice Risk
David W. Roberson, MD, Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Children’s Hospital Boston.
An analysis of closed otolaryngology claims identified risk management issues such as possible technical problems and inadequate informed consent.

Jul 01, 2011
Eight Little Words
Ann S. Lofsky, MD (1956–2008), Governor Emeritus
No wording will be more carefully scrutinized than that in a medical record involved in a malpractice trial.

Jan 01, 2005
Assuming the Worst
Ann S. Lofsky, MD (1956–2008), Governor Emeritus
A case study illustrates how a physician's reluctance to aggressively evaluate subtle changes in a long-term patient's symptoms made him possibly liable for the end result.

Jan 01, 2005
Upgrading the Chart—A Dangerous Practice
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus
Alterations of medical records can make otherwise perfectly defensible cases almost impossible to defend.

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