Tag Archives: Nevada

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: Some Nevada hepatitis C lawsuits settled

side note: Here is what might be a conclusion to the flagrant medical malpractice case in Nevada where potentially hundreds of patients were exposed to hep c.

A district judge Monday approved a settlement of 18 medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from the Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak.

The settlement with 18 former patients of the clinics blamed for the outbreak was made by Nevada Mutual Insurance Co. on behalf of doctors and nurse anesthetists who handled their treatment.

see original

Nevada's Sharron Angle says there is nothing wrong with the U.S. health care system

Side note: Must be an election year! One of the biggest races shaping up this year is the Senatorial seat currently being held by the powerful Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. His primary challenger, Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate, wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Candidate Angle believes that heath care can be made affordable by implementing tort-reform. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), agrees with her. The CBO claims in a recent report that $50 billion could be saved over a ten year period if lawmakers implemented tort reform to lower the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Nevada is a state that has implemented caps on it medial malpractice insurance awards but the legislation is currently being looked at by the courts. Physician in Nevada do pay quite a bit for their medical malpractice insurance compared to the rest of the nation. For example, an OB/Gyn in Nevada (Clark County) paid $132,620 over a one year period if they purchased med-mal insurance from PIC Wisconsin.

Sheila Guilloton
Health Care Examiner

Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate trying to unseat Harry Reid, said that there is nothing wrong with the U.S. health care system. Speaking with reporter Marco Villarreal from KTNV Action News, Angle said that the U.S. has “the best healthcare system in the world.” She went on to say that “our doctors are the best.”

Wants the federal health care reform law repealed

On her official website, the candidate proposes the following solutions for health care.

She would repeal and replace ObamaCare. ObamaCare has become a pet name for the Affordable Care Act passed in March, 2010.

Angle lists replacement of ObamaCare as a necessary solution but does not offer any concrete ideas for a replacement plan. Her recent interview may explain why. She does not think there was anything wrong with the system as it existed in the U.S. prior to March 2010.

She would eliminate coverage mandates. Coverage mandates are a part of the Affordable Care Act so if it is repealed the federal mandatory coverage requirement would go away. Two states, Massachusetts and Hawaii, have state mandated coverage.

Read Rest of Article at the Examiner.com

MALPRACTICE: Some Nevada hepatitis C lawsuits settled

side note: Could this be the start to the end of the blatant case of medical malpractice in Nevada where potentially hundreds of patients were negligently exposed to hep c?

A district judge Monday approved a settlement of 18 medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from the Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak.

The settlement with 18 former patients of the clinics blamed for the outbreak was made by Nevada Mutual Insurance Co. on behalf of doctors and nurse anesthetists who handled their treatment.

Although the cases are a fraction of the roughly 250 filed against the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, its sister clinics and medical workers, Nevada Mutual Insurance’s lawyer said this settlement could lead to many more.

“This starts the ball rolling,” Nathan Arrington said.

The settlement amount was confidential. Nevada law limits pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases to $350,000.

Lawyer Gerald Gillock, who represents all 18 plaintiffs, said the settlement was the result of four months of negotiations and nearly two years of legal wrangling with lawyers for the clinics, doctors and others.

“It’s been a long road to get to this juncture,” Gillock said.

The settlement saves thousands of dollars in future legal costs and more than a year in court time by avoiding the medical malpractice trials, he said.

The settlement dismisses all medical workers from the lawsuits, including Dr. Dipak Desai, who was the doctor in seven of the 18 cases. The 18 lawsuits will go forward with product liability claims against the drug makers who produced propofol, the anesthetic used at the clinics.

Gillock’s group included four of the nine genetically linked hepatitis C cases, including one case set for trial in October.

Desai’s lawyer, Kurt Melchior of San Francisco, objected to the settlement, saying his client never approved of it.

None of the other doctors or nurse anesthetists objected.

Melchior called the settlement an effort to exhaust the malpractice insurance coverage limits, which would leave the thousands of remaining plaintiffs with a smaller pot to collect from.

“They just cannot pay out their policy limits and run,” Melchior said of Nevada Mutual Insurance.

The settlement was also opposed by Brian Shapiro, the bankruptcy trustee for the Endoscopy Center and its sister clinics.

His goal is to reach a settlement that will satisfy all of the former patients who have sued the clinics, he said. Any settlements on behalf of a smaller group reduces the amount of money left for the others, he said.

After hearing all the arguments, District Judge Allan Earl approved the settlement, saying it was reached in good faith.

But before any of the patients get paid, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mike Nakagawa must rule on whether the medical workers’ malpractice payouts belong to the clinics’ bankruptcy estate.

If he rules they do, the plaintiffs must ask him to approve the claim reached under the settlement. But if he rules they don’t, the settlement would be paid, Gillock said.

see original

Legislative panel approves medical malpractice bill

side note: In Nevada where it appears that Assembly Bill 495 will be passed, the impact on physicians will be increased rates for medical malpractice insurance and some physicians may relocate to other states. The stated purpose of the bill is “to allow patients who are victims of gross medical negligence to sue for unlimited pain and suffering damages.” The practice of medicine is still more art then science. Adverse outcomes can and do occur without negligence.

By Cy Ryan
Las Vegas Sun
Opponents claim bill will raise insurance for doctors and drive them out of state

By an 8-6 vote, an Assembly committee approved a bill to allow patients who are victims of gross medical negligence to sue for unlimited pain and suffering damages.

Supporters of Assembly Bill 495 said the bill will protect patients who are harmed by bad doctors. Opponents said it will drive physicians insurance rates up and prompt doctors to leave Nevada.

The bill, approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, goes to the floor of the Assembly.

Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, said bad doctors are protected by the current law and the bill provides a “good compromise.”

There has been criticism of the state Board of Medical Examiners that it has not punished bad doctors or acted swiftly when patients were endangered by bad physicians.

Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, said the “net effect” will be to raise the insurance rates on all doctors, not just the bad ones. There will be fewer doctors in the specialties the state needs, he said. In a prior hearing, insurance and doctors predicted enactment of the bill would drive medical malpractice insurance up by 50-65 percent. Continue reading