Medical Expert Witness

Where Are All The Medical Malpractice Claims?

A variety of factors create a cloud of uncertainty around when, if ever, we will see the claims we expected from care provided just before the pandemic, much less claims deriving from care during the pandemic of both COVID-19 and non–COVID-19 patients….medscape.com, Malpractice Claims During COVID-19: More Questions Than Answers, Robert E. White Jr, 2021

 

This may have had to do with courts shutting down, people being reluctant to meet with attorneys to discuss a claim, and/or lawyers working from home. We may see these claims filed later than expected, or maybe we won’t see them at all. But without a doubt, pandemic-related claims will be filed. The pandemic’s impact on physicians increases the risk of claims.

 

And while health care providers have medical liability protections during the pandemic, these protections may not prevent claims. Health care provider pandemic-related liability laws vary from state to state, and they will be tested in the courts as to whether they’re constitutional.

 

The following case example is one of about 40 COVID-19–related claims made made so far…

 

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A quadriplegic patient with COVID-19 had reached the point of organ failure before he reached the ED. There was really nothing medical science could do for him at that point, in terms of a chance at recovery. Therefore, the patient’s physician and conservator placed him in assisted living for palliative care. This was a sad but reasonable decision during a pandemic, with hospital beds needed for patients with a shot at surviving. Following that patient’s death, the physician is being sued.

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