How Does Medical Malpractice Differ from Ordinary Negligence?

September 8th, 2020 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Doctors In Surgery
If you are injured because of a medical negligence, you may wonder, how does medical malpractice differ from an ordinary negligence claim? Negligence is a legal theory called a tort, covering a wide range of cases. Medical malpractice is a specific type of negligence case for injuries caused by healthcare professionals, hospitals, or other organizations. If you have been injured while getting medical care, you may feel betrayed by someone you trusted. You are probably frustrated by their lack of accountability for your suffering. It is a familiar story for Clifford A. Rieders. He has spent decades sharpening his skills and representing Pennsylvania families who suffered an injury or loss due to medical malpractice negligence and defective medical devices. Cliff is a past president of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers, now Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he literally wrote the book on medical malpractice in Pennsylvania used by Pennsylvania lawyers and judges. Ordinary negligence cases seek compensation for people injured by the lack of due care, sometimes called reasonable care, on the part of others. These claims are a way to resolve disputes when parties disagree about who is legally responsible…

Bayer to Pay More than $10 Billion in Roundup Settlement

July 29th, 2020 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Doctor
Part of the Money Will Be Set Aside to Resolve Future Cancer Claims Bayer announced in June that it will pay more than $10 billion in a Roundup settlement to cancer victims or their estates. The money will settle thousands of lawsuits that allege the well-known Roundup weed killer caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. The Roundup herbicide was first sold by Monsanto in 1974. Since then it has been used worldwide to kill weeds and other unwanted plants. Workers on farms and golf courses, gardeners, groundskeepers, property owners and others who used the product regularly may have suffered potentially deadly exposure. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup that is linked to cancer. Even though Monsanto denied that its product causes cancer in people, the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency concluded in 2015 that glyphosate is probably a human carcinogen. Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018 and inherited the Roundup lawsuits. In its announcement, Bayer noted that its settlement with cancer sufferers does not mean that the company admits liability or wrongdoing. And, unfortunately, Roundup has not been removed from store shelves. Roundup $10 Billion Settlement Does Not Cover…

Cliff Rieders’ Role in the History of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority

May 22nd, 2020 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Supreme Court Building | Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (PSA) is a world-renowned, independent state agency collecting information on patient safety from Pennsylvania healthcare facilities, which was intended to make state residents safer. Mr. Rieders was the President of the Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania the year the law creating the PSA was debated. He was also part of the negotiating team in connection with the legislation which led to the creation of the Patient Safety Authority. The agency analyzes serious events and incidents. Serious events must also be reported to the Department of Health and to the family or relevant relatives. Incidents are not reported to the family, unfortunately, but they are utilize to detect any dangerous trend going on in the healthcare field or to determine if a single instance might be repeated and threaten patients’ health. Liaisons in the field are supposed to be giving feedback to hospitals and to regions in connection with incidents. The legislation also provides that the Patient Safety Authority can report infrastructure failures to the Department of Health. The Patient Safety Authority communicates information in multiple ways to healthcare providers. It has also taken some steps in…

What is the statute of limitation for medical malpractice in PA?

December 3rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

The statute of limitation for medical malpractice in Pennsylvania is generally two years from the date the cause of action accrues. In some cases, the cause of action accrues when the medical care is rendered, such as a surgical date. However, there are many other circumstances in which the statute of limitations could begin to run later.  Pennsylvania’s 7-year statute of repose was recently held unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In certain circumstances, a “tolling” will apply. This may occur, for example, in cases of fraud or where a reasonably diligent patient could not have discovered the relationship between the medical care and the harm suffered within the two (2) years. In those circumstances, the statute of limitations would begin to run when such discovery can or should have taken place. Again, this is a very complex field and is factually intensive.  Minors do not have to begin an action for medical malpractice until two (2) years after reaching the age of majority. According to Pennsylvania law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional commits medical negligence by violating the generally accepted standard of care. The resulting injury must have been directly caused by the professional’s actions…

How Long Do You Have to Sue for Medical Malpractice in PA?

November 15th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

There is a time limit to sue for medical malpractice in Pennsylvania. It is two years after you knew or reasonably should have known about the medical error that caused injury or death. This time limit is called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is set by the Mcare Act in Pennsylvania. There are occasions when the statute of limitations can be “tolled” based upon circumstances such as fraud or the inability of a reasonably diligent patient to know the relationship between the medical care received and the harm. This is a very difficult test, which has been written about by Cliff Rieders in his text, Medical Malpractice. This book is used by most judges and lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders was also involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, and was President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, now the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, when the law was negotiated and passed. In addition to the statute of limitations, there are other laws that you need to consider if you are wondering whether you can sue. Since medical malpractice law is so complicated and the time to file…

Medical Malpractice

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE-RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS Latka v. Rieder, No. 19 CV 2078 (C.P. Lackawanna August 14, 2020) Nealon, J.  Plaintiff commenced this malpractice action against a podiatrist who surgically excised a bone spur from the plantar surface of her big toe, and asserted that the podiatrist was negligent for recommending and performing that surgery, rather than treating her symptoms conservatively, and in failing to timely diagnose and properly treat her post-operative infection which caused her to develop osteomyelitis and to undergo a partial amputation of the toe. Plaintiff filed a motion in limine to preclude the defense from mentioning that infection is a recognized risk of that surgery since she only advanced negligence claims and did not pursue a claim for lack of informed consent. The podiatrist filed a motion in limine to bar the plaintiff from presenting evidence of his alleged failure to document his physical findings in his office chart on the ground that a cause of action for negligent documentation does not exist in Pennsylvania. In a medical negligence action, evidence that the patient was advised of certain risks of the procedure and nevertheless consented to proceed with…

Is Automation in Healthcare a Good Thing for Patients?

June 24th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Medical Professional
Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more common in the healthcare industry. Equipment such as deep learning algorithms that can read CT scans faster than humans to natural language processing (NLP) that can comb through unstructured data in electronic health records (EHRs), can make medical procedures quicker and more accurate. Automating routine tasks that take up a medical professional’s time can allow doctors to focus on the care of patients with serious conditions. Most robotic and laparoscopic surgery, along with new medical devices, have become a major component of health care.   The safety of all of this automation and new technology is by no means guaranteed. Unfortunately, there are also downsides to the increased use of automation, with concerns about privacy problems, ethics, and medical errors. While for many patients, the human touch can bring healing that a machine can never offer, automation brings less personal contact between patients and medical professionals. Trusting an AI nurse or physician with diagnoses, treatment decisions, and other direct patient-care tasks may not always be the best solution.  Already, patients complain that clinicians do not spend enough time examining them and fail to pick up…

Your Doctor is Tired – It is a Public Health Crisis

May 22nd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Doctor
Doctors are overworked, over-stressed, tired, and burning out -- it is affecting your health. Burned-out medical providers are often less productive and do not focus as well on the needs of their patients. Some reduce their work hours, putting added stress on those who have to cover their shifts and patients, and some leave the medical profession completely. None of this is good for patient care. According to a recent report from the Harvard Global Health Institute, frequent changes to health care environments and protocol have contributed to the increased rate of burnout to the point where there is a public health crisis that “urgently demands action.” The report cites findings from the Mayo Clinic showing that physicians who experience burnout are more likely to reduce their work hours or leave the profession altogether. How common is burnout? According to a 2018 survey by the Stanford University School of Medicine, 55 percent of physicians across the U.S. admitted to having symptoms of burnout, while 33 percent admitted to suffering from high levels of fatigue. If you or a loved one has suffered because of negligent care from a burned-out medical practitioner, you may be entitled…

Fewer Patients, Better Care? Proposed Bill Seeks to Limit Patient-to-Nurse Ratio.

May 1st, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Tennessee medical malpractice
Seriously ill patients in hospitals depend on competent nursing care when needed; but when there is a shortage of nurses and they are overworked and exhausted, the result is risk to patient safety and their lives. To prevent these problems, there is now a proposed Congressional bill, House Bill 867, that would limit the number of patients Pennsylvania nurses can care for at one time. The bill bases the nurse-to-patient ratio on the type of hospital unit, with a 1:2 or fewer ratio proposed for intensive care units and a 1:4 or fewer ratio for emergency departments. Advocates of the bill cite the ratio mandate already in California, which has proven to be cost-effective, produce better health outcomes and create openings for job-seeking nurses.   The hospital industry opposes the legislation, arguing that there is not enough research to support it, there are not enough nurses to meet the lower ratio, and that staffing mandates would force facilities to close. Nurses disagree and have appealed to the House committee, saying that having too many patients leads to making mistakes and giving poor care. They believe that better nurse/patient ratios dramatically improve safety…

Should Pennsylvania Level the Playing Field for Those Hurt by Medical and Hospital Malpractice?

February 21st, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

malpractice attorney
Is the deck stacked against patients trying to win a medical malpractice verdict or settlement in Pennsylvania? Many attorneys who represent those harmed by hospital and medical malpractice have been finding that this is the case. In the early 2000s, there were accusations by medical providers that too many lawsuits were being filed.  Barriers in the law made in 2002 drastically reduced possibilities of filing and winning a lawsuit, to the point where many patients who were victims of malpractice are unable to obtain compensation. Among the limiting restrictions placed by the reforms are: Creation of rules restricting where medical malpractice cases could be filed, although no other type of litigation was involved. For example, those who are injured by medical and hospital malpractice can no longer file at the headquarters where the big hospital may do business, but rather must file where the malpractice occurred, even if it is in a remote area. A requirement that lawyers handling medical and hospital malpractice suits sign a “Certificate of Merit” based upon a statement of an expert in the same or similar field as the doctor being sued. This is sometimes…