medical malpractice

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Most of Steve Kenan was laid to rest in St. Petersburg after his unexpected death in 2013. But not his heart.

That organ, preserved in formaldehyde, has traveled more than 1,000 miles to be studied by pathologists in three states. So far, they can’t agree on what killed him; was it his chronic heart condition or a medical mistake?

Justices To Weigh Case Involving Escaped Patient

Jun 20, 2016
University of Florida Health

The Florida Supreme Court said Friday it will take up a case stemming from the death of a woman who was killed on Interstate 75 after escaping from a psychiatric hospital.

Justices Eye Constitutionality Of Malpractice Caps

Jun 10, 2016
JMV0586 / FLICKR

More than a dozen years after a fierce political fight about the state's medical-malpractice laws, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments about the constitutionality of limits on damages in malpractice lawsuits.

Justices Decline To Hear 'Bad Faith' Dispute In Medical Malpractice Case

May 27, 2016
Brandonrush (Wikimedia Commons)

In a case involving a $35 million arbitration award, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said it will not take up a dispute about whether a physician is able to pursue a "bad faith" claim against a medical-malpractice insurer.

Supreme Court Ready To Hear Medical Malpractice, Other Major Cases

May 26, 2016

For legal junkies, the Florida Supreme Court will be the best show in town during a three-day period in June.

Justices are poised to hear arguments on a series of high-profile issues, including gambling, the death penalty, guns and medical malpractice, according to a schedule released Wednesday.

Supreme Court To Decide Malpractice Dispute

Apr 18, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to take up a constitutional challenge to a 2013 medical-malpractice law that spurred a lobbying battle between groups such as doctors and plaintiffs' attorneys.

Florida Supreme Court Could Consider Medical Malpractice Battle

Feb 8, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Supreme Court could decide whether a physician is able to pursue a "bad faith" claim against an insurer in a medical-malpractice case that led to a $35 million arbitration award.

Court Backs Hospitals In 'Heart-Wrenching' Malpractice Case

Sep 28, 2015

A state appeals court Thursday sided with two South Florida hospitals in a medical-malpractice case involving a child who suffered brain damage after needing emergency care in 2008.

Supreme Court Ponders Medical Malpractice In Patient Suicide

Sep 3, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

In a medical-malpractice lawsuit stemming from the death of a woman who hanged herself, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday weighed whether her doctor could be found negligent in the suicide.

Court Sides With Hospital In Death Of Escaped Patient

Aug 31, 2015
University of Florida Health

A sharply divided appeals court Friday ruled that the death of a woman who was hit by a truck after escaping from a psychiatric hospital should be handled as a medical-malpractice case --- effectively leading to the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by her estate.

Court Overturns $4.1M Medical Malpractice Verdict

Aug 27, 2015
Jupiter Images

Pointing to the unfair use of expert witnesses, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday ordered a new trial in a medical-malpractice case that led to a $4.1 million verdict against a pediatrician accused of negligently diagnosing a child's kidney disease.

Court Backs Medical Malpractice Change

Jul 21, 2015

A state appeals court Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of a controversial change in Florida's medical-malpractice laws, ruling in part that some privacy rights are "waived" when people pursue malpractice lawsuits.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal stemmed from a 2013 law, which the Republican-controlled Legislature passed after a lobbying battle between groups such as doctors and plaintiffs' attorneys. A federal appeals court last year also upheld the change in a separate case.

Medical Malpractice Rate Cuts Challenged

Jul 15, 2015

A major medical-malpractice insurer is challenging an order by Florida regulators to reduce rates by 15 percent, according to newly filed documents in the state Division of Administrative Hearings.

The Doctors Company made an annual rate filing in December that did not request changes in rates. But the state Office of Insurance Regulation said an analysis showed that rates should be reduced 11.9 percent to 17.3 percent and last month ordered the company to make a new filing that reflected rate cuts of 15 percent.

A 2003 law capping medical malpractice lawsuit awards at $500,000 can't be applied retroactively. That's what the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a Miami-Dade County case in which a woman suffered permanent damage to her leg from unnecessary surgery. A jury awarded Kimberly Ann Miles $1.5 million, but Dr. Daniel Weingrad appealed the case saying the award should be limited to the $500,000 cap then-Gov.

Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a decision that opens the door for cruise ship passengers to sue for medical malpractice.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week rejected a bid by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to revisit the ruling. The court noted that none of the 11th Circuit judges voted in support of reconsideration.

Royal Caribbean could still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. A company spokesman said legal options are under review.

A ruling on the ongoing challenge to Florida's medical malpractice law is a win for groups such as the Florida Medical Association, Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida reports. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Friday says changes made in 2013 to the "ex parte communications" portion of the law does not violate patient privacy, the News Service reports.

The ongoing debate over Florida’s controversial medical malpractice law is being pondered again by the state’s Supreme Court.

Justices heard arguments this week about whether a Miami-Dade County woman injured before the 2003 law should have the damage caps applied in her case, the News Service of Florida reports.

Kimberly Ann Miles did not file a lawsuit against her physician until January 2006.

Following a Florida Supreme Court decision that struck down caps on certain awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, the members of a 2002 task force that supported those caps are calling for a constitutional amendment that would place the caps on solid footing.

A Boca Raton patient won a $30 million verdict for injuries from a simple surgery that went went horribly wrong and left her unable to work.  But she won’t be able to collect the money.  The same legal system that helped Laura Haughie win the verdict blocked her from receiving it, the Palm Beach Post reports.

JMV0586 / FLICKR

Thursday's Florida Supreme Court decision that threw out medical malpractice limits on "pain and suffering" drew quick rebukes from doctors and applause from trial attorneys.

The 5-2 landmark decision, issued two years after oral arguments, called into question the very reason the Legislature imposed the limits in the first place: the "alleged medical malpractice crisis."

Second-guessing the legislative intent in such a case is extraordinary, says Jay Wolfson, University of South Florida professor of public health and medicine.

A Fort Lauderdale doctor has been convicted for his role in a South Florida pill mill operation.

Dr. Thomas Rodenberg, one of seven doctors swept up in the three-year probe, was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, illegally delivering controlled substances, and trafficking prescription pain killers, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.  

JMV0586 / FLICKR

The Florida Supreme Court says patients and their families have the right to get certain records when they are suing for medical malpractice, the News Service of Florida reports.

Thursday’s ruling from the Supreme Court overturns a lower court ruling that limited access to "adverse medical incident" reports from health providers involved in malpractice cases.

In a report that ranks states on emergency care, a national physician group says Florida is average overall but near the bottom on access to care.

(Note: An editor at MedPage Today questioned the validity of the metrics used in the report a few hours after it was released.)

TALLAHASSEE — The Supreme Court refused Thursday to adopt a state rule reflected in a law that creates restrictions on doctors who can testify during medical malpractice trials, agreeing it would have a chilling effect on the ability to find expert witnesses.

The law was a priority for Republican Senate President Don Gaetz and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott. It was designed to help doctors defend themselves in malpractice cases. Critics said it would make it more difficult for victims to seek compensation for injuries caused by doctors' mistakes.

The state Department of Corrections failed to require full disclosure of the medical malpractice records of two private prison-health contractors before awarding them billion-dollar contracts, Broward Bulldog reports.

A federal judge in Tallahassee has thrown out a medical-malpractice defense law passed this year that gave a  defense attorney the right to question the plaintiff's other doctors without permission, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Five complaints have been filed in state and federal courts challenging a law that took effect Monday that helps physician-defendants in medical malpractice cases, the Miami Herald reports.

The Florida Justice Association, made up of trial lawyers, is coordinating the legal offensive. The complaints say it violates patients’ right to privacy for their doctors to talk about what’s in their medical records without their permission. They say it violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

The Florida Supreme Court has thrown out an arbitration agreement signed by a man before he received hernia surgery at North Florida Surgeons, News Service of Florida reports. According to Florida law, non-economic damages could be as high as $1 million, much higher than the $250,000-cap imposed in the agreement between the surgical center and the patient.  

New rules for physicians and others who testify in medical malpractice cases will kick in July 1, but the Florida Board of Medicine is already showing zero tolerance for “experts” who may not measure up, the Tampa Tribune reports.

Florida Current

Women pushing strollers and pulling a red wagon delivered 11,000 petitions to Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday, requesting that he veto a bill that would override local sick-time benefit ordinances,  according to The Palm Beach Post.

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