Showing 4 posts in Medical Negligence & Healthcare Liability.

COVID-19 Pandemic Negligence Claims: What is the Standard of Care When There is No Precedent?

I. Introduction

While the world is rightly focused on stemming the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the future holds a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions.  How bad will the pandemic become and how many lives will be lost?  Will the world see waves of COVID-19 outbreaks in the future?  Will medical researchers develop a treatment or vaccine to manage COVID-19?  How long will humans have to engage in social distancing?  How will the current pandemic impact the world economy, and will we fall into a global recession?  Far down the list of questions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is whether the crisis will result in a flood of negligence claims filed by individuals afflicted with coronavirus illnesses against a host of potential defendants, including medical providers, nursing homes and senior care facilities, businesses and premises owners, individuals, private schools and universities, and personal protective equipment manufacturers, to name a few of the potential targets.  More likely than not, the answer to this question is that yes, negligence claims against these and other classes of defendants will follow.  The thought of that probably leaves a lot of people uncomfortable, since many of these potential defendants are the ones working tirelessly to treat those suffering from coronavirus illnesses and to protect the rest of society from getting sick. 

How these negligence claims will be treated remains to be seen, and while the black letter law for negligence is well-developed in the United States, never has negligence law been examined in the era of modern litigation in a situation like the current one, where quick action is necessary, so many lives are at risk and those who are most vulnerable to liability are also those acting in good faith and selflessly to help others.  The standard of care applied to defendants named in COVID-19 negligence claims will play a major role in the outcome of these future cases and will greatly impact the ability of defendants named in those cases to minimize their liability.  More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Third-Party Litigation Financing Can Drive Up Case Settlement Value

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A recent data study by researcher, Jean Xiao, JD/Ph. D, at Vanderbilt University Law School revealed the effects of the growing Consumer Litigation Finance industry on medical negligence cases. According to the study, the direct availability of litigation funding from investors to plaintiffs resulted in higher malpractice payments and extended the amount of time it took cases to settle. More »

Illinois Supreme Court Applies Discovery Rule Extending Statute of Limitations Period in Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

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On September 22, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its opinion in Randall W. Moon v. Clarissa F. Rhode et al. (2016 IL 119572), holding that the discovery rule found in section 13-212(a) of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/13-212(a)) was applicable to Wrongful Death and Survival act claims alleging medical malpractice.  Generally, statutes of limitation set deadlines for which plaintiffs must bring claims, however, in certain situations the deadline may be extended by what is referred to as the “discovery rule.”  Although the Court’s opinion was in the context of a medical malpractice case, the discovery rule that the Court held to apply in section 13-212(a) of the Code for medical malpractice claims also appears in section 13-213(d) of the Code for product liability claims.  This decision may provide support for plaintiffs and courts in Illinois to extend the application of the discovery rule to Wrongful Death and Survival act claims in product liability matters. More »

I Know Where You Were Last Summer: Using More Than Just Facebook to Investigate Pending Claims

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In other articles, we have discussed the importance of obtaining social media data in pre-suit investigations and how to conduct social media discovery in pending litigation. As we discussed there, photographs, video and the like information can all be used for evidentiary purposes to demonstrate state of mind, the existence of mental or cognitive disabilities (or the lack thereof) and the level of activity enjoyed by a litigant.  In those articles, we have focused primarily on recovering such evidence from Facebook since it is one of the most prevalently used social media platforms and permits users to download (at least arguably) the most helpful data. However, Facebook is not the only source of social media data and any thorough investigation should also involve identifying and requesting photographs, video, status updates or comments from other social media platforms. More »

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