Showing 15 posts in Professional Liability.
Immunity From Liability For Healthcare Facilities and Healthcare Professionals in the Continuing Battle Against the Covid-19 Pandemic
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, local, state and federal authorities have sought out ways to address the many issues presented by the pandemic. One such issue is how to address the legal issues facing healthcare workers, who place themselves at risk of contracting the disease every day, and whether these workers and medical facilities should be shielded from criminal or civil liability based on difficult treatment decisions.
As the number of COVID-19 patients continues to rise in the US and worldwide, hospitals and doctors are faced with the decision of how to allocate scarce resources, such as ICU beds, ventilators, and time spent by staff treating an individual patient. An example of one such allocation decision is whether a healthcare worker should administer CPR for a patient who is crashing. More »
The Application of the Doctrine of Collateral Estoppel to Bar Legal Malpractice Claims Following Allegations of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
In a recent unpublished decision, Miles v. Dickstein, unpub op, Docket No. 350136 (Sep. 10, 2020), the Michigan Court of Appeals addressed the application of the doctrine of collateral estoppel (sometimes referred to as “issue preclusion”) in a legal malpractice case arising out of an underlying criminal lawsuit. The Miles Court held that because the standards for evaluating an attorney for ineffective assistance of counsel in a criminal setting and legal malpractice in a civil suit were “equivalent” and “virtually identical,” that collateral estoppel bars a subsequent legal malpractice claim if the trial court evaluated an ineffective counsel claim in the underlying criminal matter. Miles, unpub op, at 1. More »
PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Pennsylvania Mulls Repeal of Medical Malpractice Venue Restrictions; Both Plaintiff and Defense Bars Claim Victory From Study
On February 3, 2020, the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (“LBFC”) released its findings from a study of the impact of venue restrictions on medical malpractice cases. The LBFC warned that changes to the medical malpractice rules could lead to initial uncertainty in the malpractice insurance market, but also found no clear link between relaxed medical malpractice restrictions and the availability of affordable healthcare. This ruling left both the plaintiff bar and defense bar claiming an initial victory in the ongoing debate over proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s forum-shopping restrictions in medical malpractice cases. More »
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) was enacted to protect consumers from abusive and deceptive practices by debt collectors, and to protect non-abusive debt collectors from competitive disadvantage. United States v. Nat'l Fin. Servs., Inc., 98 F.3d 131, 135 (4th Cir. 1996). It is “a strict liability statute that prohibits false or deceptive representations in collecting a debt, as well as certain abusive debt collection practices.” McLean v. Ray, 488 Fed. Appx. 677, 682 (4th Cir. 2012). In addition to its prohibitions, the FDCPA delineates a number of required disclosures and procedures that must be followed when communicating with debtors. Attorneys and law firms who regularly engage in debt collection activities are subject to the requirements of the FDCPA. More »
The Michigan Court of Appeals, in a recent unpublished decision, Ali, et. al. v. Trivax, et. al., unpub op, Docket No. 343140 (March 21, 2019), clarified the scope of Michigan’s “Attorney Judgment Rule,” which can bar a client from suing his/her attorney in a legal malpractice lawsuit. The Ali Court held that the Attorney Judgment Rule did not protect an attorney-defendant’s error in judgment when that tactical decision was not “well founded in law” adding that the question of whether the attorney-defendant qualifies for protection under the Attorney Judgment Rule is a question of fact for the jury and not the trial court (which significantly complicates relying on the Attorney Judgment Rule as a basis for summary disposition). Ali, unpub op, at 6. More »
An Examination of the Illinois Insurer-Insured Privilege: What is Protected and What is Discoverable?
In today’s litigation climate, cases often not only involve a plaintiff, a defendant, and their attorneys, but also insurance carriers who have vested interests in the outcome of cases involving their insured. Prior to and throughout the course of litigation, an insured will often not only communicate with their attorney, but also with their insurer. It is common, for example, that an insurer will take a statement from their insured while analyzing a potential claim. The threshold question of which components of an insurance claim file are discoverable is crucial in a litigated matter. This Article explores the Illinois Insurer-Insured Privilege. A misunderstanding of this privilege can have severe consequences, including the disclosure of material information that the parties believed, in good faith, was confidential, and would never be subject to production. More »
PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Opioid Litigation - The Practitioner's Guide to Managing the FDA's 2019 Roadmap
On February 26, 2019, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released a press announcement detailing the FDA’s efforts in combating the opioid crisis. The FDA holds a guarded belief that the opioid crisis is improving but that significant changes to FDA rules and regulations are still needed to resolve the epidemic. While Gottlieb’s statement considered the FDA’s efforts to curb illicit opioid proliferation, it also discussed the FDA’s plans for new regulations for medical professionals meant to further reduce and limit the use opioids in the U.S. The press announcement included a roadmap for the FDA’s 2019 regulatory plans which could have substantial implications for medical professionals defending against opioid litigation. This Article analyzes some of the FDA’s proposed changes that could have the greatest impact on opioid litigation and how medical practitioners can prepare for opioid litigation in Illinois in the wake of these regulatory changes. (For more on how medical professionals can prepare for and protect against future opioid litigation and liability, please see Medical Professionals and Opioid Lawsuits: Protecting Against the Coming Storm.) More »
A client has the unqualified right to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time, with or without cause, regardless of whether a contract exists formalizing the relationship. In re Thelen LLP, 24 N.Y.3d 16, 28, 20 N.E.3d 264, 270 (2014); Matter of Cooperman, 83 N.Y.2d 465, 472, 633 N.E.2d 1069, 1072 (1994).1 More »
Like other professional malpractice lawsuits, an Illinois plaintiff claiming legal malpractice against a former attorney must allege and prove that the former attorney owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care, that the former attorney breached that duty of care, that the plaintiff suffered an injury in the form of damages, and finally, that the former attorney’s breach of that duty proximately caused plaintiff’s claimed damages. Nelson v. Quarles & Brady, LLP, 2013 IL App (1st) 123122, ¶ 27. However, unlike other professionals, attorneys sued in legal malpractice lawsuits can assert an additional defense to shield themselves from liability—the Judgmental Immunity doctrine. Due to this common law doctrine, an attorney can seek the early dismissal of any legal malpractice claim where an unsatisfactory outcome/damages were allegedly caused by the former attorney’s good faith error in judgment in the underlying matter. More »
REAL ESTATE CLIENT ALERT: Michigan Court of Appeals Held That Non-Tenants May Not Sue Landlords Under Common Theories of Liability
On September 20, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals in an unpublished decision, Morrish v. Sun Communities, Inc., highlighted an important argument available to landlords defending lawsuits brought by a non-tenant occupant of a rental unit who never signed the lease. The Court in Morrish held that non-tenants, even if identified on the lease as authorized occupants of a rental unit, may not sue landlords under several different common theories of liability. More »
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- Green Development Risks
- A Question of Timing: Policy-Limit Demands and Insurer Bad Faith in Florida
- CUBI: Everything You Need to Know About Texas' Biometric Law and Beyond...
- Prejudgment Interest Starting as Early as the Time of Injury? At a Rate of 9% Interest? A Bill Sits on Illinois’ Governor’s Desk.
- Now That Vaccine Distribution Has Begun, What Issues Do Employers Face?
- Immunity From Liability For Healthcare Facilities and Healthcare Professionals in the Continuing Battle Against the Covid-19 Pandemic
- A National Approach to Biometric Privacy
- Illinois Appellate Court Says the Learned Intermediary Doctrine Does Not Shield a Device Manufacturer from Liability When a Doctor is Deceived About a Device’s Prior Testing and Suitability
- Remote Jury Selection by Video Conferencing
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