More on the ECJ Vaccine Liability Decision

By Alex Stein My friend and mentor, the former Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak, used to say that when neither side likes the court’s decision, chances are that the court was right. This is likely to be the case with the … Continue reading

Vaccine Liability in Europe: A New Development

By Alex Stein Yesterday, the European Court of Justice has issued an important ruling on vaccine manufacturers liability. N.W. et al. v. Sanofi Pasteur MSD, C‑621/15. This ruling triggered a hailstorm of criticism from different media outlets, including CNN. These outlets, … Continue reading

Psychiatrists’ Liability for Patient’s Violence Against Other People: Washington Supreme Court Abolishes the Inpatient-Outpatient Distinction

By Alex Stein In a recent decision, Volk v. DeMeerleer, 386 P.3d 254 (Wash. 2016), the Washington Supreme Court relaxed the “control” prerequisite for psychiatrists’ duty to protect third parties against violent patients. The Court made this decision in a case involving a psychiatric … Continue reading

CAVEAT HOSPITIA: Suits Alleging Negligent Credentialing Against Hospitals Get Exemption from Tort Reform

By Alex Stein Policymakers and scholars interested in medical malpractice and torts generally should read Billeaudeau v. Opelousas General Hospital Authority, — So.3d —-, 2016 WL 6123862 (La. 2016). In this recent and important decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that … Continue reading

President Trump’s Tort Reform

By Alex Stein President Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018 proposes a thoroughgoing reform of our medical malpractice system [Executive Office of the President of the United States, Major Savings and Reforms, Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2018, at … Continue reading

Tort Law: Public and Private

By Alex Stein Readers interested in medical malpractice might be interested in seeing—and commenting on—my new article, The Domain of Torts, forthcoming in 117 Colum. L. Rev. (2017). This Article advances a novel positive theory of the law of torts that … Continue reading

Trap for the Unwary Works Again: Federal Healthcare and the Limitations Provision of the Federal Tort Claims Act

By Alex Stein The same story involving a federally qualified health center (FQHC) repeats itself again, again, and now again: see Phillips v. Generations Family Health Center, — Fed.Appx. —- (2016), 2016 WL 5340278 (2d Cir. 2016). A patient from Connecticut … Continue reading

Does an Arbitration Clause in a Nursing Home Agreement Preclude Tort Actions Relating to the Resident’s Wrongful Death?

By Alex Stein Arbitration clauses in nursing home agreements are pretty much standard. Whether such a clause precludes tort actions complaining about the resident’s wrongful death is consequently an important issue.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently addressed this issue in Taylor v. Extendicare … Continue reading

The Ill-Designed “Continuous Treatment” Rule for the Health Law of Massachusetts

By Alex Stein Under Massachusetts law, suits alleging medical malpractice in a treatment of a minor patient must be filed “within three years from the date the cause of action accrues.” G.L.c. 231, § 60D. In a recent case, Parr v. … Continue reading

Outpatient Psychiatric Treatment: The Duty to Prevent Patient Suicide

By Alex Stein In Chirillo v. Granicz, — So.3d —- (Fla. 2016), 2016 WL 4493536, the Florida Supreme Court formulated an important rule for psychiatric malpractice cases. Back in 2001, the First District Court of Appeal decided that psychiatrists assume no … Continue reading

Undiagnosed Cancer under Alabama’s Statute of Repose

By Alex Stein Alabama Code Section 6–5–482(a) that extends to “all actions against physicians, surgeons, dentists, medical institutions, or other health care providers for liability, error, mistake, or failure to cure, whether based on contract or tort” prescribes, (inter alia) that … Continue reading

Trap for the Unwary: Records compiled by a hospital’s risk-management specialist held discoverable

By Alex Stein In a recent case, Frankfort Reg. Med. Ctr. v. Shepherd, 2016 WL 3376030 (Ky. 2016), the Kentucky Supreme Court held that the attorney-client privilege and its work-product extension do not protect records compiled by a hospital’s risk-management specialist. … Continue reading

Sovereign Immunity Protects State-Owned Hospitals and Medical Personnel Against Malpractice Suits

By Alex Stein Pike v. Hagaman, — S.E.2d —- 2016 WL 3097727 (Va. 2016), is a must-read for anyone interested in medical malpractice and health law. This new decision of the Virginia Supreme Court grants state-owned hospitals and their personnel categorical … Continue reading

Medical Malpractice vs. General Negligence under California Law

By Alex Stein In its recent decision, Flores v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hosp., 369 P.3d 229 (Ca. 2016), the California Supreme Court has sharpened the critical distinction between “medical malpractice” and general negligence. Under California statute, a plaintiff’s ability to file a medical malpractice suit … Continue reading

Malpractice, Terminal Patients, and Cause in Fact

By Alex Stein Any person interested in medical malpractice or torts in general must read the Missouri Supreme Court’s recent decision, Mickels v. Danrad, 486 S.W.3d 327 (Mo. 2016). This decision involved a physician who negligently failed to diagnose the presence of a malignant brain tumor, … Continue reading

Tort Reform in Oregon: Constitutional, After All?

By Alex Stein Three years ago, Oregon’s Supreme Court voided the state’s $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice for violating the constitutional guarantee that “In all civil cases the right of Trial by Jury shall remain inviolate” (Or. Const., … Continue reading

Patient Fall: Medical Malpractice or General Tort?

By Alex Stein Courts coalesce around the view that patient fall injuries are actionable only as medical malpractice except when the care provider acts with intent or malice. This approach gives providers of medical care all the protections that benefit defendants … Continue reading

Medical Malpractice: The New Wave of Constitutional Attacks on Damage Caps

By Alex Stein About forty-five years ago, tort reforms took off and states have started capping compensation awards for victims of medical malpractice. The plaintiffs bar countered this initiative by raising different constitutional challenges against caps. Those challenges alluded to equal … Continue reading

Fraudulent Concealment by Nonfeasance as an Exception to the Statute of Repose

By Alex Stein As a general rule, malpractice suits against physicians and hospitals must be filed within the repose period that starts running on the day of the alleged malpractice. Expiration of that period kills the plaintiff’s suit regardless of whether she was … Continue reading