Medical malpractice

Testimony based on medical journals allowed

October 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A physician testifying at a medical malpractice case should have been allowed to offer testimony based on her reading of medical journals, and a Marion County judge erred when he excluded part of her statements, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided.
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Attorneys challenge state's med-mal cap

September 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Two central Indiana attorneys have filed a challenge to Indiana's Medical Malpractice Cap, arguing the cap violates the Indiana Constitution. The challenge follows a jury verdict in which a widower won $8.5 million following his wife's death.
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Supreme Court grants 6 transfers

September 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted six transfers Sept. 11, including a case of first impression involving a suit filed by a pathological gambler against a riverboat casino.
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Lawyer entitled to $1.05 million default judgment

September 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a default judgment in favor of an Indiana attorney because an Illinois attorney demonstrated "contumacious disregard" for a trial court's orders.
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Judges disagree if testimony is hypothetical

August 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed over whether two doctors' expert witness testimony in a medical malpractice case used hypothetical language that couldn't raise a genuine issue of fact.
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COA splits in application of statute in med-mal suit

July 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The issue of whether the Journey's Account Statute applied to a woman's medical malpractice claim filed after the statute of limitations expired caused a split of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel.
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Court rules on incurred risk in malpractice suit

June 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that, in general, incurred risk isn't a defense to medical malpractice based on negligence or lack of informed consent.
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COA clarifies emotional distress claims

May 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used an opinion today to clarify how to treat an independent action for emotional distress brought either in combination with the Wrongful Death Statute or as part of the Medical Malpractice Act.
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Justices to hear compulsive gambling case

January 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in three cases Thursday, including a suit in which a woman claims a casino took advantage of her gambling addiction. Arguments begin at 9 a.m. in Caesars Riverboat Casino LLC v. Genevieve Kephart, No. 31S01-0909-CV-303. Caesars originally filed a suit against Genevieve Kephart after she failed to repay a gambling debt. The casino sought repayment, treble damages, and attorney fees. But Kephart counterclaimed, arguing the casino unjustly enriched itself because it knew she had...
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Court rules on tort claims and wrongful death

December 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled the issue of the interaction of the statute of limitations provision under the state's Wrongful Death Act and the statute of limitations provision for an underlying substantive tort claim in two opinions released Dec. 24.
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Justices analyze occurrence-based limitations

November 13, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices dissented from the majority today in two medical malpractice suits because they believed the majority's reasoning behind the decisions that both plaintiffs' claims are time-barred would foster suspicion and doubt between health-care providers and their patients.
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Sexual misconduct doesn't fall under MedMal act

November 6, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed a trial court determination that an employee's sexual conduct with a patient can't constitute a rendition of health care or professional services, so a negligent hiring complaint against a hospital based on that conduct doesn't fall under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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Worker's comp claim bars med mal complaintRestricted Content

June 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a hospital's motion to dismiss a medical malpractice complaint because the claimant, who was employed by the hospital and on duty at the time of the injury, could only file a complaint against the employer under the Worker's Compensation Act.
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$1.25 million med mal verdict affirmedRestricted Content

June 3, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a $1.25 million jury verdict and in doing so ruled on three issues of first impression that will likely impact future medical malpractice suits.
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COA: Laser hair removal not 'health care'

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Laser hair removal isn't considered "health care" within the meaning of the state's Medical Malpractice Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.A unanimous ruling today affirmed a trial court decision in OB-GYN Associates of Northern Indiana P.C. v. Tammy Ransbottom, No. 71A03-0711-CV-503, which involved a St. Joseph County case and the denial of a motion to dismiss a negligence action. In January 2006, Ransbottom had gone to a Mishawaka OB-GYN's office and underwent the cosmetic laser hair removal treatment. She went...
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COA to travel to Wabash College

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments Feb. 26 at Wabash College in Crawfordsville. Judges Patricia Riley, James Kirsch, and Melissa May will hear the appeal from Monroe Circuit Court of H.D., et al. v. BHC Meadows Hospital, Inc. at 3 p.m. In this appeal, the court is asked to decide whether the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act requires a juvenile and his or her parents to bring claims from a breach of patient confidentiality before a medical review panel prior...
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Court upholds damages award against doctor

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a damages award to the parents of a stillborn child against a doctor, finding the trial court properly excluded opinion testimony from two treating doctors and a letter written to those doctors before the trial by the parents' attorney. In Jeffrey L. Cain, M.D. v. Richard Back and Suzette Back, No. 20A03-0705-CV-225, Dr. Jeffrey L. Cain appealed the trial court judgment of $800,000 in damages to Richard and Suzette Back on their claim of medical malpractice.The...
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High court grants, vacates transfers

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case regarding whether the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund can introduce evidence of liability on an action seeking excess damages. The court also vacated a transfer in a case that involves an amendment to charging information that happened after the omnibus date. The court granted transfer to Jim Atterholt, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance, as Administrator of theIndiana Patient's Compensation Fund v. Geneva Herbst, personal representative of the estate of Jeffrey A....
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Majority: hospital owed duty to patient

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges were split in their decision March 12 regarding whether a hospital that performed a surgery on a woman with suspected domestic violence injuries should have prevented her from leaving with her ex-husband and alleged abuser, who later killed both of them on the way home from the hospital. At issue in Ava McSwane and Danielle Hays v. Bloomington Hospital and Healthcare System and Jean M. Eelma, M.D., No. 53A04-0705-CV-243, is what duty the hospital owed to McSwane's daughter, Malia...
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Incurred risk not malpractice defense

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor cannot use evidence of a patient's previous surgeries or pursue an incurred-risk defense against a medical malpractice suit, the Court of Appeals ruled today. In Brenda Spar v. Jin S. Cha, M.D., No. 45A05-0611-CV-683, Spar appealed the jury decision in favor of Dr. Cha in her medical malpractice claim against the OB/GYN for a surgery he performed on her. Spar previously had been in a serious automobile accident and as a result had numerous abdominal surgeries. When she decided to...
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Court upholds damages award

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court decision that excluded arguments and evidence from the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund relating to the survival rate of the decedent because their argument regarded liability, which had already been established through a settlement. In Jim Atterholt, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance as Administrator of the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund v. Geneva Herbst, personal representative of the estate of Jeffrey A. Herbst, No. 49A04-0702-CV-106, the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund appealed the grant...
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Settlement may be largest of its kind: State agency resolves federal lawsuit that began with legal malpractice claim

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis law firm has been holding its breath for two years. Ever since getting hit with a potentially devastating $17.9 million jury verdict on a legal malpractice claim in state court, the 45-year-old law firm Fillenwarth Dennerline Groth & Towe hasn't been able to put the focus on its daily client business without acknowledging that dark storm cloud hovering overhead. Now, the storm cloud has dissolved. In what may be the state's largest-ever liquidation return of its kind, the Indiana...
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Supreme Court rules on med mal fees

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Medical malpractice attorneys are sighing in relief after a much-anticipated ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court this afternoon.Justices granted transfer and issued a per curiam opinion this afternoon on a case that had the potential to dramatically change how med mal attorneys recover fees in these types of cases.But instead of altering that, the unanimous ruling stipulates that the fee structure often used by these med mal attorneys can stand, and the court offers guidance for attorneys seeking to ensure fee...
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Supreme Court will hear 5 arguments this week

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mobile home demolished more than a year ago is the subject of one of several oral arguments the Indiana Supreme Court will hear this week.Justices will hear three cases Tuesday, and two more are scheduled for Thursday, but the court has granted transfer in only two of those cases so far.The mobile home-related argument tomorrow is in Ernestine Waldon v. Donna Wilkins, 18A04-0604-CV-199, which comes out of Delaware County. After deciding a mobile home was unfit to live in, the...
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High court rules doctor can sue in med mal case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that summary judgment should not have been granted because it prohibited a doctor from asserting a statutory negligence claim against a medical malpractice claimant, her attorney, and her attorney's law firm.In the ruling Wednesday, Justices Brent Dickson and Ted Boehm concurred, with Chief Justice Randall Shepard concurring in a separate opinion. Justice Frank Sullivan concurred in part and dissented in part with a separate opinion in which Justice Robert Rucker concurred.In Eusebio Kho M.D. v Deborah...
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