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Special Edition Legal Case Study

Healthcare Professionals and Medical Malpractice: A Case Study with Risk Management Strategies 

Medical malpractice claims can be asserted against any healthcare provider. Although there may be a perception that physicians are held responsible for the majority of lawsuits, the reality is that healthcare professionals, including physical therapists, pharmacists and counselors are more frequently finding themselves defending the care they provide.



Case Study: Improper treatment resulting in patient death 

The patient (plaintiff) was a 68-year old chronically ill female with a history of diabetes, severe ankylosing spondylitis, neuropathy, myopathy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity and falls. The physical therapist and the defendant physical therapist assistant (PTA) were employed by a home health agency and were providing home based physical therapy care to the patient following a recent hospitalization. Read the Full Case with Risk Management Recommendations 

Read Previous Issues of the HPSO Special Edition Legal Case Study: Physical Therapist Edition

Pharmacist Edition

Case Study: Alleged wrongful death resulting from the failure to counsel the decedent on the dangers of concurrently taking Flomax, Diltiazem and Lexapro 

The decedent patient (plaintiff) was a 48 year old male who was well known to the defendant pharmacist as a multiyear customer of his pharmacy business. The patient had a history of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension and was a smoker. He was taking Diltiazem for hypertension and Lexapro for anxiety and depression. He presented with a prescription for Flomax to treat newly diagnosed urinary symptoms related to prostate enlargement. Read the Full Case with Risk Management Recommendations 

Read Previous Issues of the HPSO Special Edition Legal Case Study: Pharmacist Edition

Case Study: Alleged breach of confidentiality, incorrect diagnosis and alienation of affection resulting in emotional distress, loss of his marriage and loss of his relationships with his children 

The defendant counselor identified that the wife and children were at risk and she recommended to the wife that she leave the marital home to live with her parents who were located several hours away. The defendant counselor reported the husband's behavior as child abuse in compliance with state child protection regulations. The wife left the marital home with the children and subsequently filed for divorce and sole custody of the children due to the husband's emotional and physical abuse in the family. Read the Full Case with Risk Management Recommendations

Read Previous Issues of the HPSO Special Edition Legal Case Study: Counselors Edition

July 2013 Legal Case Study 

Woman Claims Inadequate Assistance While Using "Wobble Board" - Fall and Fractured Hip - $100,000 Settlement. 

The plaintiff had a history of falls, gait and balance problems. She was referred to the defendant health clinic for physical therapy to help improve her balance. During a session in April 2010 she was doing a “wobble board” exercise with two aides standing one on each side of her. 

One aide stepped aside to adjust the weight on the machine. In adjusting the weight, all the resistance was released from a cable which the plaintiff was holding onto. The plaintiff lost her balance and fell. She suffered a fractured right hip which required open reduction surgery. 

The plaintiff claimed that it was negligent to have only one aide at her side while she was on the “wobble board.” 

According to reports, a $100,000 settlement was reached. 

With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288.

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December 2014​
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Woman Given Prescription for 100 Milligram Dosage of Phenergan Which Was Filled By Pharmacy Despite Claims That Prescribing Physician Called to Cancel Prescription Due to Dosage Error - Resulting in Lingering Tinnitus - $1.4 Million Verdict
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