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Medical Malpractice

NATIONAL
October 10, 2009 | Alexander C. Hart
Medical malpractice reform is unlikely to cut healthcare spending significantly, the Congressional Budget Office reported Friday. Enacting a cap on pain-and-suffering and punitive damages, changing liability laws and tightening the statute of limitations on malpractice claims would lower total healthcare spending by about one-half of 1% each year -- $11 billion at the current level -- according to an estimate by the nonpartisan agency. The figure is far lower than previous estimates by groups backing malpractice reform.
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NATIONAL
September 18, 2009 | Peter Nicholas
The White House rolled out a modest program Thursday examining ways to discourage frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits, but what was meant as a bipartisan overture was quickly denounced by Republicans and business and consumer groups as an empty gesture. The Obama administration said that it would offer $25 million in grants to identify practices that would reduce medical errors, scale back malpractice insurance premiums and spare doctors from nuisance litigation. Traditionally, Democrats have opposed changes in malpractice law, protecting the interests of trial lawyers who are a major source of fundraising support.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2009 | Kimi Yoshino
The UC Board of Regents have quietly settled a dozen lawsuits stemming from fertility fraud uncovered nearly 15 years ago -- drawing closer to an end a scandal that has dogged UC Irvine and left behind dozens of heartbroken couples. Shirel and Steve Crawford recently deposited their $675,000 settlement, minus legal fees, but it brought them little peace. In the late 1980s, in the midst of what many consider the country's worst fertility scandal, the Crawfords believe their embryos were given to a woman referred to in documents as "Mrs.
NATIONAL
September 10, 2009 | James Oliphant and Tom Hamburger
President Obama on Wednesday night called for a new look at how medical malpractice lawsuits were handled as a possible way of containing spiraling healthcare costs. During his address to Congress, Obama said that fears of lawsuits had driven doctors to practice "defensive medicine," which some think has led to expensive and unnecessary medical tests and procedures. "I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs," Obama said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 11, 2009 | Rong-Gong Lin II
State officials have fined two nursing homes in Orange County for providing care so inadequate that it led to the deaths of two patients. In one case, a woman died from dehydration. In the other, staff failed to provide CPR to a man suffering a heart attack because they mistakenly believed he was under orders not to be resuscitated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2009 | Garrett Therolf
Los Angeles County supervisors have agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the children of Edith Rodriguez, the woman who died after writhing in pain for 45 minutes on the waiting-room floor of Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. Rodriguez's death nearly two years ago attracted national attention, becoming a symbol of an indifferent emergency system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2009 | Steve Chawkins
In an elder abuse case described by one investigator as the most outrageous he has ever seen, three former top managers at a Kern County nursing home have been arrested in the deaths of three residents who allegedly were given needless doses of psychotropic medications. The state attorney general's office contended in a criminal complaint that more than 20 residents at a skilled nursing center run by the Kern Valley Healthcare District were drugged "for staff convenience."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2009 | Jia-Rui Chong
After a vigorous debate among experts, the state medical board this week dismissed accusations of negligence against a perinatologist at Kaiser Permanente's Fresno Medical Center who was involved in two tragic deliveries. The Medical Board of California had accused Dr. Hamid Safari of mishandling the procedures. One child died in the delivery room in April 2005, and the other died months after her January 2004 birth.
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