Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Insurance, autism screening, arbitration, health law, foreclosure and a dash of salt

Florida Insurance - General - State Bill Tracking
2010 Florida House Bill No. 107 112th Regular Session (SUMMARY - NETSCAN)
Autism; Requires that physician refer minor to appropriate specialist for screening for autism spectrum disorder; requires certain insurers & HMOs to provide direct patient access to appropriate specialist for minimum number of visits per year for screening, evaluation, or diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2010
2010 FL H.B. 107 (NS)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wrongful Death: ARBITRATION CLAIM: LUNG TRANSPLANT PATIENT BLED TO DEATH AFTER NURSE REMOVED CLAMP, 5 No. 8 West's Medical Malpractice Law Report 1, West's Medical Malpractice Law Report September 14, 2009
A Maryland man who underwent successful bilateral lung transplant surgery bled to death after a nurse accidentally removed a clamp, according to documents filed with a state health claims arbitration panel. The claim filed on behalf of Bryan DeWitt Harris by his wife, Denise, also accuses the hospital of trying to cover up the true cause of his death. Denise Harris filed the claim with the Maryland Health Claims Alternative Dispute Resolution Office.

Medication Error: MEDICATION ERROR FORCED BIRTH INSTEAD OF STOPPING IT, SUIT SAYS, Comerica Bank v. Tenet Healthcare Corp., 5 No. 8 West's Medical Malpractice Law Report 2, West's Medical Malpractice Law Report September 14, 2009
A Florida woman who was admitted to the hospital to prevent premature labor says she was given an abortion medication instead of a drug to help maintain her pregnancy, causing her to deliver her premature baby into a bedpan. Tesome Sampson's daughter Traniya Guy survived the premature delivery at 24 weeks but was left severely brain-damaged, according to the suit filed in the Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Birth Injury: 'ERROR OF JUDGMENT' CHARGE NOT PROPER IN PA. MED-MAL TRIALS, Pringle v. Rapaport, 5 No. 8 West's Medical Malpractice Law Report 3, West's Medical Malpractice Law Report September 14, 2009
A Pennsylvania appellate court has ruled that the "error of judgment" jury instruction should not be given in medical malpractice cases since it "confuses, rather than clarifies the issues a jury must decide." The 7-2 Superior Court ruling means that Dennis and Christine Pringle will get a new trial in their lawsuit against Dr. Adolfo Rapaport, whose allegedly negligent delivery of their son Austin resulted in injuries to his right arm.

Adoption -- Termination of parental rights of unmarried biological father of child pending adoption -- Consent -- Error to enter summary judgment terminating biological father's parental rights based on father's failure to file claim with Putative Father Registry and pledge of commitment to child where father was not given timely notice of and opportunity to preserve his parental rights -- Notice was untimely where it was not provided to father until after petition for termination of parental rights was filed
Reported at 34 Fla. L. Weekly D1859a

Civil procedure -- Discovery -- Deposition of opposing counsel -- Action against physician alleging that defendant failed to bill plaintiff through insurance network rather than through arrangement whereby defendant had been paid by plaintiff's attorney in separate litigation involving plaintiff's injury in a traffic accident -- Trial court did not depart from essential requirements of law in denying defendant's motion to disqualify plaintiff's counsel where counsel was not a necessary witness in claim against defendant, but court did depart from essential requirements of law in denying defendant's motion to compel deposition of plaintiff's counsel where counsel qualifies as a material witness in claim against defendant
Reported at 34 Fla. L. Weekly D1871a

Dissolution of marriage -- Contempt -- Enforcement of marital settlement agreement whereby former husband agreed to pay certain expenses incurred by child in lieu of conventional monthly child support -- Where agreement provided that former husband would pay certain of child's expenses until he reached age eighteen or twenty-one, but provided that former husband would pay child's tuition and related education expenses while child is enrolled as a full-time student, without specifying an ending date, trial court erred by finding that provision regarding payment for educational expenses such as books, school supplies, computer software and routine automobile maintenance is ambiguous and unenforceable because the provision contains no ending date -- Attorney's fees -- Court did not abuse discretion in denying former wife award of attorney's fees where parties have similar financial ability to obtain counsel
Reported at 34 Fla. L. Weekly D1870b

Mortgage foreclosure -- Appeal from post-judgment order denying motion to vacate was premature where trial judge stamped motion “denied” and affixed his signature and date to motion, but there was no indication that this “order” was rendered by filing it with the clerk after judge had signed it, as required by rule 9.020(h) -- Jurisdiction relinquished for proper rendition of order -- Courts discouraged from using rubber stamps to rule on motions -- To enable meaningful appellate review, trial court to provide basis for denying motion to cancel sale, which was also stamped “denied” but never rendered, and motion to vacate sale
Reported at 34 Fla. L. Weekly D1866b

Torts -- Veterinary malpractice -- Claim arising out of physical ailments suffered by plaintiff's dogs after defendant veterinarian recommended and administered a new heartworm medication to dogs -- Claim regarding administration of heartworm medication was barred by settlement and release executed between plaintiff and manufacturer of heartworm medication -- Release was not rendered unenforceable because it did not expressly reference negligence -- Requirement that a preclaim exculpatory clause must state that it releases party from liability for his own negligence is inapplicable in case of a postclaim release -- Reference in release to “all other persons, corporations and entities” applied to defendant for claims resulting from sale, use or administration of heartworm medication -- Although summary judgment for defendant was proper as to claims arising out of administration of heartworm medication, it was error to enter blanket summary judgment as to claims not within the scope of the release
Reported at 34 Fla. L. Weekly D1861a

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