Friday, November 27, 2009

Medical Malpractice Litigation Stress: What No One Will Tell the Doctor Victim of Lawsuit Abuse

There is an inherent conflict of interest of all parties in a case, save that of the jury. The jury is the sole friend of the innocent doctor. All others are backstabbing mortal enemies. The standard advice in this article is wrongheaded. The innocent defendant doctor has a moral duty to attack and to utterly destroy the other side, and to totally intimidate the insurance company and its running dog, the insurance defense lawyer. This is to protect clinical care from plunder by all sides. It is strongly recommended that the defendant doctor hire a private attorney to defend his interest against the insurance company and the defense lawyer it has hired on the cheap. The private attorney should get the instruction to show no mercy to the enemy.

Insurance Company. Even if doctor owned, its interests lay in churning litigation. The doctor officers get high salaries when lots of premiums are collected. They will oppose any measures that will deter the filing of weak claims.

Insurance Defense Attorney. This defense lawyer gets paid a tiny amount. It is impossible that it even covers overhead. The doctor will learn what it feels like to be an HMO patient, when he gets minimal legal care from this defense lawyer. The latter will always try to get to trial to just break even. He will refuse to file motions to dismiss. He will refuse to seek sanctions against the other side for their misconduct. He will refuse to go after a biased judge. That is where the private attorney comes in. If the doctor complains, he will be dismissed, as not knowing any law. If the private attorney, preferably specializing in legal malpractice speaks, the defense lawyer will take notice, and be less dismissive. The private attorney should repeatedly threaten to sue the defense lawyer in writing every time he refuses to be more aggressive in getting rid of the case.

Plaintiff Attorney. The doctor should read the Rules of Conduct of the state, covering the licensed lawyer. Every utterance that in the least hints at a violation should be reported to the Disciplinary Counsel. If he is licensed in multiple states, file one complaint a month. Prolong the period of investigation. If kept confidential, the complaints have legal immunity. They may be shared with the personal lawyer. Demand total e-discovery of the plaintiff lawyer, including all social network sites back to kindergarten. Try to get a hold of the personal and work computers. The justification is to search for an improper motive for the lawsuit. If child porn, any other shady activity, or prejudiced utterance is found, put into the public record. Report all child porn to the FBI. Try to destroy the life of the plaintiff attorney, just as he doing to the doctor.

Plaintiff. Demand total e-discovery, and deep background checks on the plaintiff and its family.

Plaintiffs are always boohooing on TV. It is unclear if adverse information about the plaintiff and the plaintiff lawyer should not be trumpeted in public. The lawyers say they advise against that because all statements will be used against the defendant at trial. That is an open question.

Plaintiff Experts. There is no recourse outside of the trial against the false testimony of the plaintiff expert. The defense lawyer will accept this person as it comes. No. The defendant is an expert himself, and that should be used. The defendant should read every word the plaintiff expert has ever uttered, in articles, in depositions. If the expert has little experience to offer, the private lawyer must force the insurance company defense lawyer to move to disqualify. If that cannot be done, read every word for contradictory statements to impeach the expert on the stand. The Golden Fleece of research on the plaintiff expert is the utterance of a false fact. Opinion cannot be verified nor contradicted, and is protected by the Free Speech Clause, and several Supreme Court decisions. The assertion of a false fact in any submitted document or testimony is perjury and a crime. Once found, a motion to declare a mistrial should be made, and all legal costs should be assessed to the private assets of the lying witness.


This article advises the standard advice of taking it in the rear quietly.

"Plaintiffs bringing medical liability cases commonly contend they have experienced pain and suffering. Many physicians could say the same about being dragged into the litigation process.

Karen Kohatsu, MD, a San Diego-area obstetrician-gynecologist, was confident she would prevail when she was sued a couple of years ago, but isolation and sleepless nights still reigned throughout the process. The suit was eventually dismissed.

"Self-doubting occurs when you read the summons and depositions from the other side," she said. "The other side makes it sound like you are a terrible person for missing a diagnosis. You feel really alone and have to turn everything inward because you don't have anyone to talk to about it."

Dr. Kohatsu is not alone.

Experts say litigation stress syndrome is a real phenomenon, and one that has a significant impact on physicians. Various emotions, including anger and depression, can strike, along with an inability to concentrate.

When physicians are counseled by their lawyers not to talk about the case, most take that to mean they can't talk about the experience at all, experts said. But increasingly liability insurers and professional medical societies are instituting programs designed to help physicians deal with the emotional rigors of litigation stress.

"In the big picture, we want to normalize the experience of litigation," said Ronald L. Hofeldt, MD, a psychiatrist in Salem, Ore. He serves as a consultant to medical liability insurers and other organizations, helping design retreats and wellness programs that give doctors a venue to air their litigation concerns and help them develop coping skills."


  1. I had an "experience" as a patient wherein I was treated without any respect and suffered permanent damage. I was conned into having a surgery which left me worse off than before the surgery. (preventable nerve and tendon damage, PTSD, preventable hospital aquired infection) I was subjected to the whims of the anesthesia team who claimed that basically I was an ignorant moron, and regardless of what *I* said, they knew best. I also ended up with a kidney infection. All this for an ill advised surgery for what was by no means a life threatening injury.
    So what do you suggest? I lost the lawsuit and in my state they have loser pays. A deterrent for even the most egregious of injuries. We also have tort reform so that the $250,000 maximum judgement is a deterrent for those "errant" lawyers you talk about. We have a really stupid "hearing" to decide whether or not the case has merit, run by doctors. The upshot is that pretty much zero complaints are deemed justified. The lawsuit can procede even if these doctors protect their own. There is also the little matter of an "expert witness." This person costs 25,000 dollars to state the obvious. Up front. They are trying not to get sued by the defendant and because of black balling, they usually do "expert witness" stuff as their primary income. There is no real remedy for medical malfeasance in my state. (Maybe for rich or influential people, but not the rest of us. They would get preferential treatment anyway wouldn't they?)
    Do you think that medical care is cheaper here? Not on your life. Is medical care better here now that doctors et al don't have to worry about claims against them? Not a chance. We have probably the most expensive, intrusive care possible practiced by arrogant shoddy medical providers who shouldn't be allowed to treat animals. In my opinion.
    Even the hospitals claim zero responsibility as everybody is an "independant contractor" and as such are not under the control of the hospital which allows them to work at their business without any oversight.
    Now you want an in depth examination of the PATIENT who was harmed? I guess if they aren't just spotless, if they ever had a problem in their lives, including seeing a counselor for any reason and have a credit score of less than 850, then they are shiftless losers greedily trying to sue their doctor for imagined slights?
    The hospital I went to was cited for numerous violations of health law and forced to get rid of "inferred consent" in favor of true "informed consent!" Instead of a single page of generic carte blanche for anything and everything, they have to follow the law now! Gee, didn't that inferred consent go away back in the 1960's with the advent of patient autonomy? 3 guesses why this hospital was still acting like they were completely above the law in the 21st century? Answer; Because of all the protections in place for medical entities here.
    You are obviously more educated than I, and I really don't want to get into a contest with you, but there is another side to the story.
    Am I angry? You betcha! I have every reason to be angry. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with personality and everything to do with forcing me to endure a medical procedure without proper "informed" consent and in the face of my objections to much of it. Why should I be subjected to an intrusive background check because my surgeon and the rest of his team screwed up? Unbelievable. I'm not perfect and NEITHER ARE THEY!

  2. Never: You may have had a bad outcome, rather than malpractice. Your hospital acquired infection is not acceptable. It was caused by the fear of litigation. Instead of thorough investigations of each, and fixing the systemic problems, we are getting a cover up. There is a duty to survive. And every internal investigation finding will be used against the hospital by a vicious predator. Thank the lawyer for your hospital acquired infection.