The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.
Attorney: Expert testimony by a noted authority in the field will state that the health provider’s actions were a proximate cause of the patient’s injury from an unnecessary stenting procedure. For example, the patient, who had chronic heart disease, was stable but had artery blockages that had built up over time. The benefit of opening the artery with a stent, and submitting to this unnecessary surgery, was very low and the benefit of treating the patient’s chronic disease with medications, such as a statin, aspirin, or beta blocker would have been as effective, or more effective, that using the stent. After stenting, the patient now suffers significant pain and is unable to work, which was not a problem before the stenting procedure.
Physician: A review of the medical records by a consulting expert strongly indicates no evidence of negligence or malpractice by the health provider, and the provider met or exceeded the standard of care. Also, the patient’s own actions indicate patient fault, such as the patient’s refusal to take the prescribed medication or follow instructions. For example, the patient failed to use the prescribed Plavix to reduce the occurrence of blood clots on the newly inserted stent. The patient suffered a blood clot.
Insurer: The insurer for the health provider has been unable to reach settlement with the patient, the patient’s case has proof problems, and success at trial would avoid payout on the provider’s policy if malpractice is not found. For example, the patient, who had several angiograms for heart issues, was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The patient alleged the cancer was caused by high exposure to x-rays during the angiograms.
Employer: It is unlikely the employee’s heart attack will be found to be work-related and claims by several other employees for cardiac problems will be favorably impacted by a finding this employee’s heart attack did not arise out of or in the course of the employment. For example, the employee was in a low stress job and was not exposed to anything at the workplace that is linked to the causation of heart attacks.