Medical Risk Law Weekly News

Week of: June 18, 2012


Injured EMT Who Received Workers’ Comp Cannot Sue Fire Dept. Employer in Tort

An emergency medical technician who received workers’ compensation benefits for an injury resulting from a fall on a city-owned boardwalk sued the city for negligent failure to light the boardwalk, allegedly causing the fall. The city moved to dismiss on the grounds that receipt of workers’ compensation benefits precluded the plaintiff from suing, and that the city could not be sued as an “owner” of the boardwalk. The trial court denied the motion. The appellate division reversed and granted the motion to dismiss, but gave the plaintiff leave to appeal to the court of appeals. The court of appeals affirmed the ruling of the appellate division.


FDA Approves New Orphan Drug to Treat a Form of Gaucher Disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa) for long-term enzyme replacement therapy to treat a form of Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder.

CDC Reports the Emergence of Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea

The development of antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a growing public health concern, in particular because the United States gonorrhea control strategy relies on effective antibiotic therapy. Given the ability of N. gonorrhoeae to develop antibiotic resistance, it is critical to continuously monitor gonococcal antibiotic resistance and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens for gonorrhea, reports the CDC.

Recall of Oral Contraceptive Introvale® Following Report of Packaging Flaw

A voluntary recall of 10 lots of Sandoz generic oral contraceptive Introvale® in the US has been made following a recent report of a packaging flaw. The probability of this packaging flaw causing serious adverse health consequences is remote and Sandoz is not aware of any reports of related adverse events. The recall is a precautionary measure to minimize any potential of patients being impacted.


ER Doctor’s Delay in Ordering Cardiac Consult for Patient Suffering Atrial Fibrillation Insufficient Evidence of Malpractice

A patient came to the emergency room of a hospital complaining of wheezing and non-productive cough. The patient was examined and given an EKG, which revealed atrial fibrillation. Lab tests were ordered. When the lab results revealed the patient was suffering from a myocardial infarction (MI), the patient was admitted to the cardiac care unit, where he died eight hours later of an acute MI. The patient’s daughter and administratrix sued the ER physician for wrongful death, alleging, among other things, the ER doctor’s failure to immediately obtain a cardiac consult after the EKG and to administer nitroglycerine to the patient caused the death.

Nursing Home Negligent For Resident's Fall Resulting in Fractured Hip

This action was brought by the personal administrator of a former resident's estate against a nursing home under the Nursing Home Care Act.  On the day the resident was admitted for respite care to the nursing home he fell in his room, fracturing his hip. The resident was to receive respite care during the personal administrator’s vacation.

Obstetrician’s Opinion Letter Not Sufficient To Support Malpractice Complaint Against Midwife

An obstetrician is not a “similar health care provider” to a midwife for the purpose of providing an opinion letter supporting a malpractice complaint against certified nurse midwives. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged negligent failure to diagnose and to treat a fourth degree tear of the plaintiff's vaginal tissue, perineal skin and anal sphincter at the time of delivery and during postpartum checkups resulting in severe and permanent injuries.