Report: July 2019

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Chronic Skin Conditions: Dermatology and Other Liabilities and Risks

Introduction

Chronic Skin Condition Liability Risks

Chronic skin conditions and skin disease are a leading cause of the global disease burden, affecting millions of people worldwide. Chronic skin conditions and skin disease impact life expectancy, causing thousands of deaths annually.

 

The costs associated with the treatment of chronic skin conditions are in the billions.

 

Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, risk managers, manufacturers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the types of litigation issues that may arise in connection with chronic skin conditions.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed for a product liability claim related to treatment of a chronic skin condition or disorder? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to a chronic skin condition? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy for an injury related to a patient’s chronic skin condition be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the provider’s actions? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for a worker’s chronic skin condition? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer? 

Risk Managers:

Can a risk manager prevent liability or mitigate damages for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act involving an employee with a chronic skin condition? And, what is a potential strategy for the risk manager to use? 


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s malpractice liability for negligence involving a chronic skin condition.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items physicians must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving chronic skin conditions.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of malpractice or negligence involving a chronic skin condition. 

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if a hospital employer of an dermatologist may be held vicariously liable for the actions of its employee or agent.

Risk Managers:

Use this checklist to determine if the risk manager has identified and implemented all appropriate policies, practices, and procedures to avoid liability or mitigate damages from liability for chronic skin conditions, and whether all affected parties complied with these policies, practices, and procedures.

Expert Analysis

What Are the Treatments Available for Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis?

Adnan Mir, PhD, MD
Society for Pediatric Dermatology

What Qualifications and Considerations Impact Dermatologists as Expert Witnesses? 

American Academy of Dermatology



Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution. 


Reasons To Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, employer, or risk manager would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons To Go To Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, employer, or risk manager would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving dermatological injuries? 



Medical Examples

Chronic Skin Conditions

This section provides detailed medical information on chronic skin conditions, the causes and symptoms of these conditions, and the diagnosis and treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, acne, warts, cellulitis, shingles, rosacea, vitiligo, and seborrheic dermatitis. Also discussed is the patient’s prognosis and ability to work.



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on dermatology and chronic skin conditions.


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Chronic Skin Conditions: Dermatology and Other Liabilities and Risks

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Adnan Mir, PhD, MD
   American Academy of Dermatology

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys Perspective
   Physicians and Health Care Providers Perspective
   Insurers Perspective
   Employers Perspective
   Risk Managers Perspective

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist
   Risk Manager Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons To Reach Settlement

Reasons To Go To Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Chronic Skin Conditions

Law and Medicine Resources