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Issues in Louisiana Medical Malpractice Laws

Ex Parte Communications With a Treating Physician

I.                    Ex Parte Communications with Treating Physicians – An Update

Borel v. Young; Warren v. LAMMICO; These Supreme Court Cases Profoundly Effect Louisiana Medical Malpractice

I.                    Borel and Warren, Two Supreme Court Pronouncements Have a Profound Effect on the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act.

Failure to Act on Abnormal Test Results

Deborah Lavender
The Cochran Firm, Metairie, LLC
Assisted by Megan Shaffer, Ph.D.

I.    Defining “abnormal”:  Interpretation of test results can be subjective based on the individual reading the test report or film, even in light of lab reports giving a range of normal values.
A.    Often x-rays include a “list of possibilities” as to why the film may be abnormal, and may erroneously cause such visible aberrations as “within normal limits”.

Defining Inherent Risk (of a Medical Procedure)

Deborah Lavender
The Cochran Firm, Metairie, LLC
Assisted by Megan Shaffer, Ph.D.

I.     Known risk—the likelihood that something bad or unexpected can result from a procedure, medication, treatment
A.    Varies in severity, can be mild or life threatening

Is Louisiana Revised Statute 9:5628 Preemptive or Prescriptive?

By Jeffrey A. Mitchell

The answer to this question seemingly is a no brainer as the Louisiana Supreme Court decided in Hebert v. Doctor’s Memorial Hospital, 486 So.2d 717 (La. 1986), that it is a prescriptive statute.  The Court specifically held that “prescription is interrupted by a timely filed  suit against a purported solidary obligor and that plaintiffs’ suit against a hospital pending when the petition was amended to name a doctor, interrupted prescription against the doctor.

Multiple Caps for Multiple Negligent Acts

    (La. 11/19/99)

In a 5-2 decision involving interpretation of the Malpractice Liability for State Services Act (MLSSA), La. R.S. 40:1299.39 et seq., the Louisiana Supreme Court has recently held that the MLSSA allows multiple caps for damages when separate acts of negligence are ascertainable and the resulting injuries are separable. 

A.  Multiple Acts Caused Multiple Injuries

Can the PCF Control Issues of Liability Prior to Judgement, Settlement, or Arbitration Awards?

    SETTLEMENT OR ARBITRATION AWARDS?  Potier v. Commissioner of
    Insurance, 98 CA 1063 (La. App. 1st Cir. 11/5/99)

On November 5, 1999, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal rendered an important and far-reaching decision which affects the Louisiana Patients’ Compensation Fund’s (PCF) ability to control a lawsuit between an underlying healthcare provider and a patient.

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