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Thursday, February 11, 2010

OHSU loses again

The infamous $200,000 tort liability cap that the troubled medical school thought it was enjoying for many years has once again been struck down by a state court -- this time, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals. OHSU bigwig Steve Stadum says the school will appeal to the state Supreme Court, but given that the legislature has recently raised the cap and likely fixed the legal problem, maybe Pill Hill ought to shut up and pay the $1.4 million.

Comments (5)

and fire the lawyers???...no way!
The ivory towers in the clouds are just a looney as the feet of clay at city hall.

Actually Jack, that isn't correct. If you read the decision, the court held that the plaintiff was entitled to damages from three parties - OHSU ($200,000), UMG (the medical group) $200,000, and the balance from the physician's private malpractice insurance ($1 million plus).

The court held that the original tort liability cap of $200,000 (now increased to $1.5 million by statute during the 2009 session) was applicable to each separate defendant except the doctor himself,who carried private malpractice insurance. I'm sure the insurance company may try to collect from OHSU, but for now the verdict seems to split the baby.

OHSU is required by law to indemnify the doctor. OHSU is the ultimate deep pocket in the case.


I'm still trying to figure out why anybody with insurance would even WANT to have health care delivered on the Hill.

It's a teaching school, for crying out loud. Do you want less than expert surgeons (by definition) working on you with a limit on the liability to which they are exposed if they screw up your procedure?

When you can go across town to get the same quality of care (or better) and have the liability option left open. I'd say that such augurs for more care and better protections for the patient than one that allows bumbling care-givers to collect their insurance payment and walk away without so much as a care.

They collect from insurance whether they do a good job or max you out on the tort limits. Does nobody else see anything wrong with that?

From OHSU's own "Nine Principles of Integrity":

Ethics: Do the right thing, even if no one is watching.

They can't even master the very simple and straightforward guidelines they force upon their employees. They keep demonstrating that they cannot master ethics, medical or otherwise.

Here, here. When I was pregnant OHSU was an option for our delivery. No way, I decided. If there is a screw up that results in my child or Me needing a lifetime of care, I do not want a cap as yet another hurdle as we pursue a claim. If our ability to pursue damages is to be substantially limited (e.g. our woefully inadequate workers' comp system, tort liability cap) then make substantial cradle-to-grave benefits available to everyone. But that will not happen because the insurance lobby has the ear of the CNN-soundbote-tolerating public.

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