Freeked Out In A Law Suit - page 5
I am have recently been named in a law suit by an OD we recieved in the ER one night. The pt was brought in by EMS. Lab work revieled methadone, valium, phenergan, thc and etoh on board. I followed... Read More
Dec 29, '03what a bs lawsuit.......i am sure your lawyer was right and it won't go past deposition after all the documentation of hallucinations - the fact he said you pulled on the cath when it was documented HE actually was doing that.......
when you are cleared (and you wiil be) - turn around and sue that a....hole right back - for the stress and defamation he caused you..... 500,000 sounds appropriate
Dec 29, '03I have a question and maybe someone can answer it for me. In regards to carrying, some people say that if you carry it you're more likely to get sued. My question is, how is a patient to know you even carry malpractise insurance?
I also agree with everyone who says get your own lawyer. This may seem like a frivolous case that won't go anywhere but don't be so confident of that. I used to work in a law office and believe me, I've seen plenty of cases that went to court and won that shouldn't have even been filed. I've heard of other cases that are just ludicrous and won (i.e. a woman goes into a furniture store, trips over an unruly two year old falling and breaking her ankle, sues the store and wins $780,000-- here's the kicker, the two year old she tripped over was her own kid!!). Someone can even injure themselves while breaking into your house to rob you and can sue you for all you own. So yes, by all means do hire a lawyer.
Dec 29, '03i understand what you are referring to w/ the above ludicrous cases winning money for those who don't deserve it... however in this case it is a hallucinogenic male "remembering" these things - he has absolutely no injury or proof, yet there was an ER full of staff etc to vouch it didn't happen - if any judge went on w/ this - they should be disbarred.
i had a girl a few wks ago who was all hopped up on amphet, cocaine etc.... we had to cath her because she said she couldn't pee - so she was cooperative and let us i/o cath her (it was myself and a female tech both caucasion in race)
the next day she told everyone that two black men were sticking things in her vagina in the ER the nite before...... shows very clearly how drugs completely alter the mind..
Dec 29, '03I know I am in the minority..but as a person who has spent a great deal of $$ on my lawyer this year, I think your first instinct to wait until the deposition. My guess is the hospital will settle, settling is cheaper for the hospital.
Dec 29, '03I am forwarding this thread to a Nurse Attorney friend of mine and hope she will offer some free (but limited) advice.
Dec 29, '03Someone stated that it is in the hospital's best interest to give you the best legal representation.they will usually be upstanding as long as you "followed protocol".They pay people big bucks to find any legal loophole they can to prove you weren't following protocol.Once they can establish that you will probably be on your own......... and under the bus.I have never been sued but work in a legally high risk area of nursing(corrections).........they attempt to sue us all the time.
Dec 30, '03The original post in this thread was back in Feb. Like everyone else, I am wondering what the outcome was. Does anyone know?
I was named in a lawsuit years ago and my personal was worthless. When I contacted them and gave them the details, they told me that since I was working within my scope of practice and was following hospital protocol I was acting as an agent of the hospital and it was the responsibility of the hospital attorney to represent me. I was shocked! I then asked what was the purpose of having this insurance and I was told that it would cover me if I ever did something outside my scope of practice. Needless to say, I dropped the insurance. My hospital did represent me (they were also named in the suit) and ended up settling out of court on the condition that I be dropped from the suit. The plaintiff was a rape suspect who was brought to our ER for a suspect exam. All I did was take his vital signs, but I was accused of battery because I touched him (putting on the cuff) without his consent. He was intoxicated at the time but was very cooperative. Normally a suspect under arrest does not have to give consent for an exam. However, he had a good attorney and it turned out that he had not been arrested properly so he was able to make a case. I just found out earlier this month that our case was instrumental in changes made in arrest procedure and DOJ forms for rape suspects.
It's amazing what patients will sue over. The OD patient mentioned in this thread doesn't sound like he has much of a case, though. I sure would like to know how it turned out.
Dec 30, '03I was an ER nurse for 10 years. I have had to go to depositions twice. Neither case even made it past the first meeting. One claimed that we "let" the patient die. Trust your hospital atty in the first stages. If you jump out and get your own it makes things worse. (Trust me, they could be worse). Tell the truth and do not vary from your facts. OD's usually do not go very far with their cases due to the legal position that once the patient is unconscious you have his unspoken permission to treat him. Also attempted suicide is illegal
Talk to your ER manager and your medical director New Standards for treating OD's state that E-wal's are no longer acceptable treatment UNLESS done within 20 - 30 minutes of ingestion. Charcoal/sorbital po, supportative measures etc. are now the standard. If patient has unstable resp. status then intubation is in order.
Rest easy - do not borrow worry about this. It is your first but most likely not your last. His lies with come out with repeated questioning and if his lawyer is coaching him, that will come out too
So rest your heart, keep strong in your faith, take comfort from your family and remember
He will be back again with another OD and imagine the "treatment" he will get.
As one of our ER Doc's would say, "Two groups of people you should never tick off 1- the people who cook your food and
2 the nurses taking care of you, because both groups have very sutle ways of getting even.:angryfire
Jan 2, '04Coming in a little late to the discussion, but just saw the thread.
Wanted to register my vote for: involving our own attorney early on, and securing a professional liability policy.