Have you ever been named in a lawsuit

  1. related to your job? Either just yourself or as part of a suit against the facility where you work? I have always wanted to go into the healthcare field, but fear of this happening to me has always been in the back of my mind. I'm working on pre-reqs for nursing school right now - only 4 more to go (career changer from nice, safe, but boring accounting). This doubts are starting to crowd my brain again. We're all human and bound to make a mistake at one point or another. How often do you see a nurse involved in a lawsuit. If it happened to you, what area of nursing do you practice?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hi Chris and welcome. If someone is involved in litigation currently, I would sincerely hope they wouldn't post details on the internet. Now, that said, yes, there are nurses that have been named in lawsuits. However, nurses are the small fry in the big pan. Usually in a lawsuit involving nurses, it involves some type of malpractice and in that case, anyone involved in the care of the patient is named. Doesn't necessarily mean the nurse is being accused of wrongdoing, this is just how it is done.

    Siri or one of the other more knowledgeable folks will be along soon to explain better.

    I will say that I have been to court numerous times when I worked in the ER in relation to blood drawn for a legal blood alcohol test or to testify about my documentation in suspected criminal activity ie a gunshot wound victim or a child abuse case.

    If I were you, I wouldn't worry about legal action. Most nurses go through their entire career and aren't named in a lawsuit. Good luck.
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    That's why malpractice insurance was created. I wouldn't worry about that. You can be sued in ANY occupation.

    I HAVE been named in a suit before, but every question I was asked at my short deposition was abundently and clearly charted - and supported what I did, and why.

    The day after my deposition, I (and the hospital) was dropped from the suit.

    You'd think the risk manager would have bought me an expense account steak. Nope.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  5. by   sirI
    hello, chris!

    i have to agree with trauma here. it is not advisable to discuss on any level whether or not one has been named in a suit other than to say, "yes, i have" and leave it at that.

    being in this field of nursing (legal nursing), i see many nurses named in suits. many nurses are not supported by the facility where they work thus the necessity for liability insurance, as tim pointed out. and, as trauma pointed out, most nurses go through their careers without this being a problem. there are several liability carriers. i suggest www.nso.com . here you can receive online quotes for rates. others will have suggestions as well.

    enter into the field of nursing with anticipation of the good things to come and what you can offer your patients, not with the fear of litigation.

    good luck with your career!!!
  6. by   Otessa
    I've been in helathcare for 18 years-14 as an RN in 3 different states and have never been listed in a lawsuit of any kind.

    I always go by CYA(cover your a**) when charting-your charting tells a story and you want all the details 'just in case'. I have had several nurses say "why did you put all of that information in there?, you are wasting your time." I tell them I am protecting my license and my patient and it isn't any concern of theirs.....:spin:
  7. by   DaFreak71
    My husband has insurance through NSO, good organization.

    Out of curiousity, why is it taboo to discuss past lawsuits that you may have been named in? So long as it is not a pending suit and names are not mentioned (including the hospital). I ask because lawsuits are public record, so I don't understand the admonishments about discussing it. Is that an allnurses policy or a nursing policy? How is discussing a past lawsuit (which is public record) a no-no, but discussing current patients is not?

    I am but a lowly student, that might be why I don't know the answer to this already.
  8. by   gonzo1
    I have come close a couple of times, but my documentation has always saved me. Knock on wood. You can't document too much. After a while you start to get a feel for which patients you need to document a little more on. Follow your instints. And as previous posters have said, carry liability insurance, document and enjoy nursing, we are little fish in the big pond.
  9. by   sirI
    Rationale for not discussing suits that are settled and a matter of public record:

    You may be identified. Civil and criminal penalties could be lurking in your future regarding these suits. It has happened. Don't give the other side ammunition for the future. They read these boards, too.

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