Pick up Malpractice! They went after my license. - page 9

www.nso.com A few months ago I was unjustly fired after a resident died, after my shift, and after she had been released from the emergency room. She had trouble swallowing something at lunch... Read More

  1. by   crackerjack
    Sue, thanks for sharing your experience with us. I had the same speech in school that others mentioned in addition to having a couple of attorneys come in and reps from a local hospital to give us a lovely 2-3 hour lecture on how the hospital would back us up blah blah blah...After reading your experience, I've purchased insurance. I SOOOO appreciate you for sharing, probably saved my backside before it happens!
  2. by   Lacie
    Call your state nurses association and ask them for a listing. Also there are other forums with nurses that have or are currently dealing with various issues and have sought attorneys with this experience. I can provide a link to a very good one if you need just pm me. If you can find someone by "word of mouth" with the reputation required to succeed then that's where you go. Dont hesitate to question them regarding thier experience and success. Also if you get the quarterly news letters/papers from your state BON many times they also have attorneys that advertise in those. I know they do here in Florida. If you check with a good administrative attorney in your area he/she may also know of someone by referral. You may even have to travel a few hours to another area to see a good one but it will be well worth it down the road.
  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from morte
    i was thinking of the death investigation,,,not your license......what was the out come on that? were they held liable in any way (for the death)?
    I have no way of knowing that, morte.

    And thanks, Lacie. Check your PM.

  4. by   RunningWithScissors
    I came across this:

    Think you don't need malpractice insurance???
  5. by   Lacie
    Quote from RunningWithScissors
    I came across this:

    Think you don't need malpractice insurance???
    Any nurse, doc, anesticist, or anyone else with a license in that operating room will wish they did if they didnt. Doesnt matter if they are entirely innocent. It's not the law or civil aspect of it in relation to being sued by the family only, but 10-1 it will become a BON issue also. This will be 2 very different issues and legal fights for any of the nurses named as it would fall under thier territory too. Two different fights at the same time. Lots of dollars.
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from RunningWithScissors
    I came across this:

    Think you don't need malpractice insurance???
    Heh. And the doctor is blaming the nurses.
  7. by   moonrose2u
    remember this as your facility advises you that you do not need malpractice insurance and that you 'are covered' under them, your employer.

    hospitals do indeed carry malpractice. you as their employee are covered under them to a certain point. the insurance company's client is the hospital...the hospital pays the premiums, and that is who the carrier will defend..even at the risk of leaving you out in the cold, alone, and without defense. their position is to eliminate the hospital of any monetary and civil obligations or debts. that means you are then on the hot seat...and its you the plaintiff's attorney will pursue.

    i highly recommend, that even though you are advised in nursing orientation and school that carrying malpractice insurance is not necessary, that you do carry it. for if it comes down to the bottom line, you will have someone in your corner, protecting your interestes entirely...and that would be your insurance carrier.

  8. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from DeLana_RN
    I can only add what others have already said: Your employer's insurance will only cover your employer (and you will become the sacrificial lamb if it helps your employer). Anybody can get sued, and the plaintiff's lawyer won't even know if you have insurance - or how much - until after the suit has been filed.

    I just have one question for others with insurance: is there a carrier other than NSO? For reasons I don't care to go into here, I would prefer anything but NSO... in fact, I used to have coverage from a different company that has since gone out of business. Let's just say NSO's customer service leaves much to be desired.

    Thanks for any info or recommendations,

    Oh yeah. I just got insurance from them...never again. Really, really awful customer service. Took forever to get my policy, but they sure took my $$ with lightning speed. They refused to verify my coverage because I couldn't give them a policy #...hello? I paid for it, so I must have it! I asked them to fax me a copy of the coverage which they did not do. It took me three weeks to get a copy of my policy (which looks like something you'd get out of a cereal box). That was really poor, considering the company is like 1/2 hour away from me. It's not like it took several days in the mail.

    I'm tempted to get another policy from another company and just chalk NSO up to bad rubbish. I won't be a repeat customer, that's for sure. I may ask my atty. if he knows of any good malpractice ins. companies for nurses.
    Last edit by PANurseRN1 on Mar 24, '07
  9. by   Critical LPN
    I really feel for you Suesuatch but always carry something to cover yourself. I was told however by the hospital lawyer at one place I worked ( under the table as he said it would cost his job it they knew he told me this), that always carry it but, do not ever tell anyone you work with even if you trust them completely. And for heaven's sake, do not tell your employer. Why you may ask? Because the hospitals have been known to get rid of the employee and then change a policy that you followed to the letter prior, then state you did not follow the proper protocol or ploicy. This came straight from his mouth. Then the patient and or his family or heirs can go directly after you.

    This is just unfortunately how far some places will go to cover up a scandal. He said it is always best to not do or say a word unless you see you are going to be canned anyway(protect yourself and call your own insurance and tell them the situation so they have time to get copies of the files before any evidence gets corrupted)and then continue let the hospital cover the situation without telling them you contacted anyone. The families and /0r patient will go after the "big pockets" of an institution befor e they whould want to come after you.

    The lawyer made it very clear though, that it is in your best interest to carry insurance but don't give it away to anybody because that just may be the person that would turn you in , in a heartbeat to make good with the mgt. because even the most honest can be intimidated when the time comes. Also, there are some really truly stupid people out there who do not realize that just because you carry insurance, that it does not really hurt you , after all "they take care of everything, don't they?" No it really does not hurt you if you give a d---! about your career or reputation or just plain care that you are in the right in many of the matters where is a "system" problem. No I guess it is okay that if the suit is put on you and if they find you are guilty ( and obviously there are times the courts are wrong due to the evidence and some jurors will mentally hold nurses in thier minds, accountable for the high cost of healthcare), the costs and rulings may run into the thousands or millions over and above your insurance.

    No Virginia, there really is not a santa claus. Just a system that (as much as they preach unity and diversity among us all working for them), would eat us up, and spit us out as the scapegoat.

    Sorry this sounds a bit bitter(and no I never have been the cause or the final scapegoat),the lawsuit I got to give testimony for with a 104 degree temp and strep throat and no voice so I had to whisper loudly.(great! as the lawyer for the hospital was very hard of hearing even with two hearing aides) because it was convenient for the hospital I worked for at the time, then they would not listen to me when I said that I would remember the incident that happened if I had been there and I did not. It took me telling them to just shut it for a few minutes while I looked carefully back and forth through the chart as the lawyer was (from both sides) bellowing out questions and then trying to make me feel guilty if I could not remember if this patient had peaches or peas that he choked on , on a given day 3 1/2 years prior to this suit. They are also clever in turning words around and thus you are better saying nothing if you do not remember exactly what happened.

    Funny thing is , they tried to tell me that I was all hysterical the day in question and that I went to the patients wife crying and screaming down the hall and it was she who comforted me. Oh come on now(what a stretch)! The nurse that was on managed to write an order or two but NO charting. This really peaked for me as I am known to chart well and the fact that I was on the day before taking care of this patient and on a day after the event but not with this patient was an assumption on their part that I was on this day too. Two educated and grossly experienced lawyers and the hospital nursing managers failed to look at the check off spot that was used for am and pm care to see who the initials belonged to.(guess what, they were not mine). So that is how the system can skrew you and even start making you question yourself. (Am I really trying to forget something I did?)

    Hope all is well for you now and remember to always as the saying goes CYA.:smackingf :smackingf
    Last edit by Critical LPN on May 10, '07
  10. by   gauge14iv
    You know - I always have to laugh at the folks who put a bumper sticker on their car advertising their auto insurance company or agency. Always seemed to me like it was just looking for some joker to run into you deliberately so they could say it was your fault and sue you.

    Seems like the same sort of concept y'know?
  11. by   twotrees2
    Quote from Suesquatch

    A few months ago I was unjustly fired after a resident died, after my shift, and after she had been released from the emergency room. She had trouble swallowing something at lunch and another nurse suctioned her.

    I was accused of neglect and reported to the state.

    I only found out about it because I got a letter back saying, and I quote, "There is insufficient credible evidence to support that you are responsible for the alleged incident." Thank goodness for my unit clerk, who refused to change her story after being requested to by the DON. She told him, "I told the truth, and I'm not changing it."

    Luckily I was cleared, but if I had to be fighting right new - whew!

    amen!!! and thank god you were redemmed - people turn the tables especially the employer and they will NOT stand behind you in a mistake- i have preached this very thing for 13 yrs and i get the "oh my employer has liability ins" for mne - yeah - umm i dont think so - they have it for you BECAUSE of you and they WILL turn on you in a heartbeat if it keeps them in the clear - i have seen it so manytimes. sorry you had to go through that.
  12. by   twotrees2
    Quote from TazziRN
    I have never needed my insurance, thank God, but I have had it since I was a student and will never be without it. The chances of being sued may be slim, but if it ever happens I will be somewhat protected.
    not to mention the fact that itis relatively inexpensivefor the piece of mind - and the "just in case" - just like buying car ins - excpt a lot cheaper lol.
  13. by   twotrees2
    Quote from Almabella
    Hmmmmm...I was under the impression that carrying malpractice insurance put you at higher risk for being sued. Am I wrong?
    look at it this way - does the fact you have car ins make it more likely you will be sued in an accident - or house ins mean you will likely be sued if someone gets hurt on your property - in my opinion - if they know you ahve ins theyd be less likely to sue cause you have coverage to get a decent lawyer ( who could afford a real good one if you get sued and dont have tyhe ins?) and will be more likely to be able to prove you werew NOT at fault.