Bivens actions, again, are by no means an exclusive remedy for redressing abuses of authority by federal government employees, even in a political context. In the celebrated case of Socialist Workers Party v. Attorney General, 596 F.2d. 58 (1979), 444 U.S. 903 (1979) (cert. denied) one of the many claims of the plaintiff, a Trotskyite communist organization, was for 193 surreptitious entries or burglaries committed by the F.B.I. Another set of claims was for the use of disruptive informants in the organization, which successfully proved itself to be a non-violent, educational group more involved in promoting and discussing ideas rather than in any violent act.
While an investigation against your doctor could lead to the revocation of his license, such action is rare. Only in the most extreme cases, where the Board feels that your doctor is a threat to the well-being of his patients, will his or her license be revoked. The Board could decide to take lesser action such as limiting his license, issuing a censure and reprimand, or require him or her to attend training.
The 2001 Supreme Court decision of Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett seems to nullify this; however, numerous appellate court cases, such as Doe v. Nebraska in the 8th Circuit[20] and Thomas v. University of Houston of the 5th Circuit[21] have held that, as long as the state entity receives federal funding, then the sovereign immunity for discrimination cases is not abrogated, but voluntarily waived. Since the receiving of the federal funds was optional, then the waiver of sovereign immunity was optional. If a state entity wanted its sovereign immunity back, all they have to do in these circuits is stop receiving federal funding.

Incidentally, even when I was one week out of school if a patient asked when I graduated I told them the truth. Early on I did see an occasional look of fear at learning I was a newbie, but none of them asked for someone else. However, if they had asked for someone else that would have been their right and I would have respected their wishes. It's their money, their body, and their decision.
we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms: that the States entered the federal system with their sovereignty intact; that the judicial authority in Article III is limited by this sovereignty, and that a State will therefore not be subject to suit in federal court unless it has consented to suit, either expressly or in the "plan of the convention." States may consent to suit, and therefore waive their Eleventh Amendment immunity by removing a case from state court to federal court. See Lapides v. Board of Regents of University System of Georgia.
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While both doctors in the above example should be able to diagnose the flu or pneumonia with relative ease, it would be more difficult to argue that the rural doctor was negligent for missing a diagnosis of some type of exotic disease usually only seen in people from foreign countries. On the other hand, the big city infectious disease expert would likely be negligent in not making the same diagnosis.


Battery occurs when a person intentionally touches or has other unwelcome physical contact with another person in a harmful or offensive manner. Battery may apply when patients are sexually or physically abused by their doctors. This can also occur when a doctor performs an incorrect surgery or medical treatment on the patient. Likewise, this can occur when a doctor does something to the patient without consent.

When the provincial health insurance plans were first created in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the federal government paid for about half of the provincial plans’ costs.  This percentage fell by more than half in the 1990’s, but has gone back up somewhat in recent years.[4]  The provincial contributions to the plans are also mostly from general revenues.  However, the largest province, Ontario, and a couple of other provinces also impose a levy on employers to help pay for their programs.
While some medical errors are readily apparent, many times a serious hospital error is not immediately obvious. You may have a suspicion that you or your loved one has been harmed by a hospital’s substandard care. In most instances, you will need to have your medical records reviewed by independent medical experts to determine whether a preventable hospital error occurred.
In the United States, the federal government has sovereign immunity and may not be sued unless it has waived its immunity or consented to suit.[7] The United States as a sovereign is immune from suit unless it unequivocally consents to being sued.[8] The United States Supreme Court in Price v. United States observed: "It is an axiom of our jurisprudence. The government is not liable to suit unless it consents thereto, and its liability in suit cannot be extended beyond the plain language of the statute authorizing it."[9]

Seek out an appropriate specialist who can treat your specific injury.  Give the doctor your full medical history, including the circumstances surrounding the recent medical error.  Remember that medical records are the most important factors when determining a doctor’s error.  Make sure you give the new doctor enough correct and thorough information to ensure that the charts accurately record your state of health following the medical error.  To make sure your doctor fully understands your present condition and that these facts are properly recorded, be sure to share the “complete picture” by explaining what your health was like before, during, and after the accident, as well as your current condition.  Make sure your new doctor has access to any medical records that may impact his/her diagnosis and plan for treatment.
In most cases, doctors are not considered the direct employee of the hospital, but rather independent contractors. However, in some situations, doctors are employees. Doctors are more likely to be found to be employees of the hospital if the hospital controls the doctor’s working hours, vacation time and the fee schedule for the doctor’s services. In a few exceptions, a hospital may be found to be liable for a non-employee doctor’s services. 

Where the Canadian system differs most significantly from that of the United States is in how health insurance is provided.  In Canada, all of the provinces have a single health insurance program that covers virtually all residents.  For example, Ontario has the Ontario Health Insurance Plan[2] and Quebec has the Quebec Health Insurance Plan.[3] The federal government subsidizes these provincial health insurance plans through its general revenues.  There are no separate payroll deductions to fund the health care plans and Canada does not have a separate old-age health care program like Medicare in the United States.


@ Anon, since when do we not ask lawyers about their success rates?! I don't have much experience with the legal system, but to the best of my knowledge, most people research a lawyer before hiring them. I've never hired a lawyer, but if I needed legal representation, I'd certainly find out what kind of experience and success a lawyer had before asking them to represent me! (It may be somewhat less if it's a lawyer that takes the case on contingency, but then you at least have the guarantee that they're really motivated to win.)


If the doctor performs procedure B after the patient has given informed consent for procedure A, the patient can sue the doctor based on lack of informed consent. This is true even if the procedure was successful. For example, if a doctor operates on the left leg to remove a growth that is on the right leg, the patient may be able to sue for, among other things, lack of informed consent.
Special medical malpractice review panels. Many states require the patient to first submit the claim to a malpractice review panel. This panel of experts will hear arguments, review evidence and expert testimony, and then decide whether malpractice has occurred. The panel decision does not replace an actual medical malpractice lawsuit, and the panel cannot award damages, but it's a hoop the patient must jump through before getting to court. The findings of the review panel can be presented in court, and courts often rely on a review panel's finding of no medical malpractice to throw out a case before it goes to trial.

An individual can be considered negligent by committing an act that causes harm or by failing to do something to prevent harm. An individual’s actions are judged against a hypothetical standard known as the “reasonably prudent person” standard. For example, a lawyer who must decide whether a nurse practitioner was negligent by failing to use a sterile needle when taking a patient’s blood would apply the standard by asking: “What would a reasonably prudent nurse practitioner have done in the same situation?”
Under the FTCA, you can’t just go directly to the courts to file a lawsuit. You must first go to the VA or other federal agency that harmed you and notify them of your complaint. You must give the agency the opportunity to settle the claim. Only when the agency refuses, takes no action, or comes back with an unacceptable settlement offer can you file a suit for damages.
Following 2003, medical malpractice insurance rates were reduced in Texas.[44][46] However, the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School reports that rate reductions are likely attributable not to tort laws, but because of broader trends, such as "political pressure, the size of prior rate hikes, and the impact of the industry's economic cycle, causing rates to drop everywhere in the country." States which do not impose caps on malpractice damages, such as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington, have experienced reductions or stabilization in malpractice rates as well.[46]
We offer a completely free, no obligation Medical Negligence Claim Assessment. We understand that suing your GP may not be an easy decision so we are here to help and advise you. We will take the time to listen to your complaint, and then explain whether you can sue a doctor, how long it might take, how you can fund the claim and how much compensation you might receive.

Errors in treatment go hand-in-hand with diagnostic errors. If your physician negligently misdiagnoses your condition, it is likely that the treatment prescribed will also be improper. For example, if you were misdiagnosed with cancer, any prescribed chemo or radiation therapy could have a detrimental effect on your health. This error in treatment -- which is dependent upon your physician’s negligent diagnosis -- also constitutes medical negligence and malpractice.
At trial the jury found in favor of the doctor because even the plaintiff's expert couldn't say that the complications were the direct result of improperly performed surgery. Even properly done surgery of this type carried the risk of perforation, bleeding and infection. The plaintiff also alleged that the doctor failed to give her informed consent because he gave false information about his personal background. The trial court wouldn't allow the informed consent issue to be raised because in Wisconsin the law only required that physicians tell patients the material risks of proposed treatment. There was no affirmative duty to disclose professional background information even when asked.

That’s impossible. A reputable personal injury attorney will not charge you for an initial consultation. Michaels & Smolak will give you a free consultation. If we decide to represent you, we will charge you on a contingency fee basis, which is usually 1/3 of the net recovery we obtain for you, whether from a settlement or from a jury. Since the initial consultation is free, why wait? Contact us today for a free consultation.


In California, for example, recovery for non-economic damages are limited to $250,000. According to the Supreme Court of California, "noneconomic damages compensate the plaintiff for 'pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement and other nonpecuniary damage [as per Cal.Civ.Code section 3333.2, subdivision (a)].' Section 1431.2, subdivision (b)(2) similarly defines noneconomic damages as 'subjective, non-monetary losses including, but not limited to, pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation and humiliation.'”[41] Tort reform supporters argue that states have enacted such laws in order to keep health care costs low, in addition to helping curb medical malpractice litigation. However, according to the Supreme Court of California, the state's non-economic damages caps are "not a legislative attempt to estimate the true damages suffered by plaintiffs, but rather an attempt to control and reduce medical malpractice insurance costs by placing a predictable, uniform limit on the defendant's liability for noneconomic damages."[42]
For example, if the hospital appeared to others to be the employer of the doctor, the patient may be able to sue if the hospital did not clearly state that the doctor was not actually an employee. Additionally, a hospital may be sued in some states if it knows that a doctor is incompetent or dangerous and still keeps the doctor on staff. Barring these exceptions, if a hospital employee commits negligence while the non-employee doctor is present and the doctor had control of the situation to prevent the employee’s negligence, the hospital may not be able to be sued. 

Medical malpractice claims don’t only cover errors in diagnosis and treatment. Once you’ve established a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes you a duty of care and treatment with the degree of skill, care, and diligence as possessed by, or expected of, a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. Part of that duty of care is to be forthcoming with your diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis, as reasonably competent physicians would not lie to their patients.
So, the best thing you can do if you think you have a good case against a hospital is to be a good client. Before you meet with a lawyer, make sure you know as much of the story as possible. How was your life before the medical negligence occurred? How was it after? Do you have any medical records from the hospital where you were harmed? You may not be asked for them at the initial meeting, but keep in mind that the lawyer may need your medical records to determine if there is medical negligence and if so, if suing the hospital would likely result in a trial verdict or settlement.
However, bringing a lawsuit is not for everyone. Weigh your options. If your fear of “looking bad” to family or friends outweighs your desire to bring a malpractice suit against your doctor for an injury he caused you or a loved one, bringing a suit may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, if your need or want to bring suit against your doctor outweighs your fear, taking action against your physician may be the right choice for you.
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