To WIN YOUR CASE, You Need to Know: What are THEY Thinking?

What is the attorney's strategy?

How does a physician avoid malpractice?

Can the insurer prevent a large payout?

Does the employer face worker issues?
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Current Issue: May 2015
Chemotherapy: Risks and Liabilities When the Treatment Is Toxic

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Liability Risks for Chemotherapy

More than half of all cancer patients receive chemotherapy. Patients who are receiving chemotherapy face risks for developing infection and other injuries such as leakage of the drug into surrounding tissue, use of the wrong chemotherapy drug, and administration of chemotherapy based on an erroneous diagnosis of cancer, which may be serious enough to result in hospitalization or even death.


Injuries related to chemotherapy may give rise to medical malpractice or negligence claims, which can result in high settlements and awards. Patients bring malpractice actions against physicians, but other parties, such as hospitals, nurses, and pharmacists, face potential litigation risks.


Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, and others at risk for liability should be aware of the types of litigation issues that may arise in connection with a chemotherapy injury.

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy


What proof is needed to establish medical malpractice or negligence in an action involving chemotherapy? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?


How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to chemotherapy? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?


Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the plaintiff’s injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?


Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s chemotherapy injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use? 

Practice the Technique: Checklists


Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence for a chemotherapy injury.


A physician should review the items on this list when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving a chemotherapy injury.


The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of chemotherapy injury.


Use this checklist to determine if the employee’s chemotherapy injury is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.”

Expert Analysis

What Chemotherapy Is Available and How Does Toxicity Affect Children?

Ruth I. Hoffman, MPH

What Evidence Is Needed To Prove an Action Claiming Chemotherapy Overdose?

Matthew L. White, JD

When Is a Negligence Action Appropriate for Wrongful Death from Chemotherapy Toxicity?

Phyllis Lile-King, JD


Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.

Reasons To Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.

Reasons To Go To Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.

Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving chemotherapy injury?

Medical Examples


This section provides an overview, the terminology used, detailed medical information on chemotherapy treatment, when chemotherapy instead of or in addition to surgery or radiation is used, cancer resistance to chemotherapy, this treatment’s side effects, and the potential injuries resulting from improper chemotherapy treatment such as liver damage from toxicity. This section also mentions the patient’s prognosis and ability to work.

Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on chemotherapy injury.  

Medical Law Perspectives
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