Issue: February 2017
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Parkinson's Disease: Shaky Situations, Litigation Considerations, and Potential Perils

Introduction

Risks Related to Parkinson’s Disease

Although roughly 60,000 cases of Parkinson's disease are diagnosed in the United States each year, thousands more cases are not detected. About one million people in the U.S. currently live with Parkinson's disease.There is no cure, and its debilitating and immobilizing effects are not reversible.

 

Estimates indicate that the combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinson’s, including medical treatment, social security payments, and lost income, is almost $25 billion per year.

 

The diagnosis, care, and treatment of Parkinson’s patients can give rise to litigation for injuries. Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that arise in connection with injuries related to Parkinson’s disease.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed to prevail on a claim for an injury related to Parkinson’s disease? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to a patient’s Parkinson’s disease? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?

Insurers:

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 injury related to Parkinson’s disease? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ? 

Employers:

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


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence involving Parkinson’s disease diagnosis or treatment.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving Parkinson’s disease.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of injury involving Parkinson’s disease.

Employers:

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

Expert Analysis

What Are the Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease?

Michael Okun, MD

What Is Atypical Parkinsonism and How Is It Diagnosed and Treated?

Alexander Pantelyat, MD

Litigation

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 Parkinson's disease?



Medical Examples

Parkinson's Disease

This section provides detailed medical information on Parkinson’s disease including the terminology and distinctions; causes; risk factors; onset, stages, and symptoms; diagnosis; treatment; and potential complications of the disease. This section also discusses 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 Parkinson’s Disease.  


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Parkinson's Disease: Shaky Situations, Litigation Considerations, and Potential Perils

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Michael Okun, MD
   Alexander Pantelyat, MD

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys
   Physicians and Health Providers
   Insurers
   Employers and Risk Managers

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons To Reach Settlement

Reasons To Go To Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Parkinson's Disease

Law and Medicine Resources