Issue: March 2017
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Kidney Diseases and Disorders: Stones, Dialysis, and Liability Concerns

Introduction

Introduction

Chronic kidney disease affects about 14% of the U.S. population, with 660,000 people suffering kidney failure. About 468,000 of those afflicted receive dialysis, while another 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant. Medicare spending for patients age 65 and older with chronic kidney disease exceeded $50 billion in 2013.

 

Kidney disease is considered a “silent disease.” Often it has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it becomes very advanced. More people die from kidney disease each year than from breast or prostate cancer. An injury related to a kidney disease or disorder can lead to litigation.

 

Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with injuries related to kidney diseases or disorders.

 

March is National Kidney Month.  


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

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

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for a physician’s actions in diagnosing or treating a kidney disease or disorder? 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 patient’s injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s kidney disease or disorder 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 a kidney disease or disorder.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving a kidney disease or disorder.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of malpractice or negligence involving a kidney disease or disorder.

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if the employee’s kidney disease or disorder is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.” 

Expert Analysis

What Factors Affected the Dialysates Products Action Settlement?

Stuart M. Paynter, JD

What Is Being Done to Support the Employment of Those with Chronic Kidney Disease?

Beth Witten, MSW, ACSW, LSCSW

What Are the Barriers to Living Kidney Donation?

Michelle A. Josephson, 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 kidney diseases and disorders? 



Medical Examples

Kidney Diseases and Disorders

This section provides detailed medical information on kidney diseases and disorders, the terminology, the types of diseases and disorders, risk factors, prevention, symptoms, diagnosis, the stages of chronic kidney disease, treatment, dialysis, and complications. 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 kidney diseases and disorders.


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Kidney Diseases and Disorders: Stones, Dialysis, and Liability Concerns

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Stuart M. Paynter, JD
   Beth Witten, MSW, ACSW, LSCSW
   Michelle A. Josephson, 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

Kidney Diseases and Disorders

Law and Medicine Resources