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What is the attorney's strategy?

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Can the insurer prevent a large payout?

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Current Issue: December 2017
Colonoscopy: Scoping the Risks and Liabilities

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Colonoscopy Risks and Liabilities

More than 15 million colonoscopy procedures are performed in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, only about 58% of adults in the recommended age group of 50 to 75 years old met the goal of a regular colonoscopy.


Colonoscopies carry a level of risk. Approximately 0.5% of those screened for colorectal cancer suffer injuries from a complication of the procedure. Problems related to colonoscopies can lead to litigation, which can result in high verdicts or settlements. An Iowa hospital recently paid a $500,000 settlement in a case in which a patient’s colon was torn during a colonoscopy.


Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with colonoscopies.

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy


What proof is needed to establish medical malpractice for an injury related to a colonoscopy? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?


How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to a colonoscopy? 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 provider’s actions? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?


Can an employer be subject to liability for an injury related to a colonoscopy? 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 an injury involving a colonoscopy.


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


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


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

Expert Analysis

How Does a Defamation Action Result from a Colonoscopy?

Mikhael D. Charnoff, JD

What Risks Are Associated with Colonoscopy?

Perry Hookman, MD, FACP, FACG


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 colonoscopies?

Medical Information

Colonoscopy and Colon Cancer

This section provides detailed medical information on the colonoscopy procedure, including discussion of sigmoidoscopy, colon cancer, polyps, colonoscopy preparation, post-colonoscopy, and complications. This section also discusses the ability to work after a colonoscopy.

Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

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

Medical Law Perspectives
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