Diabetes occurrence is skyrocketing in the United States. Nearly 26 million Americans already have diabetes, although as many as 7 million are undiagnosed. In addition to those currently affected, approximately 79 million adults are at risk of developing diabetes. Predictions indicate that as many as one in three Americans may have diabetes by 2050.
The economic cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is estimated to be $245 billion annually, which includes direct health care costs and indirect costs such as disability, work loss, and premature mortality. Diabetes is the primary cause of death for more than 70,000 Americans each year and contributes to the death of more than 230,000 annually.
Litigation for medical malpractice involving the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes and its complications can result in high awards and settlements, some in the millions of dollars.
Other types of litigation also may occur, including actions for products liability or employment-related issues.
Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, and others who may be affected should be aware of the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with the diagnosis or treatment of diabetes and related complications.