Issue: October 2018
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Meningitis: The Swelling Risks of Litigation

Introduction

Meningitis Liability Risks

Anyone can get meningococcal disease or meningitis. Death occurs in about 10 to 15 out of every100 people infected with meningococcal disease. About 11 to 19 out of every 100 survivors will have long-term disabilities, such as loss of limb(s), deafness, nervous system problems, or brain damage.

 

Bacterial meningitis has been said to be one of the most serious infections occurring in infants and older children. Meningitis infections are associated with a high rate of acute complications and the risk of long-term morbidity.

 

Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, risk managers, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the types of litigation issues that may arise in connection with an injury related to meningococcal disease or meningitis.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed for a malpractice claim involving the diagnosis or treatment of meningitis? 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 the diagnosis or treatment of meningitis? 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 provider’s actions in connection with the diagnosis or treatment of the patient’s meningitis? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s contraction of meningitis or a related injury or disability? 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 meningitis-related malpractice or negligence.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving the diagnosis or treatment of meningococcal disease and meningitis.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of meningitis-related malpractice or negligence.

Employers:

Presented is a checklist of items an employer must consider when determining if the employee’s injury related to meningococcal disease or meningitis is compensable.

Expert Analysis

What Evidence Should be Evaluated to Prove Malpractice Involving Meningitis?

Robert W. Painter, JD

How Important Is the Meningitis Vaccination for Teens and Young Adults?

Leslie Maier

What Can Risk Managers Do to Avoid Liability for Delayed Diagnosis of Meningitis?

Bill Kanich, MD, JD

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 injuries related to meningitis?



Medical Examples

Meningococcal Disease and Meningitis

This section provides detailed medical information on meningococcal disease, particularly, meningitis. Discussed are risk factors, vaccination, symptoms, delayed diagnosis, diagnosis, treatment, drug therapy complications, and adverse consequences of meningitis. Also discussed is 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 meningitis.


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Meningitis: The Swelling Risks of Litigation

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Robert W. Painter, JD
   Leslie Maier
   Bill Kanich, MD, JD

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

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

Meningococcal Disease and Meningitis

Law and Medicine Resources