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Current Lawsuits And Settlements In The Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is no stranger to legal challenges, and recent reports have shed light on several noteworthy lawsuits and settlements that have captured the attention of professionals and the public alike. From issues involving patient care to data breaches and allegations of misconduct, these cases underscore the complex and diverse nature of legal matters within the healthcare sector.

1.      Aetna’s Medical Judgment Interference: The California Supreme Court has permitted the state’s medical association to sue Aetna’s California operations over alleged interference with physicians’ medical judgment when referring patients to out-of-network providers. This case raises concerns about the integrity of patient care decisions and the impact of payer influence on healthcare providers.

2.      Nurse Practitioners vs. California: Three nurse practitioners in California are taking legal action against the state’s restrictions on the use of the title “doctor,” seeking to prevent the enforcement of these limitations. The lawsuit highlights the ongoing debates surrounding healthcare professionals’ scope of practice and the complexities of regulatory oversight.

3.      Organ Donation Without Consent: The family of a woman with dementia is suing NYC Health + Hospitals, accusing the health system of donating her organs to LiveOnNY without proper consent. This tragic case raises ethical questions about informed consent and organ donation practices.

4.      Medicaid Children in Nursing Homes: A longstanding issue in Florida, where Medicaid-reliant children with complex health needs are placed in nursing homes, has finally seen resolution through a ruling by U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks. The case highlights the challenges faced by vulnerable pediatric patients in accessing appropriate care.

5.      Hospital Negligence: A patient has filed a lawsuit against Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Kansas for negligence after she was allegedly raped by an intruder who gained unauthorized access to the hospital. This case underscores the importance of security measures in healthcare facilities.

6.      HCA Healthcare Data Theft: Nashville-based HCA Healthcare is embroiled in a lawsuit following a data theft incident affecting 171 hospitals and health systems across the U.S. The breach exposed the information of approximately 11 million patients, prompting concerns about data security and patient privacy.

7.      Johnson & Johnson’s Talc-Based Products: Johnson & Johnson is taking legal action against four physicians over published research linking their talc-based baby powder products to mesothelioma. This case reflects the ongoing disputes between manufacturers and researchers regarding product safety.

8.      Stone Academy’s Legal Troubles: The now-closed Stone Academy, a nursing program in Connecticut, faces a lawsuit from the state’s Attorney General alleging violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The case highlights concerns about educational institutions’ practices and their impact on students and the community.

9.      Integris Health’s Alleged Data Sharing: A patient is suing Integris Health in Oklahoma City, accusing the health system of sharing his health information with Big Tech companies, sparking discussions about data sharing and patient privacy.

10.   Medtronic’s Whistleblower Case: A whistleblower case filed against Medtronic in 2017 accuses the medical device company of bribery at a Kansas VA hospital to inflate sales. This case underscores the importance of integrity and compliance in the medical device industry.

11.   Johns Hopkins Ransomware Attack: Johns Hopkins University and Health System face a patient-led lawsuit alleging the health system failed to protect patient’s health information during a ransomware attack. This case highlights the need for robust cybersecurity measures in healthcare.

12.   Cigna’s Alleged Overcharging: A federal judge in Connecticut denied a class-action bid against Cigna, accused of overcharging members for medical equipment and violating fiduciary duties. This case addresses financial practices and accountability in the healthcare insurance sector.

These twelve cases demonstrate the multifaceted legal landscape within the healthcare industry, emphasizing the importance of adhering to best practices, ethical standards, and the necessity of transparency in delivering quality patient care. As these lawsuits progress, they will continue to shape the industry’s policies and practices, with potential implications for healthcare providers, patients, and stakeholders at large.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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