The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Does any medical malpractice allegation prompt a licence inquiry?

A recent $6 million settlement agreement illustrates the high stakes -- both personal and professional -- that can follow an unfortunate outcome from a medical procedure.

The case was brought by the surviving wife of a Pennsylvania man who died one day after a surgical procedure at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center campus, or UPMC Horizon. The surgery had been unplanned; the man was admitted for examination after a minor car accident. However, a CT scan revealed a small mass in a connecting tissue in the man’s chest. The treating surgeon recommended the mass be surgically removed.

Unfortunately, the man went into multi-system organ failure after the surgery. The family consulted with a medical malpractice attorney, whose investigation concluded that the doctor had breached the applicable standard of care.

The standard for losing one’s medical license is generally grave malpractice, and each state licensing board has its own procedures for making that determination. According to the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine’s website, any investigation prompted by a complaint filed about a physician’s care will be kept confidential. Yet that confidentiality doesn’t mean that a physician will be spared invasive questioning, either from investigators or by board members at an administrative hearing.

An attorney with a strong practice focus on professional license defense understands how to prepare medical professionals for the marathon of a license inquiry. One of the first instructions we offer to clients is to refrain from answering questions outside the presence of their attorney. If pressed, they can refer investigators or others with questions about the pending claim investigation to the physician’s attorney. An attorney can hold aggressive questioners at bay.

Source: Legal Info, “Pennsylvania Woman Awarded $6 Million In A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit,” July 28, 2016

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