Whistle-Blowers Prove Useful to Medical Malpractice Settlements
Despite several states placing a moratorium on COVID-related medical malpractice lawsuits, settlements for victims appear to be higher than ever before. One of the main reasons for this is the role that whistleblowers are playing in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Further, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have created problems for hospitals as some malpractice attorneys are noting higher incidences of surgical tools being left inside patients, misdiagnoses, and even sexual battery complaints.
Michigan Nurses Win Whistleblower Suit Against Hospital
Nurses at Huron Valley Sinai Hospital won a couple of recent victories after filing complaints concerning the treatment of staff and patients at the Detroit-area hospital. In addition to the nurse’s complaints, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board filed a long complaint alleging multiple violations of U.S. law.
In 2017, the Michigan Nurses Association issued a report stating that they were unable to provide safe care for their patients. These were based on 240 ADO complaints (assignment despite objection). The ADO complaints allegedly revealed sensitive information concerning patient falls, medication delivered late, and nurses assigned to units for which they had no pertinent training.
The hospital, in response, reportedly refused to accept the ADOs and instead directed nurses to file complaints using the hospital’s internal system, but the hospital allegedly refused to provide the nurses with copies of the complaints or to provide any data related to the reports. That will now change after the hospital was ordered to turn that information over.
Safe Staffing and Medical Costs
One problem in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical clinics is that these facilities tend to end up understaffed. When they are understaffed, nursing staff may end up overworked. If the nursing staff feels they aren’t being treated fairly, they may file complaints with their union. Their union issued pro-Nursing-Staff buttons that nurses wear when treating patients, though the hospital allegedly attempted to force them to remove the buttons. Allowing nurses to wear their political buttons was part of the settlement.
Nurses often provide our first line of defense against patient abuse. Since they are employees of the hospital, the hospital is liable for their negligence. If a nurse is asked to cover shifts in radiology or critical care, but their background is in psychiatric care, then safety of the patient may be at risk.
Talk to a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical doctor, call the St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.