MALPRACTICE LAWYER CASE: CAN DR. SUE HOSPITAL THAT REVOKED PRIVILEGES?
If there is one issue that causes tension between your typical medical malpractice lawyer and your typical physician, it is the issue of tort reform. No one likes to be sued. Doctors are no exception. Many doctors and their medical associations have lobbied state legislatures to take away or limit a patient’s right to sue his doctor for malpractice. In New Jersey, they have largely not succeeded. A person injured by medical malpractice in New Jersey still has the right to hire a medical malpractice lawyer and obtain compensation.
I have always found the doctors’ efforts to be somewhat ironic. That is because, in my experience, when a physician feels that his rights have been violated, he generally will rush to an attorney to sue the offending party.
Recently, a doctor sued a hospital for suspending his privileges. The hospital claimed that the doctor had provided subpar care for patients.
Unfortunately for the doctor, he lost. Probably as a result of lobbying efforts by hospitals, there are laws that barred his lawsuit. These laws give hospitals immunity from such suits if certain conditions are met.
I think that these laws are entirely unfair to physicians. A doctor should have no fewer rights than anyone else. I would hope that doctors might now show increased sympathy with their patients. If a physician has made a mistake and injured a patient, that patient should be able to obtain compensation. Physicians should cease their efforts to stop that. In turn, each and every malpractice lawyer should support physicians in getting the unjust laws that protect hospitals repealed.