medical malpractice | KCUR

medical malpractice

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A Kansas law that caps jury awards for noneconomic damages — things like pain and suffering — violates the right to a trial by jury, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

“This is huge,” said attorney Thomas M. Warner Jr., who represented Diana K. Hilburn, the plaintiff in the case. “We’ve had these caps on the books since 1986 in Kansas. Basically, the politicians decided that they would be in a better position to determine the amount of damages for noneconomic damages than juries. And so this decision allows juries to make that decision again.”

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An Overland Park psychiatrist has lost his medical license after state regulators alleged he had sex with a patient, exploited a patient relationship for financial gain and continued to practice after his license was suspended in 2018.

Under a consent order entered Tuesday, Brian Patrick Lahey waived his right to a contested hearing and agreed to an indefinite suspension of his Kansas license.

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Physicians, researchers and hospitals broadly agree that cesarean sections have become too common. That’s powered efforts to limit them to ever fewer cases.

Still, it can be hard to gauge the track record of most Kansas hospitals. When a national group came asking for numbers that reveal how regularly C-sections are performed, many hospitals in the state didn’t reply.

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A Kansas appeals court has upheld a jury award to the estate and parents of a 40-year-old man who took his life after a botched medical procedure left him with overwhelming spinal injuries.

The $2.88 million judgment in 2014 was the largest jury award in a Johnson County medical malpractice case in more than 25 years, according to local attorneys.  

Hundreds of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in Kansas will be required to participate in a fund meant to spread the risk of malpractice lawsuits starting next month. Advocates for those facilities say the change is a plus, but it has insurance agents scrambling to find liability coverage for their assisted living clients in a limited market.

Kansas ranks near the top of states and Missouri near the bottom when it comes to protecting physicians against lawsuits. That's according to a new report card from the American College of Emergency Physicians. The report applauds Kansas’s malpractice tort reform but condemns Missouri for its higher-than-average malpractice award payments.

The physician’s group behind the new rankings says medical lawsuits drive up health costs as much as 108 billion dollars a year nationally.

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Missouri’s Supreme Court has effectively overturned state caps on non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases.  Read more about about the decision here.