Hearing loss resulting in malpractice litigation

What physicians need to know

Brian K. Reilly, Gayle M. Horn, Ryan Sewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the relationship between hearing loss and malpractice litigation. Study Design: Retrospective study evaluating state and federal civil malpractice litigation pertaining to physician treatment and patient hearing loss in the United States during a 10-year period (2001-2011). Methods: A Westlaw search of the computer database Jury Verdicts-All for 2001-2011 was performed using the search terms "hearing loss" and "malpractice." This database includes jury verdicts, judgments, and settlements. Results: Niney-four cases were analyzed. There were 53 verdicts favorable for the defense (56%), 28 verdicts favorable for the plaintiff (30%), and 12 settlements. One case resulted in a mistrial. Settlements ranged from $42,500 to $12,500,000, and verdicts ranged from $0 to $8,784,000. The average payout for adult plaintiffs was less ($549,157) than the payout for minors ($1,349,121). The average payout for a surgical case was $579,098, compared to $960,048 for medical etiology of hearing loss. Otolaryngologists were the most frequently sued treating physician for hearing loss; the second most common defendant was pediatricians (eight cases). In the 13 cases in which an otolaryngologist was sued, there were nine defense verdicts and four verdicts in plaintiffs' favor. The average indemnity for an otolaryngologist was $313,230. Conclusions: Otolaryngologists are successful in most (70%) hearing loss litigation brought against them. This is true regardless of whether the allegations are of medical error or include operative procedures. Pediatric patients received more favorable jury verdicts when litigating malpractice claims than their adult counterparts, and the payouts were highest when there was alleged birth trauma and/or meningitis. Finally, the severity and degree of hearing loss sustained correlate with higher payouts. Laryngoscope, 2013

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-117
Number of pages6
JournalLaryngoscope
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Fingerprint

Malpractice
Jurisprudence
Hearing Loss
Physicians
Databases
Minors
Laryngoscopes
Medical Errors
Operative Surgical Procedures
Insurance
Meningitis
Retrospective Studies
Parturition
Pediatrics
Otolaryngologists
Wounds and Injuries

Keywords

  • Hearing loss
  • litigation
  • malpractice
  • otolaryngology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this

Hearing loss resulting in malpractice litigation : What physicians need to know. / Reilly, Brian K.; Horn, Gayle M.; Sewell, Ryan.

In: Laryngoscope, Vol. 123, No. 1, 01.01.2013, p. 112-117.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reilly, Brian K. ; Horn, Gayle M. ; Sewell, Ryan. / Hearing loss resulting in malpractice litigation : What physicians need to know. In: Laryngoscope. 2013 ; Vol. 123, No. 1. pp. 112-117.
@article{90e4723b6bd344b8bed8b911d9ce57cc,
title = "Hearing loss resulting in malpractice litigation: What physicians need to know",
abstract = "Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the relationship between hearing loss and malpractice litigation. Study Design: Retrospective study evaluating state and federal civil malpractice litigation pertaining to physician treatment and patient hearing loss in the United States during a 10-year period (2001-2011). Methods: A Westlaw search of the computer database Jury Verdicts-All for 2001-2011 was performed using the search terms {"}hearing loss{"} and {"}malpractice.{"} This database includes jury verdicts, judgments, and settlements. Results: Niney-four cases were analyzed. There were 53 verdicts favorable for the defense (56{\%}), 28 verdicts favorable for the plaintiff (30{\%}), and 12 settlements. One case resulted in a mistrial. Settlements ranged from $42,500 to $12,500,000, and verdicts ranged from $0 to $8,784,000. The average payout for adult plaintiffs was less ($549,157) than the payout for minors ($1,349,121). The average payout for a surgical case was $579,098, compared to $960,048 for medical etiology of hearing loss. Otolaryngologists were the most frequently sued treating physician for hearing loss; the second most common defendant was pediatricians (eight cases). In the 13 cases in which an otolaryngologist was sued, there were nine defense verdicts and four verdicts in plaintiffs' favor. The average indemnity for an otolaryngologist was $313,230. Conclusions: Otolaryngologists are successful in most (70{\%}) hearing loss litigation brought against them. This is true regardless of whether the allegations are of medical error or include operative procedures. Pediatric patients received more favorable jury verdicts when litigating malpractice claims than their adult counterparts, and the payouts were highest when there was alleged birth trauma and/or meningitis. Finally, the severity and degree of hearing loss sustained correlate with higher payouts. Laryngoscope, 2013",
keywords = "Hearing loss, litigation, malpractice, otolaryngology",
author = "Reilly, {Brian K.} and Horn, {Gayle M.} and Ryan Sewell",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/lary.23608",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "123",
pages = "112--117",
journal = "Laryngoscope",
issn = "0023-852X",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Hearing loss resulting in malpractice litigation

T2 - What physicians need to know

AU - Reilly, Brian K.

AU - Horn, Gayle M.

AU - Sewell, Ryan

PY - 2013/1/1

Y1 - 2013/1/1

N2 - Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the relationship between hearing loss and malpractice litigation. Study Design: Retrospective study evaluating state and federal civil malpractice litigation pertaining to physician treatment and patient hearing loss in the United States during a 10-year period (2001-2011). Methods: A Westlaw search of the computer database Jury Verdicts-All for 2001-2011 was performed using the search terms "hearing loss" and "malpractice." This database includes jury verdicts, judgments, and settlements. Results: Niney-four cases were analyzed. There were 53 verdicts favorable for the defense (56%), 28 verdicts favorable for the plaintiff (30%), and 12 settlements. One case resulted in a mistrial. Settlements ranged from $42,500 to $12,500,000, and verdicts ranged from $0 to $8,784,000. The average payout for adult plaintiffs was less ($549,157) than the payout for minors ($1,349,121). The average payout for a surgical case was $579,098, compared to $960,048 for medical etiology of hearing loss. Otolaryngologists were the most frequently sued treating physician for hearing loss; the second most common defendant was pediatricians (eight cases). In the 13 cases in which an otolaryngologist was sued, there were nine defense verdicts and four verdicts in plaintiffs' favor. The average indemnity for an otolaryngologist was $313,230. Conclusions: Otolaryngologists are successful in most (70%) hearing loss litigation brought against them. This is true regardless of whether the allegations are of medical error or include operative procedures. Pediatric patients received more favorable jury verdicts when litigating malpractice claims than their adult counterparts, and the payouts were highest when there was alleged birth trauma and/or meningitis. Finally, the severity and degree of hearing loss sustained correlate with higher payouts. Laryngoscope, 2013

AB - Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the relationship between hearing loss and malpractice litigation. Study Design: Retrospective study evaluating state and federal civil malpractice litigation pertaining to physician treatment and patient hearing loss in the United States during a 10-year period (2001-2011). Methods: A Westlaw search of the computer database Jury Verdicts-All for 2001-2011 was performed using the search terms "hearing loss" and "malpractice." This database includes jury verdicts, judgments, and settlements. Results: Niney-four cases were analyzed. There were 53 verdicts favorable for the defense (56%), 28 verdicts favorable for the plaintiff (30%), and 12 settlements. One case resulted in a mistrial. Settlements ranged from $42,500 to $12,500,000, and verdicts ranged from $0 to $8,784,000. The average payout for adult plaintiffs was less ($549,157) than the payout for minors ($1,349,121). The average payout for a surgical case was $579,098, compared to $960,048 for medical etiology of hearing loss. Otolaryngologists were the most frequently sued treating physician for hearing loss; the second most common defendant was pediatricians (eight cases). In the 13 cases in which an otolaryngologist was sued, there were nine defense verdicts and four verdicts in plaintiffs' favor. The average indemnity for an otolaryngologist was $313,230. Conclusions: Otolaryngologists are successful in most (70%) hearing loss litigation brought against them. This is true regardless of whether the allegations are of medical error or include operative procedures. Pediatric patients received more favorable jury verdicts when litigating malpractice claims than their adult counterparts, and the payouts were highest when there was alleged birth trauma and/or meningitis. Finally, the severity and degree of hearing loss sustained correlate with higher payouts. Laryngoscope, 2013

KW - Hearing loss

KW - litigation

KW - malpractice

KW - otolaryngology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84871842693&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84871842693&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/lary.23608

DO - 10.1002/lary.23608

M3 - Article

VL - 123

SP - 112

EP - 117

JO - Laryngoscope

JF - Laryngoscope

SN - 0023-852X

IS - 1

ER -