Articles Posted in Health Care Law

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In 2007, Plaintiff, frustrated with then-proposed budget cuts to mental health services, sent the Governor a series of emails that were interpreted as threatening. Plaintiff was delivered to MaineGeneral Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation, where she was eventually subjected to a search and held against her will for the night in a locked room. Plaintiff later filed an action against MaineGeneral and Scott Kemmerer, an emergency room physician, alleging that Defendants deprived her of liberty without due process and subjected her to an unreasonable search in violation of the Maine Civil Rights Act (MCRA). Defendants filed for entry of summary judgment as to the MCRA claims. The court (1) granted the motion as to MaineGeneral, determining that MaineGeneral could not be held vicariously liable for the acts of its employees under the MCRA; and (2) denied the motion as to Kemmerer. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the denial of summary judgment as to Kemmerer on issues of immunity, holding that Kemmerer was not entitled to absolute immunity or common law qualified immunity from Plaintiff’s MCRA claims; and (2) did not reach Kemmerer’s remaining arguments in this interlocutory appeal. View "Clifford v. MaineGeneral Med. Ctr." on Justia Law

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Vera Boulier fell on the premises of Presque Isle Nursing Home (PINH), where Boulier was a resident. Boulier died from the injuries she sustained from the fall. The Estate of Boulier commenced an action against PINH for professional negligence in accordance with the Maine Health Security Act. A jury determined that PINH was not liable for Boulier’s death. The Estate appealed, arguing that the superior court erred in excluding evidence of remedial measures taken by PINH after Boulier’s fall and in rejecting the Estate’s proposed jury instruction on the theory of negligent communication. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the superior court did not abuse its discretion by excluding, pursuant to Me. R. Evid. 407, the evidence of PINH’s subsequent remedial measures; and (2) the superior court did not err in refusing to instruct the jury on the issue of negligent communication because the evidence did not generate an instruction on the issue.View "Estate of Boulier v. Presque Isle Nursing Home" on Justia Law

Posted in: Health Care Law

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After Daniel Nickerson suffered a fatal heart attack, Nickerson’s wife, Cecelia, as personal representative of Nickerson’s estate, filed professional negligence and wrongful death claims against Daniel’s doctor, Dr. Alan Carter, and vicarious liability claims against Mercy Primary Care, Dr. Carter’s employer. A jury found that Dr. Carter was negligent but not the legal cause of Daniel’s death. The Supreme Court vacated the trial court’s judgment, holding that the court erred in admitting the findings of a medical malpractice screening panel, as the panel chair’s consideration of evidence outside the record violated the Maine Health Security Act and Maine’s procedural rules. Remanded.View "Estate of Nickerson v. Carter" on Justia Law