Chapter 5: Tort Law Background This chapter focuses on tort law and the various causes of action that may be encountered in the healthcare and health information setting. Tort law’s unique role in safeguarding the rights of individuals and other legal entities are explained in terms of negligence, intentional torts, strict liability, and contract principles and the various causes of actions or claims. The chapter reviews the basis of liability, including defamation, invasion of privacy, breach of confidentiality, infliction of emotional distress, medical malpractice, and criminal conduct. Each of the causes of action related to a damages award claimed for injuries are discussed as are the various defenses a defendant may bring. While HIPAA is discussed in detail in chapters 9 and 10, this chapter does introduce some aspects of the rule. The chapter also focuses on issues relating to medical malpractice insurance and tort reform measures at the state and private insurance levels. Chapter Outline Learning Objectives Key Terms I. Introduction II. Types of Torts A. Intentional Torts 1. Battery 2. Assault 3. False Imprisonment 4. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress B. Negligence 1. Types of Negligence 2. Degrees of Negligence 3. Elements of Negligence 4. Damages 5. Res Ipsa Loquitur 6. Defenses to Negligence Claims a. Contributory Negligence b. Comparative Negligence c. Assumption of Risk d. Rescue Doctrine e. Sudden Emergency f. Unavoidable Accident g. Act of God 7. Theories of Hospital Negligence Liability a. Corporate Negligence (Primary Liability) b. Respondeat Superior (Secondary Liability) or Vicarious Liability C. Strict Liability III. Causes of Action for Improper Disclosure of Health Information. A. Basis for Liability
B. Defamation C. Invasion of Privacy D. Breach of Confidentiality (Fiduciary Duty) E. Infliction of Emotional Distress F. Negligence For Improper Disclosure G. Liability of the Individuals Responsible for Protecting Health Information IV. Immunity from Liability V. Statutes of Limitations A. The Discovery Rule B. Death of the Injured Individual C. Disability of the Injured Individual D. Wrongdoing E. Statue of Repose VI. Torts and Contracts VII. Criminal Liability in Healthcare VIII. Medical Malpractice Issues A. The Rising Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance B. Physician Medical Malpractice Insurance Crisis in Identified States C. Types of Tort Reform Measures 1. Joint and Several Liability 2. Collateral Source Payments 3. Noneconomic and Punitive Damages 4. Affidavit of Merit 5. Limits on Attorney Contingency Fees 6. Structured Settlements 7. No-Fault Systems Summary References Chapter Discussion Questions
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- Spring '17
- Julie Wulf-Plimpton
- Tort Law