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  • Medical malpractice jurisdiction

    I am a new attending as of July 1.  Fortunately, I stayed in town following fellowship, so I am living the resident lifestyle in the same house I've been for 5+ years now.  Once student loans are paid down, my family and I will be looking to upgrade to a nicer home.  I live in one state but am on a partnership-track position that is based in a neighboring state right across the state line.  The company covers hospitals in both mine and this neighboring state.  My current state has very doctor-friendly insurance caps; the neighboring state does not.  If I were ever to have a malpractice claim against me, which state has jurisdiction over that case?  Is it based on where I live, where the company is based, or the state in which the occurrence happened?  I've tried googling it, but I haven't gotten a clear answer.

  • #2
    I believe it is based on where the incident occurs.

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    • #3
      Jurisdiction is determined at the state level so check the state law. If I had to bet, I'd say that @hatton1 is correct.
      Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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      • #4
        There's a trial lawyer who puts out sue-your-doctor videos on youtube, and in every one, he says at the end "...if your matter happened here in New York, call me." which leads me to believe, as hatton1 said, it's where the incident occurred that's important.  That being said, if a plaintiff sued you successfully in the neighboring state and got a judgment against you, it would be a pretty trivial matter for him to get the judgment assigned to your state to collect from you (your state's doctor-friendliness notwithstanding).

        Disclaimer: I'm a doctor not a lawyer.  

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        • #5
          It is based on where the "injury" happened.  So the jurisdiction will be the county in which your office or hospital is located that you had contact with that patient.  Our practice has looked at this and we have specifically avoided putting an office in a neighboring county that is known to have way too many greedy lawyers lurking about (as well as unfriendly jurors).

          I believe, however, that bankruptcy laws are based on where you live.  So if you lose a suit over your malpractice coverage limits, asset protection is based on the laws of the state in which you live.

          I'm also not an attorney.  If I was, I would shoot myself for the good of mankind.

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