Among the various types of liability that physicians may face, including employee claims, HIPAA violations, cyber liability and slip-and-fall injuries, medical malpractice may be the most impactful.
The consequences of possible medical malpractice liability should be considered by physicians who treat relatively young, otherwise-healthy patients because these patients may experience a long period of debilitation should they have an unsatisfactory outcome. That potential liability can multiply significantly, and exposures can easily go beyond the malpractice insurance coverage provided by a traditional $1 million/$3 million malpractice policy and far exceed those limits. These factors came together in the recent malpractice legal action in which Chris Maragos, a former captain of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, sued his orthopedic surgeon and an orthopedic practice. After a jury trial, in which several high-profile athletes testified on behalf of Maragos and orthopedic surgeons testified on behalf of the defendants, the jury handed down a verdict that ordered $43.5 million in damages be paid to Maragos ($29.2 million by the surgeon and $14.3 million by the practice).