Dec 10, 2010

New Hampshire Ranks 3rd in Nation for Healthiness

American Health Rankings® has ranked New Hampshire as 3rd in the nation for overall healthiness, up from 4th in that nation last year.

Every state has its successes and every state has its challenges. New Hampshire's strengths include a low percentage of children in poverty at 10.5 percent of persons under age 18, a low violent crime rate at 160 offenses per 100,000 population, a low rate of uninsured population at 10.4 percent, low geographic disparity within the state at 5.7 percent and a low premature death rate with 5,792 years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 population.

It's challenges include moderate public health funding at $63 per person, a moderate prevalence of binge drinking at 16.1 percent of the population and a moderate rate of cancer deaths at 196.2 deaths per 100,00. 

Click here to view the NH E-Ranking Report Card.

Vermont tops the list of healthiest states for the last four years of published reports. Vermont has had a steady climb in the Rankings for the last twelve years from a ranking of 17th in the 1997 and 1998 Editions. Massachusetts is ranked second, an improvement from third last year. Massachusetts has ranked in the top ten for almost 20 years. New Hampshire is ranked third, followed by Connecticut and Hawaii.

Mississippi is ranked 50th, with Louisiana, Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma rounding out the bottom five.

Dec 9, 2010

NH Gets New Chief Justice

New Hampshire's Executive Council has unanimously confirmed state Supreme Court Justice Linda Dalianis as New Hampshire's first female chief justice. She fills the position left bly retired chief justice John Broderick. This as reported by The Concord Monitor on December 9, 2010.

Oct 21, 2010

Submit Your NH Medical Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements

Please submit your news releases on recent medical malpractice verdicts and settlements for consideration in NH Medical Malpractice News. We aim to document significant wins in the state. Names are not necessary, but the result, type of case, and interesting specifics are encouraged. The date and court are also required for verification, but will not necessarily be published. Click here to submit.

Oct 13, 2010

NH Could Save 93 Hospital Deaths

According to analytical studies of comparative health care performance data by The Commonwealth Fund, 93 fewer premature deaths (before age 75) might occur from causes that are potentially treatable or preventable with timely and appropriate health care. This is according to the Commonwealth Fund State Scorecard, 2009, which lists state-specific rankings and results compared to industry benchmarks, and predicts the number of lives and dollars each state could save by achieving benchmark levels of performance. Click to view the New Hampshire Scorecard. New Hampshire ranks in the top quartile nationwide.

Sep 10, 2010

Sulindac Verdict is $21 Million

Here's the link to the highly anticipated Sulindac products liability case in NH. On September 8, 2010, the federal jury awarded a woman $21 million for injuries including blindness after taking the anti-inflammatory drug Sulindac. To read the Boston Globe article, click here.

Sep 5, 2010

Sulindac on Trial in Products Liability Case

A products liability case is now in the hands of a Concord, NH jury for a 45 year old plaintiff who took the drug Sulindac for shoulder pain and quickly developed complications leading to blindness. The plaintiff seek more than $24 million in damages. The lawsuit is reported here by the AP in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Aug 17, 2010

NH Couple, Hospital Settle in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The Boston Herald reports on a medical malpractice lawsuit involving a failed kidney transplant. Plaintiffs are a New Hampshire couple who have agreed to a $1.25 million settlement in a lawsuit against three doctors and a nurse at a Boston teaching hospital. Plaintiffs claimed that understaffing, rookie doctors-in-training and chain-of-command breakdowns at the teaching hospital led to the donor kidney dying a week after the transplant. The Nashua couple settled with the defendants on the day opening arguments were scheduled in Suffolk Superior Court. The defendants did not admit guilt. See full story here: NH Couple

Aug 16, 2010

N.H. Malpractice Premiums Unchanged

NHBR reports that ProSelect Insurance Company has announced it will not be increasing medical liability insurance premiums for New Hampshire providers. See the full article and accompanying podcast here:
Firm keeps N.H. malpractice premiums unchanged

Apr 13, 2010

NH Supreme Court Finds Negligence Should Be Left for Jury To Decide in Medical Malpractice Trial

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned the trial court's decision in a medical malpractice lawsuit, Beckles v. Madden, agreeing with Lubin & Meyer attorneys for the plaintiff in finding that the burden of proof for causation, an element of negligence, should be left for the jury to decide. Attorney Benjamin Novotny, presented the oral argument before the court. The opinion was issued April 9, 2010 by Chief Justice Broderick.

The case in summary:
"The plaintiffs, Wesley and Maggie Beckles, appeal a decision of the Superior Court (Barry, J.) granting summary judgment on their medical malpractice claims in favor of the defendants, Jennifer E. Madden, M.D., Eugene A. Lesser, D.O., Foundation Medical Partners, Foundation Neurology, and Nagbhushan S. Rao, M.D. We reverse and remand
The opinion cites New Hampshire law as follows:
A negligence action based upon a claim of medical malpractice is governed by RSA chapter 507-E (1997 & Supp. 2009). RSA 507-E:2 provides in part:

I. In any action for medical injury, the plaintiff shall have the burden of proving by affirmative evidence which must include expert testimony of a competent witness or witnesses:
(a) The standard of reasonable professional practice in the medical care provider's profession or specialty thereof, if any, at the time the medical care in question was rendered; and
(b) That the medical care provider failed to act in accordance with such standard; and
(c) That as a proximate result thereof, the injured person suffered injuries which would not otherwise have occurred.
The court's full ruling is available online at Beckles v. Madden.

Apr 9, 2010

Med Mal Panels in NH Working According to N.H. Medical Society’s Palmer Jones

A NHBR interview with N.H. Medical Society’s Palmer Jones includes a question on how New Hampshire's medical malpractice panel has worked (which he a says in helping settle cases quicker). What follows is an excerpt from that interview... (Read the full interview here: NH Medical Society, Palmer.)
"Five years ago, the Medical Society worked with a group of legislators to create these panels. This idea was not original – it came from Maine. What we saw was, say you’re an OB/GYN in Portsmouth and you drive across the bridge and practice in Maine, you’ll get your malpractice insurance for one-third less than what you’re paying in New Hampshire from the same company.

Once we showed the legislators the comparisons of the rates, they supported it. The medical malpractice panel is now in place. It includes a retired judge, a lawyer and a doctor of the same specialty. Any liability issues brought against any physician, hospital or other health-care practitioner has to be reviewed by this panel.

The panel can then make recommendations; if the panel is unanimous, that outcome can be introduced in court should the person wish to go on to a jury trial. We think that it has changed the overall culture as to how we deal with medical malpractice. Cases are being settled quicker, and we know when this happens, the system will save funds."

Jan 19, 2010

Medical Malpractice Panel Changes Move Forward

The New Hampshire Business Review reports on a bill proposing changes to the state's medical malpractice panels in an article: House OKs med malpractice panel changes. According to the story...
"The New Hampshire House passed a bill Tuesday that would allow those in front of a medical malpractice screening panel to give “offers of proof” – documentary evidence – about the charges, as opposed to providing the testimony of live witnesses, in order to reduce costs."
Read the full article on