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Advocates Circle Firms

Barkan Meizlish, LLP


Brian G. Miller Co., LPA


Bordas & Bordas, PLLC


Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC


Christian R. Patno


Crandall & Pera Law


Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers


Elk & Elk


Garson Johnson, LLC


Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty, LLC


The Gervelis Law Firm


Grieco Law


Kisling Nestico & Redick


Kitrick, Lewis & Harris Co.,. LPA


Leeseberg & Valentine


Leizerman & Associates, LLC


Lamkin, Van Eman, Trimble & Dougherty, LLC


Meyer Wilson Co., LPA


Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Co., LPA


O'Connor Acciani & Levy, LPA


Rittgers & Rittgers


Robert J. Wagoner, Co., LLC


Rourke & Blumenthal


Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, LLP


Slater & Zurz, LLP


Tittle & Perlmuter


Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd.


Young and McCarthy LLP




To have a successful medical negligence practice, a lawyer must not only navigate new and improved road blocks to recovery placed by the state legislature and changing case law, but also have a thorough knowledge of the medicine in each and every case. A lawyer also needs access to excellent expert witnesses on our side, and ammunition to use against the experts on the defense side.  Sometimes, a lawyer needs feedback as to case valuation or client management. The medical malpractice section provides all of this and more. The members on the listserv are generous with their time and knowledge, and the section is augmented by CLE and networking.

Section Chair Allen Tittle | Tittle & Perlmuter

Using Focus Groups to Overcome the 800 Pound Gorilla(s) in Medical Malpractice Cases
By: Allen Tittle, Esq.
For those who practice in the world of medical malpractice, we can all agree that one of the most challenging aspects of handling these cases is negative attribution from jurors.

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Does Robinson V. Bates Exist in Malpractice Cases After House Bill 7?
By: Chance Douglas, Esq.
Earlier this year, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 7, otherwise known as the “Medical Malpractice Improvement Act.”

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Hospital’s Production of “Legal Medical Record” is a Glaring Red Flag for Deception
By: Kristin Roberts, Esq.
Healthcare entities are constantly looking for new ways to avoid producing a patient’s complete medical record. In the era of electronic medical records, it can be difficult to discern which pieces of evidence might be missing.

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House Bill 7: Important Information Regarding Changes to Medical Negligence Laws
By: Michael Shroge, Esq.
"House Bill 7 was recently passed into law and signed by Governor Kasich. That Bill was the culmination of several years of negotiation and discussion amongst interested parties including OAJ."
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Medical Claims Subject to Four Year Statute of Repose Also Include Those Resulting in Wrongful Death
By: Chris Patno, Esq.
“Medical Claims” involve claims relating to the medical and/or hospital care of individuals “arising from medical care and treatment.” R.C. 2305.112(E). Under Ohio’s medical statute of repose, medical claims with few exceptions, must be commenced within four years of the act or omission in issue. R.C. 2305.112(C)(1) & (2). An evolving issue in the law relates to whether the four year medical malpractice statute of repose also applies to wrongful death claims that also fall within the statutory definition of a medical claim.
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Update On Required Expert Qualifications for Affidavits of Merit And Standard of Care Opinions
By: Colin Ray, Esq.
Despite enjoying many already-existing defenses and hurdles, defense counsel for medical practitioners have lately resorted to a simple and rarely-successful procedural move: challenging the qualifications of the plaintiff’s expert who signs the affidavit of merit. The affidavit of merit itself sets a very low floor for competency, and all but the most poorly-chosen experts can easily comply with the rule.

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HIPAA: Kryptonite for Privacy claims
By: Steven Goldberg, Esq.

HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) does not create a private right of action. In Ohio, that proposition has become axiomatic. When a legal premise gets repeated often enough, the malleability of common law tends to get overlooked. 
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Destruction of Eggs, Embryos, Hope, Family Planning and the Evolving Ohio Law That May Apply
By: Chris Patno, Esq.

On March 3-4, 2-18, at University Hospitals Fertility Clinic in Beachwood, Ohio, approximately 700 persons lost approximately 2000 frozen and stored embryos and unfertilized eggs. The eggs and embryos had previously been harvested, processed, entrusted and stored at the fertility clinic in a freezer by individuals and couples for many very individual, personal, and family planning reasons.
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Update on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Claims
By: David A. Kulwicki, Esq.
This is an update on a number of developments in the world of medicine pertaining to mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). But first a word of caution. When I first started handling brain injury cases over 20 years ago, like many practitioners today, my knee jerk plan was to have my client examined...

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The Nursing Home Systems Case, By the Numbers
By: William Eadie, Esq. and Michael Hill, Esq.
You’ve probably heard, “Truck crash cases aren’t just big car crash cases.” Why? Because of federal regulations governing trucking companies, and the big corporate, unsympathetic, insured defendants. Nursing home cases are the same: they’re not just medical negligence cases with older people. 

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A New Defense Tactic Based on Antoon v. Cleveland Clinic Foundation 
By: Bobbie Flynt, Esq. and Steve Crandall, Esq.

A new trend has developed in the defense bar, sprung from a recently decided Ohio Supreme Court case. If a medical negligence case is properly filed within the statute of limitations, properly dismissed under Ohio Civ. R. 41(A), and properly refiled under Ohio’s saving statute, defense counsel seeks to dismiss if the refiling occurs more than four years from the date of the underlying negligent act. The rationale? The refiling violates the four-year statute of repose for medical claims. While this position is legally unsupported, it is important to understand the foundations of this defense tactic and be prepared to combat it through motion practice.
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Proving HIE in a Baby Case - Using Evolving ACOG Literature as Support for a Change
By: Jonathan Mester, Esq.
For years, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published guidelines. Over the past several decades, these guidelines have become largely selfserving documents, arguably written exclusively for the purpose of assisting the defense of its members in lawsuits.

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Specialty Nurses Testifying As Medical Expert Witnesses On Issues Of Causation And Future Damages; An Uncertain Intersection Between Law And Medicine.
By: Aaron Berg, Esq.
Many injury related cases seemingly come down to the proverbial “battle of the experts.”  As a result, choosing the right medical expert witness is crucial.  For years, plaintiff attorneys have typically relied upon their client’s treating health care providers to serve as medical experts at trial whereas defense attorneys have typically retained an outside expert witness, if any.  This has led to plaintiff attorneys customarily being accused of commandeering their client’s care to ensure a favorable expert and defense attorneys customarily being accused of only hiring one of few known “pay-for-play” experts to ensure their client a favorable expert.  But the bottom line is that attorneys want the best expert for their client on a case by case basis.
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Protecting Parents: Breaking Through Juror Bias in Children’s Cases
By: Pamela Pantages, Esq.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says a child needs two things: roots and wings. In the case of a severely injured child, whether by medical negligence, a dangerous product or by some other negligence, it’s the alliance of parents and the child’s lawyer from which those roots and wings derive. Parenting an injured child is no easy task; neither is representing a family devastated by the loss of what should have been. For better or worse, parents bring their abundant love, grief, rage and personal demons to the litigation process. The challenge we face in representing parents of injured children is to channel their devotion and energy toward the best outcome, and to protect them against juror bias arising out of those human shortcomings every parent knows and owns.

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The Unsettled Law of What Constitutes a Medical Claim Under R.C.2305-111
By: Chris Patno, Esq.
In 2016, after many years of legislative amendment and common law interpretation, one would expect the definition of "medical claim" to be clear and determined. However, such is not the case and often requires of a multi-prong test. "Medical claims" are defined by R.C.2305.111(E)(3). This section broadly includes claims "against any employee or agent of a physichian, podiatrist, hopspital, home, or residential facility... that arises out of the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of any person."

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Dilaudid: Pain killer or just plain killer?
By: Marc Pera, Esq.
In the last couple of years, our firm has handled a number of cases involving deaths or brain injuries caused by a particular pain killer – Dilaudid. These cases have all dealt with the unintentional overdoses or failure to monitor patients after Dilaudid was given. A review of the literature demonstrates that this problem is widespread, has been recognized for a long time, and isn’t getting better. 
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Show Me, Don't Tell Me: Discovering a Story of Medical Negligence Through the Power Psychodrama
By: Simina Vourlis, Esq.
A group of lawyers are seated together in a semi-circle. Before them is an empty space that becomes a stage. Also in the group is Veronica, a victim of medical negligence. Veronica's hepatic duct was severed during laparoscopic gall bladder surgery. We are here to prepare Veronica for an upcoming deposition and trial by discovering the story of her case using psychodrama.
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A (Second) Call to Action
By: Michael Shroge, Esq.
Over a year ago I authored my first article for the OAJ Medical Section titled A Call to Action.  For all the members who I am confident saved that article and have it sitting immediately by their desk, there will be no need to remind you of the message in that article.  For those of you who didn’t specifically cut out my exquisite prose and message, I will remind you that in the article I asked for increased vigilance by the entire membership of OAJ over the continued attempts in Columbus to draft, introduce and pass laws adverse to our clients’ best interests and adverse to the explicit mandates of the Ohio Constitution.  That first article was written at a time when multiple pieces of legislation had been introduced at the request of OHA and OSMA to expand the apology statute to include admissions of fault, to exclude any references to certain types of medical literature of best practices to establish evidence of the standard of care as well as a few other legislative efforts.  In addition, the biggest “bomb” dropped in Columbus was the introduction by Representative Jim Butler of the Medical Insurance Compensation System (a purely administrative system to replace current medical malpractice laws).

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Current status of HB 157 and OAJ involvement
By: Michael Shroge, Esq.
HB 157 seeks to replace statutory law, common law and Rules of Evidence that currently govern the process of bringing medical malpractice claims in the state of Ohio.  This Bill seeks to replace all of that with a massive administrative bureaucracy.  At a starting point, it is evident that this Bill is directly in conflict with the mission of OAJ.  Specifically, OAJ is the only statewide association of attorneys whose mission is to preserve our Constitutional rights and protect access to the civil justice system for all Ohioans through advocacy in the Courthouse, Statehouse, and Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.  Furthermore, OAJ “is devoted to strengthening the civil justice system so that deserving individuals can get justice and wrongdoers are held accountable.”  These are the core missions and philosophy of whom we are as an organization.

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The Fight Is Only Just Beginning
By: Michael Shroge, Esq.
Over the course of my last several articles I have discussed with all OAJ members the need for engagement and involvement as it specifically relates to current and anticipated future legislation coming out of the Ohio State Legislature.  The time has never been greater for that engagement and involvement. 
At the time of the writing of this article OAJ has become aware of legislation that will be introduced that eradicates the current system of medical negligence law and replaces it with a system that has been labeled the Medical Negligence Compensation System.  Our members attending the most recent OAJ Lobby Day were surprised when Republican Representative Jim Butler announced that he would be proposing this new legislation within the next several weeks.  At the time this article is published the legislation may already be introduced and you may already be privy to the specifics of this legislation.
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The continued march of tort reform vs. The continued decline in patient safety
By: Michael Shroge
In my last two articles as Chair of the Medical Malpractice Section of OAJ, I have focused on asking for an increase in the activity, interest and involvement in the fight against an onward marching legislature that is focused on eroding, and ultimately destroying, the fabric of medical negligence laws in Ohio.  In this article I want to focus on the prospect of educating our clients to become advocates for the rights of families and patients injured, or killed, as a direct result of medical negligence.

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A call to action part II
By: Michael Shroge, Esq.
In the last OAJ Quarterly, I wrote to OAJ members about an initiative to identify and communicate with attorneys across the state who self-identify themselves as practicing in the area of medical negligence, however small or large a portion of their practice that may be.  The impetus for this type of identification is to strengthen our numbers, not just for the sake of proclaiming we have strengthened our numbers, but to seek the voices, insight and assistance of all of those medical negligence attorneys to help monitor, defeat and propose laws aimed specifically at our clients and our practices. 

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A call to action
By: Michael Shroge, Esq., Cleveland, OH
Several weeks ago my son (now 13 and just old enough to ask as many questions as possible) and I sat and watched the first installment of the Matrix movies. I glanced over at him several times to see a glossed over look as he attempted to understand the complexities of the back story beyond just the cool special effects and choreographed fight scenes. As the movie finished he looked to me and asked, “What is the Matrix?” It was my turn to now sit with a glossed over look as I tried to think of a simple explanation to help him understand the deeper meaning of the story. I told him that the Matrix is much like politics here in Ohio. I went on to say that there is a devious alternative universe of individuals who are attempting to change our world by passing laws adverse to our interests. At the same time this same group of people is betting on our disinterest, noninvolvement and complete lack of caring as to what they are doing or how they are changing the world around us. I finished with letting him know that there are individuals, like the incredibly vigilant OAJ members whose job it is to see the Matrix, understand the Matrix and do everything they can to defeat the Matrix. (I should note that even after this explanation, my son still looked at me completely glossed over.) 
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Parrish v. Jones: Another Pitfall for Plaintiff Medical Malpractice Cases? 
By: Justin Madden
On December 4, 2013, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its opinion in Parrish v. Jones, wherein it affirmed an appellate decision to overturn a directed verdict in favor of a co- defendant in a medical malpractice trial, but on other grounds. The question arises whether Parrish helps ensure that meritworthy medical malpractice cases are resolved by juries, or whether Parrish creates another pitfall to upend a Plaintiff’s case on a technicality?

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Who Cares about the "Standard of Care"? 
By: Eleana Drakatos, Esq., Columbus, OH
I decided to count the number of times that my co-counsel and I used the phrase “standard of care” during a “medical malpractice” trial. I lost count after day two. “Standard of care”: what does it mean? It sounds so formal, so exquisite, so ceremonial. Perhaps, it is something more than being careful. Perhaps proving a violation of the “standard of care” requires a heightened burden. Perhaps medical malpractice is not negligence, but rather a violation that is more reckless or even intentional. This is the trap that we place ourselves into when we use big words that no one understands.

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The World View of Your Jury
By: Steven Collier, Esq., Toledo, OH
   It is widely reported that of the medical malpractice cases that go to trial in Ohio, about one in ten results in a verdict for the plaintiff – not good odds. The explanations are plentiful, including:
     1. Insurance companies settle the good cases;
     2. Tort reform;
     3. Bias in favor of doctors and hospitals;
     4. Bias against persons who bring lawsuits; and
     5. Complexity of the case favors the defendant.
 So, how does one reverse this trend?
 The answer is to have a new focus on the jury selection process. This will not obviate the need for good case selection and preparation, but it may allow a plaintiff verdict to happen when it would not otherwise, despite all the best efforts of counsel.

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Physician Bias as a Reason for Poor Care
We are all aware that despite this being the 21st century, and an enlightened age with laws to protect people from discrimination, discrimination and prejudices still exist, conscious or unconscious.  As it turns out, doctors are not immune from bias, and studies have shown that it can affect their care.  In some cases, this can be a powerful tool for us to exploit in creating juror outrage at how our client, the doctor’s patient, was treated differently, or not treated at all, based on factors over which she has little or no control, and which have little or no relation to her medical condition.
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