At every opportunity the OOA works to protect the practice of osteopathic medicine and advocate for Ohio DOs. Advocacy can come in many forms—including amicus briefs in court cases important to physicians and patient medical care. The briefs allow the OOA, in cooperation with other physician and health care associations, to advise courts of additional, relevant information to consider. Cases are sometimes decided on grounds asserted by an amicus.
Clawson v. Heights Chiropractic Physicians
The Ohio Supreme Court issued a favorable decision December 2022 regarding an amicus brief the OOA joined last year. The court ruled that a malpractice suit could not go forward after a patient failed to serve an employee within the statute of limitations.
Amicus Brief, 6/4/2021
Ohio Supreme Court Decision, 11/23/2022
Everhart v. Coshocton County Memorial Hospital
It involves the statute of repose in a wrongful death case. Several court cases have held that the statute of repose applies and in Ruther v. Kaiser the Ohio Supreme Court said it “exists to give medical providers certainty with respect to the time within which a claim can be brought and a time after which they may be free from the fear of litigation.”
But the Tenth District Court of Appeals held otherwise saying Ohio’s four-year deadline for medical liability claims does not apply.
The friend of the court brief notes the medical-claim statute of repose contains no exceptions for wrongful-death claims within its purview and overriding the four-year limit puts providers in a position where they are exposed to indefinite liability.
Tenth Appellate District, 3/3/2022
Amicus Brief, 8/29/2022
Lyon v. Riverside Methodist Hospital
A Franklin County Court of Common Pleas judge found non-economic caps in medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional. That decision was appealed. In January 2024, the OOA joined with other associations to file an amicus brief in the 10th District Court of Appeals.
Amicus Brief, 1/26/2024
McCarthy v. Lee
Menorah Park Center for Senior Living v. Rolston
The case involves a “breach of confidence” claim for the unauthorized disclosure of medical information learned within the physician-patient relationship.
Menorah Park filed a collection action against Irene Rolston to recover an outstanding balance. Two billing statements, which contained protected health information, were attached to the complaint. Rolston responded with a class action counterclaim alleging Menorah Park improperly disclosed her protected health information to the court. This counterclaim was based on the independent tort recognized in Biddle v. Warren General Hospital “for the unauthorized, unprivileged disclosure to a third party of nonpublic medical information that a physician or hospital has learned within a physician-patient relationship.”
But Menorah Park said Biddle didn’t apply in this case because HIPAA permits disclosures of protected health information for the purpose of obtaining payment for medical bills. The amicus brief was filed on behalf of Menorah Park.
Amicus Brief, 11/18/2019
Stull v. Summa
This case centers on the scope of the peer review privilege, specifically whether this privilege applies to residency files that are generated to assess and review the competence of, professional conduct of, and quality of care provided by resident physicians. The outcome of this privilege issue will impact the practice of medicine, the post-graduate training of resident physicians, and the overall quality of health care services delivered to the general public in Ohio.
Amicus Brief, 3/13/2023
Amicus Brief, 7/31/2023
Wilson v. Durrani
The case dates to 2013 when a physician indicted on charges of performing unnecessary surgeries and billing the federal government and private insurers for those services fled the country to avoid prosecution. Attorneys for many of the former patients consolidated lawsuits—a plan which was blocked by the Supreme Court in 2016. Once the cases were severed and sent back to the original judges, the physician’s attorney asked for dismissal, since the cases were refiled after the four-year statute of repose.
The amicus brief asks the Ohio Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the case, reverse the decision of the First District Court of Appeals, and enforce the Repose Statute as enacted. The timeliness of medical malpractice claims in Ohio is governed by two statutes—the statute of repose and the statute of limitations. Both are products of a detailed framework enacted by the Ohio General Assembly to balance the rights of plaintiffs and health care providers. Ohio’s statute of repose essentially bars malpractice claims from being brought more than four years after the alleged occurrence, with some limited exceptions. The purpose of the repose statute is to give providers certainty about when a claim may be brought. Overriding the four-year limit puts providers in a position where they are exposed to indefinite liability.
Amicus Brief, 11/14/2019
Amicus Brief, 4/23/2020
Ohio Supreme Court, 12/23/2020