PATIENT DUMPING: Supreme Court Makes Suits Easier
The Supreme Court yesterday "made it easier to sue hospitals for 'dumping' patients" by "unanimously reviving a Kentucky woman's lawsuit," the AP/Owensboro Messenger- Inquirer reports. Wanda Johnson sued Humana Hospital- University of Louisville for $10 million in damages, charging that the hospital violated federal law by discharging her before stabilizing her health. In a unanimous, unsigned decision, the justices overturned decisions from a federal trial judge and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled that the woman had to prove "improper motive" on the hospital's part before she could collect damages. The Supreme Court noted that the 1986 federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act "contains no express or implied 'improper motive' requirement." The case, Roberts vs. Galen, will return to the lower courts (Carelli, 1/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.