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The most frequent questions case managers ask relate to potential liability and being sued. The incidence of case managers as direct defendants in professional liability (malpractice) lawsuits occurs far less than one would imagine. That is not to say that case managers do not find themselves in depositions or in courtrooms giving testimony. More often, such testimony is as a fact or expert witness. I have testified several times as a case manager fact witness, explaining the course of treatment and case management interventions that led to a successful outcome or in rare cases, how even case management intervention failed to bring the injured worker to the desired outcome. Rosalind Herschthal, RN, ESQ, is an experienced trial attorney in both Florida and New Jersey. She has a distinctive style; soft on the exterior, yet keenly sharp and effective. For most of her career, Roz was a Plaintiff's attorney, championing the cause of the smallest of victims. Roz's specialty is wrongful life and death cases for infants and children.
In recent years, she has joined the defense in professional liability cases and now defends hospital, practitioners, and subacute facilities. After a trial that lasted nearly a month, Roz was kind enough to share her recent experiences in hopes of giving greater insight to case managers who find themselves on the witness stand. For more complete information on the law controlling expert witnesses and interesting case examples, please refer to the article, "The Case Manager as Expert Witness" also in this issue.
Sometimes bad news is very valuable news; know when to reject a case.
Your assessment should reap the same results whether working for the Plaintiff or Defendant.
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