The Spokane County Superior Court recently rejected several health care providers’ attempt to characterize their involvement in misdiagnosing a patient with cancer by claiming that the second opinions they provided to the patient’s treating health care provider were part of an internal quality review. The claims against the health care providers were originally dismissed on summary judgment. On reconsideration, the Court concluded that summary judgment was granted in error. While health care providers are immune from liability for their quality review activities, when they are serving a dual purpose of providing a second opinion to the treating health care provider, they are not immune because they are participating in the process of diagnosis, even if the second opinion is also used as part of the quality review. Ahrend Law Firm filed the motion for reconsideration arguing that conferring immunity on the health care providers under these circumstances would violate the Washington State Constitutional prohibition against special privileges and immunities, Article 1, Section 12.
George Ahrend practices law in Moses Lake, and previously served as the lawyer for the largest trial lawyers association in Washington, representing its interests before the Supreme Court in insurance, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability and similar matters.