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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Peer Reviewers: Careful What You Say

A peer review is undertaken by a physician's peers.  So who reviews the peers?  Answer: A jury.

After Dallas's Presbyterian Hospital suspended a physician's privileges after  a negative peer review, he sued, alleging (among other things) breach of contract, and claiming that the physicians who reviewed him were in fact competitors.  A jury agreed in 2004, socking the physician who led the review with $142 million in damages and nailing two others who participated with $32 million in damages each.  It added another $161 million from the hospital for good measure.

The hospital and the physicians appealed, and a judge has now cut the amount to $22.8 million, with a mere $12.8 million coming from the lead physician.

As your mother told you, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

[Frank Snyder]

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