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Opiods in the Workplace Who is Responsible for Wat? In Re Wat’s Pig • Smithfield Market, 1742 • It appearing that a large boar, having been brought to the market, and a large crowd of persons having gathered there, as was to be expected, and the boar, being unrestrained and uruly, and getting free and running in to the common areas and having damaged greatly the wares and stalls by string the same wit h great force and energy • And it appearing to the learned Court that one Wat was the owner of said boar, and the evidence being that the said a boar had great repute throughout the neighboring villages as a Bad Pig, and therefore, that Wat SHOUD HAVE RESTARINED THE PIG knowing it might damage some stall or wares (or someone’s kid…), therefore The QUESTION IS • Who is responsible for Wat? Parameters of Problem • 1. Neither a criminal nor regulatory violation • 2. Doctor patient relationship • 3. Presumed to be a prescription that was both therapeutically appropriate and a dosage that was reasonable from the doctor’s point of view City of Lakeland v Burton • Origin: On job injury • Doctor Private doctor • Claim Patient died from drug overdose related to treatment for on the job injury • Legal problem workers compensation benefits • Result If the Rx was related to work, it is part of the injury • Responsibility Employer • Who Pays Employer Simpson v Iowa Health Sys • Origin: Off the job motor vehicle accident • Doctor co-worker of claimant • Claim Rx caused disability from work (addiction to pain killer) • Legal problem ADA claim • Result Rx addiction caused by co-worker doctor is within ADA • Responsibility Doctor • Who Pays Employer Kaiser v Suburban Transport • Origin: Bus Wreck • Doctor Bus driver’s private doctor • Claim Passenger vs doctor for Rx induced impairment causing wreck • Legal problem 3d party vs doctor (Wat? He’s not my pig …) • Result Passenger wins • Responsibility Doctor • Who Pays Employer of bus driver … and doctor Lard v Naidu • Origin: Widow of wreck victim • Doctor Psychiatrist of driver • Claim error in overdose and error in discharging from mental hospital • Legal problem 3d party vs doctor • Result You guessed it • Responsibility Doctor • Who Pays Doctor Wilschinsky v Medina • Origin: Motor vehicle accident • Doctor private • Claim other driver claims drug overdose administered by doctor to other driver in the office an hour before the wreck • Legal problem no violation of Rx regimen, no connection between victim and doctor • Result doctor owes duty to strangers • Responsibility Doctor • Who Pays Doctor Ross v Schubert • Origin: on job injury • Doctor company doctor • Claim Rx caused injury • Legal problem turns on whether doctor was doing as employer directed or acting independently • (He may be my pig, but you gave him to me …) • Responsibility Turns on whether … • Who Pays Turns on whether … Hawksby v De Pietro • Origin: on job injury • Doctor company doctor • Claim Rx caused injury at work • Legal problem medical malpractice • Result If doctor was merely a negligent co- worker… • (Yes, it was my fault: therefore, I am not responsible…) • Responsibility Employer • Who Pays Employer Wat does all this mean? • Legal responsibility for the consequences of damage associated with opioids in the workplace change dramatically depending on • 1. Why drugs were prescribed? • 2. Who was hurt? • 3. What is the legal claim? Workers compensation, ADA, 3d party, or medical liability? • 4. Was it foreseeable? • 5. Who is the doctor working for? • I hope you didn’t find this all a boar.
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