Blog Archives

  • Client Alert – Missouri Expands Existing Mileage Limits of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

    The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration issued an emergency rule, which goes into effect Thursday, April 26. The emergency amendment expands existing mileage limits of advanced practice registered nurses to 75 miles from collaborating physicians. For more information on this amendment please call your Lashly & Baer attorney or Richard D. Watters at 314-621-2939.

  • Brostron Wins Top Defense Verdict for Third Year in a Row

    Kenneth C. Brostron and Mark R. Feldhaus have won Top Defense Verdict for 2017 by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. The award honors Missouri-licensed attorneys who scored the biggest civil victories in Missouri courts, based on Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s Verdicts & Settlements database. These awards honor both trial victories and settlements.

    Brostron and Feldhaus successfully defended three labor and delivery nurses in the care of a mother who gave birth to a son who suffered brain damage. The plaintiff asked for more than $20 million and the jury found for the defense 11 to 1. The complete announcement and ranking will appear in the February 5th issue of Missouri Lawyers Weekly.  

     

  • Risks on the Job Can Put Nurses in Jeopardy

    Nursing can be a thankless job. It’s often stressful, can be physically and mentally demanding, and requires a certain amount of fortitude when helping patients or family members in times of emotional and physical pain.

    I’m a nurse myself, although I no longer practice. I still hold my nursing license but work as an attorney in the area of medical malpractice and nursing licensure. Perhaps I’m biased, but nurses are among the most dedicated, hard-working groups of people I know. But nurses, like the rest of us, are human, and at some point will make errors on the job. They can be held liable, just like doctors and other health professionals, for negligence. A nurse’s license can be investigated if a patient or family has made a complaint about them or if they’ve been terminated from their job. The Missouri State Board of Nursing has the authority to impose discipline in the form of censure, probation, license suspension, or revoking the license.

    It’s important that nurses protect themselves from the repercussions of mistakes made on the job. One recommendation I can make to nurses who are facing disciplinary procedures by the state nursing board is to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An attorney can help the nurse through an investigation and/or negotiate an appropriate “punishment,” whereas a nurse on his or her own might end up with a disciplinary action that is overly harsh for the circumstances.

    It’s better to retain a lawyer at the beginning of an investigation than the end. Nurses should seek advice before making a statement or submitting a written response to the board. Nurses should try to develop a relationship with a qualified lawyer they could call in the event that a problem comes up. Scrambling at the last minute to find someone is not the best approach.

    I encourage nurses to find an attorney who is familiar with the nursing board and its standards. Ask for a meeting with that person so you can hear about their background and experience. If you’re comfortable with the attorney, you can keep his or her contact information for future reference.

    Hiring a lawyer to defend oneself in a disciplinary action can be an expensive proposition. Depending on their personal circumstances, nurses may consider obtaining insurance to cover legal costs. Whether or not they have insurance, nurses need to know that in the long run, consulting an attorney is a smart move that can help protect their nursing career.

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