Age liability risks

Assignment 1 Grobsteins:
Avery and Alma Grobstein wanted a child for years, but Avery proved infertile. Artificial insemination of Alma also proved unsuccessful because her uterus is unable to maintain a fertilized ovum. A year ago they consulted Dr. Lopez, a specialist in the treatment of infertility. He suggested in vitro insemination of Alma’s ovum, which could be implanted in the womb of a surrogate mother. The Grobsteins agreed, and Dr. Lopez arranged to have fertile sperm delivered from Nobel Labs Incorporated for impregnation of one of Alma’s ova, which he had surgically removed from her. He then implanted fertilized ovum in the uterus of Ms. Alice Wonderful, a healthy 25 year old single woman who was provided to Dr. Lopez be Motherhood Incorporated, a surrogate mother brokering firm. The Grobsteins agreed to the selection of Ms. Wonderful, whom they never met, and they agreed to pay Dr. Lopez his fee of $50,000, and Motherhood, Inc. their fee of $150,000, which included all legal and medical expenses of carrying the child to term. The Grobsteins agreed to adopt the child at birth, and Motherhood, Inc. agreed to hold the $150,000 in escrow until the adoption was complete.
One month ago the child, Alfred, was born with some serious problems. He is likely to be mildly developmentally disabled as a consequence of an automobile accident that Ms. Wonderful suffered during the eighth month of pregnancy, in which Alfred’s skull was partially crushed in utero. The automobile accident was the result of Ms. Wonderful’s negligence in going through a red light. In addition, the child is likely to develop mottled, discolored teeth as a consequence of the administration to Ms. Wonderful of tetracycline in the emergency room after the accident. Discolored teeth is a well known consequence of the use of that antibiotic in pregnant women. Finally, the infant suffers from Von Willebrand disease, which is similar to hemophilia, apparently the result of a genetic defect in the biological father. The defect could have been discovered before impregnation, but only through an analysis of the father. That analysis was not undertaken because the sperm, according to Nobel Inc., came from a very healthy, very smart man.
The Grobsteins have refused to adopt Alfred, and they have demanded a refund of the $150,000 from Motherhood, Inc.’s escrow agent. Motherhood, Inc. demands the $150,000. Ms. Wonderful is willing to keep Alfred as long as the Grobsteins pay support, which they refuse to do. Ms. Wonderful is threatening a maternity action against Alma and a contract action against Avery.
Who has rights against whom? Please include the causes of action and your analysis of the chances for success in each action.
Assignment 2 Dr. Dumpo
Sam had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and his doctor, Dr. Dumpo, recommended treatment with the Intermittent Positive Pressure Breathing ventilator (IPPB). Sam had severe side effects from the treatment and died. Dr. Dumpo used the IPPB ventilator properly, but an alternative device, the nebulizer, is cheaper and safer that IPPB for all IPPB used. Despite this, IPPB is still reimbursed by most third party payers and continues to be used by some physicians in the hospital setting for obstructive pulmonary disease.
Your research uncovers the following information about IPPB. Intermittent Positive Pressure Breathing is a technology that diffuses into use in spite of evidence that it did not work. Research studies have confirmed that it is no better than the cheaper and less dangerous nebulizer. While its use has declined, it has not disappeared and reimbursement is still available for its use from Medicare and private insurers. Doctors continue to use such technology in the face of clear evidence and authoritative declarations that it is both ineffective and dangerous. The reasons may include habit; clinical impressions that it gives patients short-term relief; and financial benefits to physicians. The medical director of the respiratory therapy department, the primary source of service orders, often receives a cut of the department’s income. As long as third party payors still pay for IPPB, cash will flow for its use.
Sam’s family knows that you are taking a legal course at TWU and has asked your advice on the merits of a lawsuit against Dr. Dumpo. What are their options? What defenses will Dr. Dumpo raise if suit is filed? Please provide the family with a memo detailing the above as well as your assessment of their chances of success.

Assignment 3: Dr. Age
You are the administrator of Hapless Hospital. Dr. Will Age, a physician specializing in gerontology, is a member of the medical staff at Hapless. Dr. Age regularly examines and treats elderly patients and has come to you for advice. One of his patients, Harry Glint, 86 years old, has a mild neurological disorder that causes blurred or double vision at times. Harry complains that his double vision is worse when he drives at night, when, he says, “the middle line becomes double and I have trouble staying on my side of the road.” The problem is not treatable and it will worsen over time (although changes in prescription of eyeglasses may reduce the problem at times).
Dr. Age has strongly admonished Mr. Glint never to drive at night, and to stop driving during the day as soon as possible. Mr. Glint is adamant about the importance of his driving, which he says not only keeps him young and active, but also allows him to continue to live alone and care for himself.
Dr. Age is worried about potential liability if Mr. Glint has a car accident which injures others. He knows that aside from your management expertise, that you are taking a legal course at TWU.
What are Dr. Age’s liability risks, and what steps, if any, can he take to minimize them?

Sample Solution

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