Doctor Wins Defamation Suit Alleging Improper Peer Review Process

Responding to allegations of physician misbehavior is a challenge. A recent court case holds lessons for what can go wrong when a hospital does not follow best practices or even its own internal policies.

An Indiana jury awarded an OB/GYN $4.75 million in damages from a hospital and medical group in January 2020, responding to claims they treated the physician unfairly after a nurse practitioner accused the physician of smelling of alcohol while on duty.

During a four-day trial, the physician’s attorneys argued the nurse practitioner’s claim was unproven and the hospital failed to conduct an adequate peer review investigation. The doctor suffered lost compensation, damage to her professional reputation, other expenses, and emotional distress, she claimed.

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