Maraleen D. Shields

Maraleen D. Shields

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Healthcare • Litigation & Trial Practice

Maraleen D. Shields
Jun. 6, 2017

Dragonetti Act Claims Against Attorneys Withstand Constitutional Challenge…For Now

A 5-2 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision (Villani v. Seibert) overturned a ruling from Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Edward Griffith granting preliminary objections to a Dragonetti Act complaint on the basis that the claim violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. Judge Saylor wrote for the majority with Justices Baer, Todd, Dougherty, Mundy joining. The underlying […]

Maraleen D. Shields
May. 25, 2017

United States Supreme Court Upholds Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement

Nursing home arbitration agreements remain the subject of scrutiny here in Pennsylvania and beyond. A recent challenge to a Kentucky arbitration agreement recently made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States (Kindred Nursing Centers, L.P. v. Clark). The underlying case involves two families, two different power of attorney agreements, and two identical nursing […]

Maraleen D. Shields
Oct. 7, 2016

Increased Nursing Home Scrutiny on the Horizon

Consult experienced healthcare counsel to help navigate your nursing care facility through the licensure and survey process and prevent and manage risk.

Maraleen D. Shields
Sep. 28, 2016

So You Want to Prescribe Medical Marijuana? What Every Physician Needs to Know

Because there is much to be learned about the impact of the Pennsylvania medical marijuana law, physicians must tread carefully.

Maraleen D. Shields
Jun. 8, 2016

Fetal Pain and Suffering: The New Frontier of Medical Malpractice Damages

The news should be heartening: medical malpractice verdicts have hit a 15-year low[1]. In 2015, 101 medical malpractice cases were tried to jury verdict. By contrast, an average of 326 cases went to jury verdict from January 2000 to July 2003. In 2015, new medical malpractice case filings dropped 44 percent from the 2000 to […]

Maraleen D. Shields
Feb. 2, 2016

Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Should Be Used Cautiously

For nursing homes, it may seem prudent and efficient to have residents and/or their family sign arbitration agreements to help avoid costly lawsuits later. However, as seen in a recent Berks County case, arbitration agreements should be approached with extreme caution. Judge Jeffrey Sprecher of Berks County Court of Common Pleas overruled preliminary objections seeking […]

Maraleen D. Shields
Jan. 21, 2016

Protecting Process Not Facts: Where Peer Review and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Intersect

In a closely watched medical malpractice action, the Michigan courts are continuing to grapple with the boundaries of peer review protection. Peer review generally refers to process by which health care professionals engage in critical analysis to improve patient care. In an effort to encourage robust dialogue and analysis, many states have developed immunity statutes […]

Maraleen D. Shields
Aug. 11, 2014

Aftershock: New Expert Considerations Post-Cooper v. Schoffstall

Expert testimony is a necessity in personal injury and professional liability claims. The standard for whether an individual may testify at trial as an expert is generally set forth in the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence 702. Some individuals advertise or otherwise hold themselves out as an expert for hire. Individuals with a unique knowledge set […]

Maraleen D. Shields
May. 2, 2014

Medical-Legal Strategies for Dealing with Challenging Patients

You’ve made it! You have achieved the esteemed status of becoming a licensed physician. You made it through college, medical school, internship, residency, and perhaps even a fellowship. You joined or opened your own practice. Of course, the challenges do not end once you become a licensed physician. You will need to stay abreast of […]

Maraleen D. Shields
Mar. 13, 2014

When Should a Physician Hire Personal Counsel in a Medical Malpractice Matter?

Pennsylvania law requires physicians to maintain at least $500,000 in primary professional liability insurance coverage. The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Fund then adds an additional $500,000 in excess coverage. When a medical malpractice claim arises, the primary insurance carrier will likely assign an attorney to the physician. It is rare that […]