Practices - Litigation

Health Care Litigation

We share a tenacious determination to attain the best possible outcome on our health care clients’ behalf.

Our clients are passionate about providing high-quality health care, in emergency rooms, general hospitals, specialty hospitals, outpatient settings, long-term care facilities, and in patients’ own homes. Downs Rachlin Martin’s health care litigators provide them with advice to avoid litigation and assist them if litigation comes their way.

Our health care litigators combine sophisticated legal ingenuity with a thorough knowledge of the state and federal systems involved in health care to develop creative, practical, and cost-effective solutions to our health care clients’ legal challenges.

Legal ingenuity in support of your services.

Downs Rachlin attorneys represent institutions and practitioners in professional negligence and malpractice claims. Our health care litigators navigate the complex interplay between state and federal privacy laws (including HIPAA and Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, 42 C.F.R. part 2), when providers and their staff are subpoenaed. We assist clients in responding to governmental investigations and False Claims Act allegations.  We provide compliance advice and conduct internal compliance investigations.

We arbitrate wrongful discharge claims brought by unionized healthcare workers. We defend health care providers in employment litigation. We partner with Down Rachlin’s Labor and Employment lawyers to provide advice in employment discrimination, NLRB law, OSHA enforcement, workers’ compensation, executive compensation, and other labor and employment issues.  The firm’s annual Employment Law Seminar, open to Downs Rachlin clients and special guests, informs clients of new developments affecting the health care workplace.

We respond to investigations from the Board of Medical Practice, the Board of Nursing, and the Office of Professional Regulation. We work closely with Skilled Nursing Facilities to respond to Statements of Deficiencies in Annual and Complaint Surveys. We provide nuanced advice in responding to enforcement actions brought against long-term care providers.

Boots on the ground.

Downs Rachlin lawyers are thoroughly dialed in at the local level. Our lawyers have clerked for local courts, run community organizations, and participated in industry groups and local bar associations. Our experience provides inside knowledge of the northern New England legal scene.

Our litigators have appeared in both state and federal jurisdictions across the country. As the exclusive member firm in Vermont for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide – we are able to leverage our connections to advise clients of the risks related to the corporate practice of medicine in other states, as well as to provide advice in specialized health law fields. We coordinate with our corporate health care lawyers to provide nuanced risk management advice related to medical staff bylaws, provider credentialing, peer review activities, the Health Care Quality Improvement Act, policies and procedures.

Recent Accomplishments

When conflict leads towards litigation, Downs Rachlin Martin’s health care litigators step in, providing timely, practical advice to protect their clients’ interests. Some recent examples include:

  • Successfully resolved claims that a hospital violated HIPAA and committed privacy torts through the allegedly unauthorized use of protected health information.
  • Successfully resolved wrongful death allegations against a skilled nursing facility.
  • Successfully resolved negligence claims against an assisted living facility.
  • Successfully obtained client’s objectives in a Certificate of Need proceeding.
  • Successfully obtained involuntary guardianship for patient with severe cognitive limitations.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of unprofessional practice complaint against physician.

 

Tristram J. Coffin

Director

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Timothy C. Doherty, Jr.

Director

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Attorney Jennifer McDonald

Jennifer E. McDonald

Director

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Monica Allard

Associate

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William T. Clark

Associate

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Elizabeth R. Wohl

Of Counsel

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Heather L. Rylant

Paralegal

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Health Care Litigation

Jury Trials During the Pandemic: Unvaccinated Jurors May Be Excluded For Cause

Courts across the country are temporarily suspending jury trials amid the Omicron variant wave.
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The Future of Remote Litigation And Benefits Of In-Person Depositions And Proceedings For Attorneys And Clients

As we continued efficiency and flexibility of remote proceedings, but also from increasing in-person interactions that fuel better communication and results.
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Monica Allard joins DRM

Monica Allard has joined Downs Rachlin Martin. Monica has begun work in the firm's Litigation Group in Burlington, Vermont.
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Recovery of Medical Bills: “Face Amount” VS “Amount Paid”

Medical malpractice plaintiff may not recover more than the defendant was actually paid for treating plaintiff.
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