Association of Practice Setting and Scholarly Activity With Medicolegal Claims in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Kasra Ziai, Shivam Patel, Megan Crenshaw, Robert Saadi, David Goldenberg, Jessyka G. Lighthall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To characterize the association between scholarly activity, academic rank, practice setting, and malpractice claims among otolaryngologists over the past decade. Methods: Data was extracted from the two legal databases, WestLaw and LexisNexis. The records were obtained from January 2010 to January 2020. Scopus and PubMed databases were used to identify bibliometric data. Results: Of the 102 malpractice cases identified, 77.5% (N = 79) were ruled in favor of the defendant, 13.7% (N = 14) in favor of the plaintiff, and 8.8% (N = 9) were settled outside of the court. A total amount of $46,533,346.82 was rewarded to plaintiffs in 14 cases. Endoscopic sinus surgery was the procedure associated with the most malpractice claims (N = 16). Alleged improper performance (N = 51) was the most common underlying reason for litigation. Of the 102 defendant surgeons, 82 (80.4%) were in community/private settings. Among the 14 cases in that a surgeon was found at fault, 13 (92.8%) were in the community/private setting. Among the surgeons with at least one publication, the mean Hirsch Index (h-index) was 8.2. There was a statistically significant correlation between the mean h-index and litigation outcome (95% CI: −8.9 to −0.9, P =.017). Conclusion: Our analysis showed that most malpractice litigations were among otolaryngologists practicing in community/private settings. We also found that higher scholarly activity measured by the h-index was associated with verdicts in favor of the defendant/surgeon. This study was limited by not all-inclusive aspects of the legal databases that were used, the small sample size, and the lack of multivariable analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of Practice Setting and Scholarly Activity With Medicolegal Claims in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this