February 19, 2021

Iowa Supreme Court Weighs Libel Case Involving Board Complaint

Iowa supreme court

Iowa Supreme Court Weighs Libel Case Involving Board Complaint

The Iowa Supreme Court has taken up a case that could determine whether hospitals and individuals can be sued for libel for telling licensing officials about suspected physician misconduct. The case involves Mark Andrew, a physician fired in part for overprescribing opiates, according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch. The hospital separately filed a complaint with the Iowa Board of Medicine, for which Andrew has filed a libel suit. The hospital contends that such complaints are constitutionally protected opinions. A district court judge determined in 2019 that the case should be heard by a jury, a decision the hospital has appealed. The Iowa Supreme Court has yet to schedule oral arguments.

Ind. Lawmakers May Ease Weapons-Carry Rules

An Indiana legislative committee has approved a bill that would eliminate licensure requirements for people who’d like to carry weapons in public, either openly or concealed. According to The Northwest Indiana Times The bill would allow people 18 or over to carry weapons unless they belong to prohibited groups, including convicted felons, fugitives and those suffering from some mental illnesses. Opponents of the bill, which still must clear the Legislature, point to the fact that Indiana doesn’t yet have a database capable of screening out people not eligible to carry weapons.

Mo. Lawmaker with Unusual License Charged with Fraud

A Missouri lawmaker licensed to practice medicine without completing a medical residency was indicted Feb. 1 for selling a fraudulent treatment to patients at her clinic. Patricia Derges graduated from the Caribbean Medical University in Curacao in 2014, according to the Kansas City Star, but did not secure a spot in a residency program – required to become a licensed doctor. In 2017, she became licensed as an assistant physician, an unusual designation that allows medical school graduates to treat patients without completing a residency. Only a handful of states have adopted this form of licensure. Derges subsequently ran for public office. And weeks after being joining the Missouri House, the Republican was indicted in federal court for pocketing nearly $200,000 from patients for a supposed stem cell treatment that was, in fact, merely amniotic fluid.

Court Upholds Missouri Liquor Licensure Laws

A federal appellate panel has rejected a Florida wine distributor’s challenge to a Missouri law tying liquor licensure to state residency. According to the Courthouse News Service, Florida-based Sarasota Wine Market objected to a Missouri law requiring those holding liquor licenses to be qualified voters and taxpaying citizens of the state. The distributor argued that the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause by protecting in-state businesses to the detriment of others. But the three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit ruled Feb. 16 that it does not.

Utah Lawmakers Ease Hair Stylist Requirements

Utah’s Legislature has approved a bill that would create licensing exemptions for stylists who dry, arrange and shampoo hair. According to the Daily Herald, the bill would not apply to cosmetologists who cut hair. Exempted stylists, meanwhile, would have to obtain a hair safety permit by taking a two-hour class. Supporters of the bill argue that Utah’s licensing requirements are overly burdensome for people who dry and wash hair.

Boston Barber Seriously Injured by Fall on Scissors

A Boston area barber was seriously injured Feb. 12 when he fell on a pair of scissors he was holding and stabbed himself in the chest. According to boston25news.com, Boston Barber Co. owner Rob Dello Russo required heart surgery following the accident, but is expected to cover.


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