Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 147–156

Medicolegal issues in cluster headache

  • Elizabeth Loder
  • John Loder


This paper identifies legal issues of relevance to the diagnosis and treatment of cluster headache, including areas of actual and potential malpractice liability. Legal topics that are relevant to cluster headache can be divided into five categories: diagnostic-related issues, risks inherent in the disease process, prescribing and treatment-related problems, research-related issues, and disability determination.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References and Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Dodick DW, Campbell JK: Cluster headache: diagnosis, management and treatment. In Wolff’s Headache and Other Head Pain, edn 7. Edited by Silberstein SD, Lipton RB, Dalessio DJ. New York: Oxford University Press; 2001:283–309.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Clodfelter v Industrial Comm’n of Colorado, 160 Colo # 39 413 P.2d 700 LEXIS 585 (1966 CO).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Minnesota v Folkert, 354 N.W. 2d 583; LEXIS 3568 (App. 1984 MN).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Williams v City of Seattle, 607 F. Supp. 714 LEXIS 20195 (U.S. Dist 1985).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Delaware v Steedley, Super LEXIS 19 (1995 Del).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bernaiche v Bernaiche, Conn LEXIS 1987 (Super 1999).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hardy v Apfel, LEXIS 8728 (US Dist 1999).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Smith v Massanari, LEXIS 5057 9 Soc Sec Rep Service 275 (US Dist 2002).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Liscano v Barnhart, 230 F Supp 2d 871, LEXIS 21832 85 Soc Sec. Rep Service 102 (US Dist 2002).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ohio v Hedgecoth, 2003 Ohio 3385, LEXIS 3078 (Ohio App 2003).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wood v Green, 323 F.3d 1309 LEXIS 4470; 16 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 413;14 Am Disabilities Cas (BNA) 100;10 Accom Disabilities Dec (CCH) 10-248 (US App 2003).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cohen MH, Eisenberg DM: Potential physician malpractice liability associated with complementary and integrative medical therapies. Ann Intern Med 2002, 136:596–603.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    van Vliet JA, Eekers PJE, Haan J, Ferrari MD: Features involved in the diagnostic delay of cluster headache. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2003, 74:1123–1125. This paper documents what many headache experts know from experience: that CH is frequently misdiagnosed and ineffectively treated.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Blau JN: Behaviour during a cluster headache. Lancet 1993, 342:723–725.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Geweke LO: Misdiagnosis of cluster headache. Curr Pain Headache Rep 2002, 6:76–82.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tepper SJ, Rapoport AM, Sheftell FD: Ethical considerations in cluster headache research. Curr Pain Headache Rep 2002, 6:47–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Capen K: Findings of negligence followed communication lapses in BC aneurysm case. Can Med Assoc J 1997, 156:49–41.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mathew NT: Cluster headache: clinical features and pathophysiology. Semin Headache Manage 1996, 1:1–4.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kudrow L: Cluster Headache: Mechanisms and Management. London: Oxford University Press; 1980.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mani S, Deeter J: Arteriovenous malformation of the brain presenting as a cluster headache: a case report. Headache 1982, 22:184–185.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21. Accessed December 11, 2003.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Decision-Making: Theory and Practice. Industrial Disease Standards Panel I.D.S.P. Occasional Paper: Toronto, Ontario; December 1994. DEC1994.HTM. Accessed December 11, 2003.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Furrow BR. Greaney TL, Johnson SH, et al.: Health Law: Cases, Materials, and Problems. St. Paul, MN: West Pub; 1995.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    International Headache Society Classification Committee: The International Classification of Headache Disorders, edn 2. Cephalalgia 2004, 24:1-231.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kudrow L: Natural history of cluster headache — part 1: outcome of drop-out patients. Headache 1982, 22:203–206.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Silberstein SD, Lipton RB, Goadsby P: Headache in Clinical Practice. Oxford: Isis Medical Media Ltd; 2002.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Evers S, Bauer B, Suhr B, et al.: Cognitive processing is involved in cluster headache, but not in chronic paroxysmal hemicrania. Neurology 1999, 53:357–363.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kagaya M, Kono S, Kaneda A, et al.: Localized lymphomatoid papulosis. Dermatology 2002, 204:72–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Falliers CJ. Letter to the editor. Arch Intern Med 2003, 163:1112–1113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rothschild JM, Federico FA, Gandhi TK, et al.: Analysis of medication-related malpractice claims [Comment]. Arch Intern Med 2002;162:2414–2420.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    McKee MD, Waddel JP, Kudo PA, et al.: Osteonecrosis of the femoral head in men following short-course corticosteroid therapy: a report of 15 cases. CMAJ 2001, 164:205–206.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Graham JR, Suby HI, LeCompte PR, Sadowsky NI: Inflammatory fibrosis associated with methysergide therapy. Res Clin Stud Headache 1967, 1:123–164.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ekbom K: Lithium for cluster headache: review of the literature and preliminary results of long-term treatment. Headache 1981, 21:132–139.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Loder E, Biondi D: Off-label prescribing of drugs in specialty headache practice. Headache 2004, in press.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Silberstein SD, for the US Headache Consortium: Practice parameter: evidence-based guidelines for migraine headache (an evidence-based review): report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology 2000, 55:754–763.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Mariner WK: Liability for managed care decisions: the employee retirement income security act (ERISA) and the uneven playing field. Am J Public Health 1996, 86:863–869.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Taler G: Clinical practice guidelines: their purposes and uses. J Am Geriatr Soc 1996, 44:1108–1111.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Mello MM, Studdert DM, Brennan TA: The rise of litigation in human subjects research. Ann Intern Med 2003, 139:40–45. An important article that highlights the increasing legal risks associated with clinical trials participation.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki, Adopted by the 18th WMA General Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, June 1964. 2002. Amended version accessed August 27, 2003.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    International Headache Society Clinical Trials Subcommittee: Guidelines for Controlled Trials of Drugs in Migraine, edn 2. Cephalalgia 2000, 20:765-786.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Miller FG, Shorr AF: Unnecessary use of placebo controls: the case of asthma clinical trials. Arch Intern Med 2002, 162:1673–1677.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Brennan TA, Sox CM, Burstin HR: Relation between negligent adverse events and the outcomes of medical-malpractice litigation. N Engl J Med 1996, 335:1963–1967.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Localio AR, Lawthers AG, Brennan TA, et al.: Relation between malpractice claims and adverse events due to negligence: results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study III. N Engl J Med 1991, 325:245–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Loder
    • 1
  • John Loder
    • 2
  1. 1.Headache and Pain Management ProgramsThe Spaulding Rehabilitation HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.2 Ropes & Gray LLPOne International PlaceBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations