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Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

More on Gag Orders: US Gymnast Files Suit Over NDA

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Last week, Sorry Works! released our report on confidentiality clauses or NDAs in med-mal settlements.  "Don't Gag Me," offered a 360 degree look at NDAs and how healthcare, insurance, and legal professionals can think anew, especially with disclosure taking root.  We intend to keep this drum beat going.  We intend to keep people thinking and talking about this important issue.

This morning, I opened my morning paper (yes, I still read an actual newspaper) to learn that gymnast McKayla Maroney, an Olympic Gold Medalist, has filed suit to invalidate non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses in a settlement Maroney reached with USA Gymnastics. Maroney suffered sexual abuse for years at the hands of US Team doctor Larry Nassar. Dr. Nassar recently pled guilty to child pornography charges and is serving a 60 year prison sentence. 

Maroney is now claiming in her lawsuit filed yesterday that she was "forced to enter" into a gag order with US Gymnastics "after suffering for years from psychological trauma of her sexual abuse at the hands of Nassar, and in need of funds to pay for psychological treatment for her worsening psychological condition."  Violation of either the NDA or non-disparagement provisions by Maroney carried a $100K fine.

Maroney alleges that US Gymnastics prioritized secrecy over safety, and she and other gymnastics were irreparably harmed by the years-long cover up. 

The next time your hospital, nursing home, insurance, or client is close to settling a case, ask yourself how do you want that process to look and feel?  Put yourself in the shoes of the patient or family as you slide the offer across the table...how will the construct of the offer make them feel?  Take your money and shut up, or we want to meet your legitimate needs and work with you and your family to make sure this never happens again?   Will the offer say secrecy or safety is your priority?  Our gag order report offers some powerful examples along with concrete ideas to avoid NDAs in most instances and make everyone, clinicians included, feel good about a settlement. 

Last week, Sorry Works! released our report on confidentiality clauses or NDAs in med-mal settlements.  "Don't Gag Me," offered a 360 degree look at NDAs and how healthcare, insurance, and legal professionals can think anew, especially with disclosure taking root.  We intend to keep this drum beat going.  We intend to keep people thinking and talking about this important issue.

This morning, I opened my morning paper (yes, I still read an actual newspaper) to learn that gymnast McKayla Maroney, an Olympic Gold Medalist, has filed suit to invalidate non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses in a settlement Maroney reached with USA Gymnastics. Maroney suffered sexual abuse for years at the hands of US Team doctor Larry Nassar. Dr. Nassar recently pled guilty to child pornography charges and is serving a 60 year prison sentence. 

Maroney is now claiming in her lawsuit filed yesterday that she was "forced to enter" into a gag order with US Gymnastics "after suffering for years from psychological trauma of her sexual abuse at the hands of Nassar, and in need of funds to pay for psychological treatment for her worsening psychological condition."  Violation of either the NDA or non-disparagement provisions by Maroney carried a $100K fine.

Maroney alleges that US Gymnastics prioritized secrecy over safety, and she and other gymnastics were irreparably harmed by the years-long cover up. 

The next time your hospital, nursing home, insurance, or client is close to settling a case, ask yourself how do you want that process to look and feel?  Put yourself in the shoes of the patient or family as you slide the offer across the table...how will the construct of the offer make them feel?  Take your money and shut up, or we want to meet your legitimate needs and work with you and your family to make sure this never happens again?   Will the offer say secrecy or safety is your priority?  Our gag order report offers some powerful examples along with concrete ideas to avoid NDAs in most instances and make everyone, clinicians included, feel good about a settlement. 

Doug Wojcieszak