Typically, people suffering from critical medical issues will visit an emergency department of a hospital. Medical professionals working in emergency departments triage patients according to the severity of their complaints, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for a patient to have to wait for an extended period of time prior to receiving treatment. Delays in treatment, absent some degree of harm, do not typically constitute medical negligence, as was discussed in a recent ruling in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against a hospital due to a lack of damages. If you suffered harm because of inadequate care in an emergency room, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer about your rights.
The Plaintiff’s Care
Allegedly, the plaintiff visited the emergency department of the defendant hospital with complaints of dizziness and a rapid heartbeat and breathing. He was checked in, and shortly thereafter, a nurse took his vital signs. He was then assessed by a doctor and underwent a series of diagnostic exams. After an extended wait, a second doctor advised the plaintiff he was being discharged. He was sent home without a diagnosis half an hour later. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the defendant committed medical negligence by failing to properly treat the plaintiff. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, which the court ultimately granted.
Demonstrating Medical Negligence
Upon review, the court found that the plaintiff’s medical negligence claim was insubstantial, in that the plaintiff failed to allege the facts necessary to recover under the applicable laws. Specifically, the court noted that in order to establish the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, the defendant’s behavior constituted a breach of the duty owed and that damages to the plaintiff’s interests were proximately caused by the defendant’s breach. The court elaborated that proving the defendant’s negligence would require the plaintiff to establish the standard of care by showing what a reasonably prudent physician practicing in the same specialty as the defendant would have done in the same or similar circumstances. Continue Reading