In order to examine the times when a hospital can be sued, an unhappy patient must first become familiar with the legal definition of negligence. A patient that has chosen to sue a hospital must prove that someone on the hospital’s staff was negligent.
How does negligence pertain to the quality of care in a hospital?
If a nurse, a medical technician or some other member of the hospital’s staff exhibits careless and neglectful behavior, the institution that cares for the hospitalized patients can be charged with negligence. What was the effect of that negligence? Did it cause a patient to become injured?
What was the effect of that injury? Did it cause the injured patient to suffer specific damages? If the institution’s negligence caused an injury, and if that injury caused a patient to suffer specific damages, then the same institution/hospital could get hit with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Times when hospitals remain free from the threat of a lawsuit
A patient cannot initiate such a lawsuit, if a doctor has been guilty of medical malpractice while working with hospitalized patients. Personal Injury Lawyer in Moncton knows that hospitals can only get sued if an incompetent doctor has been allowed to remain on a given institution’s staff. There is even a time when hospitals remain free from the threat of a lawsuit, even though a nurse or other employee has been guilty of negligence.
How is that possible? In an earlier paragraph, it was stated that a similar series of circumstances would be grounds for suing a hospital. That statement had referred to a situation in which the negligent employee did not act under a doctor’s supervision. If a doctor has supervised performance of a careless and neglectful act, then the affected patient cannot sue the institution in which that act was carried out.
So, suppose that someone got a bit careless in an operating room, and a surgical patient got an infected incision? Then suppose that the hospital’s policy failed to eliminate the threat of contamination in the ICU, where surgical patients recovered? All this could happen in the presence of, if not under the watchful eye of one or more physicians.
As a result, it would appear that the affected patient lacked grounds for initiating a lawsuit. Yet the infection did not stay at that one spot, but spread throughout the patient’s implanted shunt. In other words, it caused development of specific damages.Yet all that took place over time, and so the damages showed up well after the statute of limitations had ended. Like all businesses and institutions, hospitals cannot be sued if a statute of limitations has ended. In other words, it is not easy to sue a hospital.