A hospital is responsible for incompetence by any of its employees, such as nurses and staff, but not doctors.
For what losses could a patient be compensated?
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Loss of future earnings
• Medical bills: Does not apply to payment for treatment to an injury that was present before the negligent act.
• Future medical expenses
Functions of those employees that could give patient a reason to sue the hospital
• Those technicians working in the radiology department
• Those technicians working in any of the hospital’s laboratories
• Members of staff that transfer patients to new room, or to site of test or operation
• Those that conduct tests, such as an EEG or an EKG; those that analyze the test results
• Those that prepare the food for the patients
• Those that deliver the food to the patients’ rooms
• Those that clean various parts of hospital
• Those that drive the ambulance
• Those that receive the shipments of requested equipment
• Those that repair equipment
Exceptions to rule that an employee of the hospital could act in negligent fashion, and cause that institution to be sued for malpractice
That rule would not apply to an employee that had been acting under a doctor’s supervision.
Features existing at time of doctor’s supervision
–Doctor present in room where employee has been asked to carry out specific action
–Doctor had control over the treatment approach being used by the employee
Exceptions to rule that a doctor’s negligence cannot become grounds for suing a hospital
• The hospital has set the hours for the negligent doctor.
• The hospital has set the fee schedule for the incompetent doctor.
Another situation that could allow a hospital to be sued for malpractice
If a patient were able to prove that a hospital had agreed to keep an incompetent physician on its staff, then the same patient would have grounds for suing the hospital. The patient would need to present his or her case to the proper department in the State government.
How could a patient know that there was an incompetent physician on a hospital’s staff?
The attitude of the nurses towards that same physician should offer some clue.
Nature of action taken by any threat to contact the state department that had oversight of hospitals: For instance, if a family member’s threat accompanied a request for a loved one’s discharge, and the discharge took place on the same day, which happened to be a Sunday.
If a given physician were on the staff of just a single hospital, in an area where there were many, then that could suggest that one institution had chosen to keep an incompetent physician on its staff.
That is why it is best to contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in St John’s and know the merits of your case holds, if you file a lawsuit.