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Can Third Parties Sue Hospitals In The US?

Based on recent court rulings, third parties can now sue hospitals for any negligence that may have occurred because of their carelessness. The ruling was passed based on an incident that took place on March 4th, 2009, when a woman drove to the emergency room complaining of severe abdominal pain. She was prescribed “Dilaudid”, which was administered intravenously, along with Ativan, as she was allergic to morphine. She was shortly discharged from the emergency room as her condition became stable. Dilaudid is an extremely potent opiate painkiller, and Ativan is a muscle relaxer. As the woman drove back home, she was not informed by the hospital staff that her ability to drive will be impaired by the use of these powerful medications.

While driving, she crossed over a double yellow line, into oncoming traffic, striking a school bus driver. The driver suffered severe injuries as a result of the crash, including multiple skull fractures and permanent brain injury. He was confined to a wheelchair as a result of the injuries, and his wife soon divorced him due to his disability. The bus driver is now being taken care of by his family and he is collecting Social Security disability benefits and Workers’ Compensation for a living.

Being the plaintiff in the personal injury case, the driver soon filed a case against the hospital and the woman’s physician who failed to warn her of the fact that Dilaudid might impair her ability to drive. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that both the physician and the hospital were negligent in informing Ms. Walsh that she should not drive after taking these drugs.

The trial court granted a motion to dismiss filed by the medical providers, who argued that the claim Davis made against them lacked legal merit. The case was dismissed but the injured plaintiff appealed. The dismissal was upheld on the grounds that medical providers do not owe any duty of care to third parties. However, Davis took the case up to the highest court and appealed, where the court ruled that any third party injured by an impaired person can sue medical providers for their negligence. If drugs have been administered, the medical provider has a duty to inform the patient that their ability to drive could be impaired. The ruling was passed based on the fact that public safety has an overriding concern when compared to the existing duty of care.

Justice Eugene Fahey explained that the doctor in this case “took the affirmative step of administering the medication, without warning Walsh about the disorienting effect of those drugs created a peril affecting every motorist in Walsh’s vicinity.” Justice Fahey went on to explain that the doctor and hospital were the only ones in a position to warn Walsh.

The New York Court of Appeals passed the ruling, stating that these types of third party claims are admissible. However, the ruling was opposed by the American Medical Association, who argued that the ruling would open the floodgates and expose medical providers to a practically limitless number of lawsuits.

Author Bio:

This guest article is from California litigation lawyers at McFarlin LLP serveing Los Angeles & Orange County. Helping clients with matters of: foreclosure, mortgage litigation, bankruptcy, real estate and business litigation.

Pool Safety Strategies Meant to Keep Children Safe

With spring and summer just over the horizon, people are getting ready to enjoy some fun time by their pools. Attorney David Cantror, an experienced car accident lawyer and personal injury attorney in Phoenix shares some time for pool safety. With Arizona In the warmer months, swimming pools offer many hours of enjoyment for children and adults of all ages. It is still very important to implement strategies for pool safety so that everyone can enjoy swimming safely and avoid injury and trips to the hospital. You can start by purchasing rescue equipment. This can substantially help in lessening potential pool injuries if a water accident does happen. Then, keep the rescue equipment within easy reach and available in the area surrounding the pool.

Adults Should Supervise Children Around the Pool Area at All Times

It is important for you to sit down with your children and explain all about how to act safely both in and out of the water. If children will be coming to your home to swim, then it is equally important for you to discuss safe swimming pool behavior with all of them before allowing them to enter the pool area. If your children will be going to a pool at a friend’s or neighbor’s house, make certain to talk to them about safety before they leave. Make certain to speak with your friend or neighbor to make certain that there will be an adult present by the pool while the children are swimming at all times. Many people fail to think about the drain at the pool’s bottom. While often overlooked as a potential pool danger, many children have become entrapped by pool drains because of the drain’s suction pulling them down and holding them at the bottom of the pool and have suffered serious injury as a result. If a drain’s cover is broken or missing, it is very easy for people to become trapped beneath the water. A good way to prevent this problem from ever occurring is to make certain that you have your pool regularly and properly serviced and maintained.

Taking a Pool Safety Program Or Swimming Classes

In addition to good maintenance, you may want to enroll your children in a swimming class or pool safety program. Having your children receive professional swimming and pool safety instruction can be one of the most important ways that you can reduce the chance of a pool accident. Swimming lessons are available for children of all ages, including infants, and it is very smart to enroll them. Even if your child is enrolled in a swimming course, you should still remain alert and never leave either your children or any visiting children alone either near your pool or alone in it. This includes not even excusing yourself to go to the bathroom or answer the phone. In case an interruption occurs, it is smart to make sure that two adults are present so that the children will remain supervised even if one needs to excuse themselves for a minute or two. In addition to uninterrupted adult supervision when children are playing in a pool, it is also a good idea to become certified in CPR and First Aid. When a person is injured in a swimming accident, they have a much greater chance of recovering if a person is present who can administer CPR or First Aid to them until help arrives.

Install An Approved Fence That Completely Encloses Your Pool

Finally, it is of utmost importance that you install an approved fence that completely encloses your pool. This can help prevent area children from wandering in and falling into the pool and can help keep kids safe no matter the time of year.

If you or someone you know have been injured or your child has been injured in an accident involving a pool, contact Arizona personal injury lawyers Cantor Injury Lawyers, at (602) 254-2701 today for a free initial consultation.

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