Indiana high court allows medical malpractice claim

While patients across the nation expect to receive safe and proper care when entering a hospital or medical facility, this is unfortunately not always the case. Errors and negligence can occur, resulting in much harm to an unsuspecting patient.

The Indiana Supreme Court recently found in favor of a man alleging medical malpractice in the death of his wife. The man asserted that the doctor failed to adequately care for his wife, which resulted in her death. The man followed Indiana’s procedure under the Medical Malpractice Act to first make a claim that the doctor provided substandard care in the treatment of his wife reviewed by the Indiana Department of Insurance.

The Medical Review Panel provides the initial review of the claim to determine if the doctor breached their duty of care and if the doctor’s treatment fell below the standard of care. The man provided a narrative statement and medical records for the review and asserting that a delay in performing exploratory surgery after the woman was re-admitted to the hospital led to his wife’s death. The man then made his claim in court and provided a list of witnesses, including a hematologist, to establish that the doctor did not prescribed the correct dosage of an anti-coagulation drug.

The doctor that the claim was brought against sought to exclude the hematologist’s knowledgeable opinion because they had not been part of the case reviewed by the Medical Review Panel and alleged that the initial submission had not asserted medical malpractice related to the use of an anti-coagulation drug. Both the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court found that the husband of the victim had met the requirements to proceed to take his case to court. The appeals court noted that the victim bringing the claim may raise any theory of alleged malpractice in court if the proposed theories are encompassed in the claim reviewed by the Medical Review Panel which it believed in this case it was.

Medical malpractice claims in Indiana can be complex for victims who have suffered serious harm because of the negligence of a doctor. As a result, it is important for victims and their families to be familiar with how to navigate the process of making a medical malpractice claim so they can obtain compensation for the damages they have suffered.

Source: Legal News Line, “Ind. man’s malpractice case can proceed after Supreme Court ruling,” John Sammon, April 14, 2017

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