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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Medical Malpractice > Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After You Suffer a Preventable Allergic Reaction

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After You Suffer a Preventable Allergic Reaction


If you have suffered a serious illness, your experience has probably caused you to learn a considerable amount about the subspecialty of medicine related to your diagnosis than you ever knew.  For example, you might have learned a lot more about the immune system or the function of the pancreas than you ever found out in science classes in school.  It makes sense, then, that the judge or jury in a medical malpractice lawsuit would not have enough background information to make a decision about whether the doctor’s or nurse’s actions that caused your injury were negligent or whether the healthcare practitioners acted reasonably but your adverse outcomes were unavoidable.  Therefore, expert witnesses play an important role in medical malpractice cases; the Daubert standard requires the testimony of these witnesses to be intellectually honest and understandable.  In some cases, though, the medical error is so obvious that a layperson without specialized medical knowledge can tell that the doctor deviated from the standard of care.  If you have been injured because of an egregious error by a doctor or by hospital staff members, contact a South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer.

Woman With Latex Allergy Exposed to Latex During Surgery

In 2009, Patricia was admitted to Sisters of Charity Providence Hospital in Columbia, where she underwent surgery to treat sleep apnea.  When she entered the hospital, she notified the hospital staff that she is allergic to latex, both verbally and in writing on pre-surgery forms she signed, and they issued her a hospital bracelet that mentioned this allergy, as is standard practice.  During the surgery, she was exposed to latex, and she suffered a severe allergic reaction, for which she required treatment in the intensive care unit.

In 2012, Patricia filed a Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI) against the hospital, the operating physician, the anesthesiologist, and several other unnamed healthcare providers, and she provided the defendants with copies of it.  Normally, plaintiffs must include an affidavit (written statement) from an expert (a physician who works in the same subfield of medicine as the defendant) attached to the NOI, unless the medical error is so simple and obvious that a layperson could understand that the error amounted to negligence.  The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit because Patricia had not included the affidavit, and the court dismissed her case.  Patricia appealed the ruling, arguing that exposing a patient to latex when her hospital bracelet clearly indicates a latex allergy is an obvious enough case of negligence that an expert affidavit is not required.  Therefore, the appeals court reversed the decision and remanded the case to the trial court.

Let Us Help You Today

If you suffered an allergic reaction to a medication or a component of a piece of medical equipment, a Columbia personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation.  Contact The Stanley Law Group for help with your case.




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