While plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases will typically allege that the defendant health care providers were negligent, there is a difference between what a plaintiff must prove to establish ordinary negligence as opposed to medical negligence. As such, if a plaintiff does not offer adequate proof in support of his or her distinct claims, it could result in a dismissal of the case. The distinction between negligence and medical negligence was the topic of a recent New York opinion issued in a nursing malpractice case. If you were hurt due to the careless actions of a nurse, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a trusted Rochester nursing malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
The Decedent’s Harm
Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to a skilled nursing facility that was operated by the defendant federal government. During his admission, he fell and suffered injuries, which led to a worsening of his underlying conditions. He later returned to the nursing facility for a second stay. No changes were made to the facility’s fall protocols, and he fell a second time. He ultimately died from the injuries sustained in the fall. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, asserting both negligence and medical malpractice claims. The matter proceeded to a bench trial, after which the court issued findings of fact in which, in part, it described the differences between negligence and medical malpractice.
Ordinary Negligence Versus Medical Malpractice
The court noted that a threshold issue in the subject case was whether the plaintiff’s allegations against the defendant arising out of the decedent’s care at the skilled nursing facility asserted negligence or malpractice claims. The plaintiff argued she merely had to prove negligence to recover damages, while the defendant averred that she must prove medical malpractice, and as she failed to do so, she should be denied recovery. Continue reading