Doctors owe their patients a duty to provide the care expected of a reasonable practitioner working in the same specialty. They are not, however, typically expected to render treatment that exceeds the scope of their practice area. This was demonstrated in a recent New York opinion, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against a doctor specializing in pulmonology. If you sustained damages due to the careless acts of a physician, it is smart to meet with a dedicated Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to assess your rights.
The Plaintiff’s Allegations
It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the emergency room of the defendant hospital with complaints of intermittent high fevers and flu-like symptoms. An infectious disease doctor determined he was suffering from a viral illness of dengue fever but that it was unlikely he was suffering from malaria. He was admitted to intensive care, where he was treated by the defendant pulmonologist. Following a course of antibiotics and steroids, he was discharged. He received flu and pneumonia vaccines prior to discharge.
Reportedly, he visited the emergency department of another hospital a few weeks later with complaints of dizziness, where he was diagnosed with malaria. He was treated and discharged but returned ten days later and was diagnosed with Guillian-Barre syndrome. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging they were negligent in failing to diagnose him with malaria and for administering the flu shot. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. Continue reading