Potential Defendants in Medical Malpractice Actions

When a Connecticut patient is the victim of medical malpractice, there are many parties that could be named in a lawsuit. Beyond the doctor who may have made an error in treating the patient, the patient may also be able to include the hospital where the error took place as a defendant. It may also be possible to include pharmaceutical companies in a medical malpractice suit as well.

Hospitals may be held liable in a case via vicarious liability. This concept holds that an employer may be responsible for the actions of its employees. A hospital may also be named in a lawsuit if any negligence on the part of the hospital caused a patient to suffer an injury or led to a patient’s death. For instance, it is the hospital’s responsibility to ensure that all staff hired are properly licensed and have been properly educated on how to treat patients.

A pharmaceutical company may be held liable if a drug that was prescribed caused side effects that were never disclosed to the doctor or the patient. However, the drug company may not be held liable if it told the doctor about any and all potential risks associated with a particular drug. Ultimately, the doctor is generally referred to as a learned intermediary, which means that his or her judgment determines whether a drug is safe for a patient to use.

If a patient is harmed as a result of a medical mistake, it may be possible to take legal action. In court or through a negotiated settlement, it may be possible to win compensation for medical bills, long-term care costs and other damages. An attorney who has experience in these matters can provide advice on the remedies that may be available.

Source: FindLaw, “Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?“, December 10, 2014

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