Medical Malpractice: When You're Suing an Entity Instead of a Person

In medical malpractice law, you typically sue a doctor or nurse for poor quality of care, neglect, or injuries.  However, you can also sue an entity, such as an entire hospital or clinic. Special circumstances apply, of course, as the following shows.

VA Hospitals That Cause Extensive Pain, Suffering, and Infections

In recent years there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the conditions of veterans' hospitals. Scandals include veterans experiencing a lot of pain after procedures being denied medication to alleviate pain and extensive infections because the hospitals were so dirty. These hospitals were ultimately sued for medical malpractice, showing that it does not have to be an individual person or party to be considered medical malpractice. The entire hospital was at fault for not providing better care in a sterile environment.

Contraction of Flesh-Eating Bacteria

There have been a couple of reports of people contracting flesh-eating bacteria in a hospital, post-procedure, and these patients died or barely escaped with their lives after a limb was amputated. However, the cases of medical malpractice regarding flesh-eating bacteria typically surround hospitals ineffectively treating the infection when they first encounter a patient who has it. One woman in Indianapolis died because not one, but three hospitals either failed to treat her or did not provide quality care because she was not insured. Her husband filed lawsuits against all three of the hospitals.

MRSA and Gangrene

MRSA is "methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus," meaning that you have an infection in your skin that refuses to respond to most or all antibiotics. Gangrene is the result of an infection gone so wrong that tissue has died and begun putrefaction (rotting). Both can occur after procedures as simple as skin cancer lesion removal to something as major as the reattachment of a finger, toe, hand, etc. You can sue the hospital or clinic under these circumstances because these conditions are not only painful, but also potentially lethal if the infection reaches your heart, lungs, and/or brain.

How to Sue the "Entity"

Gather up all patient release documents from hospital and/or clinic visits. These discharge documents are key pieces of evidence that will show what the hospitals or clinics did wrong. If you filed a complaint against the hospital or clinic, make sure you have a copy of the complaint (or complaints!).

Despite the legal actions you are about to take, you should also be able to acquire medical records of your visits. (If you are filing on behalf of the deceased, only spouses and lawyers are able to get copies of medical records.) Give copies of everything to the medical malpractice lawyer.

For more information on medical malpractice law, contact firms like Shaevitz Shaevitz & Kotzamanis.