It is not uncommon for expectant mothers to treat at medical practices that employ multiple providers. If the care offered at such facilities is inadequate and causes the mother or her child to suffer harm, the mother may be able to pursue malpractice claims against more than one party. Only those individuals that have a doctor-patient relationship with the mother will be deemed directly liable, however. This was illustrated in a recent ruling issued by a New York Court in a medical malpractice case. If you or your child sustained injuries because of the negligence of a doctor, you may be owed damages, and it is smart to consult a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to discuss your potential causes of action.
The Plaintiff’s Allegations
It is reported that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, a nurse, midwife practice, and collaborating doctor, arguing that their failure to abide by the accepted practice of medicine resulted in her child being born prematurely, which caused him to suffer brain damage and develop cerebral palsy. The defendant each moved for summary judgment; the defendant doctor argued, in part, that he did not have a treatment relationship with the plaintiff and therefore could not be held liable for medical malpractice. The trial court denied the defendant’s motions, and they appealed.
Establishing the Existence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship
The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s ruling on appeal. One of the primary issues discussed on appeal was whether the collaborating doctor had a treatment relationship with the plaintiff. The appellate court explained that a physician only owes a duty of care to their patient. Further, the duty may be limited to the medical functions the doctor undertakes, and the patient relies upon. Continue reading