Possible Tort Claims: Unintentional Torts view yesterday’s post
To: Christine H. Williams,President/CEO
Christine H. Williams Honorary Hospital and Health Care Center for Academic and Medical Excellence
Re: Medical Legal Claim
We have reviewed the complaint and determined that based on the facts alleged, there does appear to be a basis for one or more legal causes of action against this hospital and personnel.
Possible Tort Claims: Intentional Torts view here
Possible Contract and Criminal Claims:
A contract requires three elements: offer, acceptance, and consideration. These may be either oral, written or implied by circumstances or behavior.
In this case, the patient definitely had a contract, probably written, for diagnosis and/or treatment for the alleged injury, with consideration provided (probably) by a third-party insurer.
A further contract issue is the arm-wrap. An oral contract (probably) offered a high-quality arm wrap, accepted by the patient either orally or implied by his wearing the wrap, with consideration as a higher-level cost for the higher benefits of the wrap.
If indeed the wrap actually provided to the patient is not of any but standard quality, and if he paid a higher level of consideration, than arguably a breach of contract has occurred and needs to be addressed.
Criminal claims, unlike torts and contracts, are imposed by the government upon an individual, instead of by one individual upon another, for failure to comply with statutory or regulatory requirements. Criminal claims may result in fines and/or incarceration.
In this case, the closest we can get is a criminal claim for battery(assault), but battery based on Xrays is very questionable. Further, the intent issue still has not been addressed (see the intentional torts section) and therefore a criminal claim is highly unlikely.
[Hot tip: My students have all viewed the LawCookies 3-minute Contract video series. You can too: register here (free), then view the course. ]
See more tomorrow . . .
Following is an assignment posted to nursing students currently studying Law and Ethics at Baptist Health Systems, San Antonio. Can you answer these questions?
You are employed by the highly esteemed Christine H. Williams Honorary Hospital and Health Care Center for Academic and Medical Excellence. A patient has submitted a formal complaint to the hospital alleging substandard medical care. He alleges as follows: ***
“I’ve been to Christine H. Williams Honorary Hospital and Health Care Center for Academic and Medical Excellence many times myself and with my family, and I’ve always had a good experience here. That’s why I’m so surprised at what happened last week!
“You see, I hurt my wrist last week playing golf, and the pain was pretty bad. So my daughter drove me over for treatment.
My X-rays took a really long time.I didn’t know it until later, but they had a new tech on duty and I ended up getting full-body X-rays so he could see how it was done. My daughter works at a dentist’s office, and she told me this is not safe.
For an extra fee, they offered to wrap my arm with a new cutting-edge medical health-wrap, which costs lots more but apparently really helps in cases of muscle strain. But after I got home, I ran into a friend at the club who works for the med supply company. He said this is just a regular wrap, not the new cutting-edge option. So I paid extra for nothing!
“Plus, as I was leaving, an ambulance crew came rushing in with a new patient. A guy in scrubs shoved me to the side and I slammed into a door, which left a scrape along the side of my cheek. Ouch!
“The Christine H. Williams Honorary Hospital and Health Care Center for Academic and Medical Excellence has always had such an excellent reputation, named as it is after the esteemed leader and educator Christine H. Williams.
“I can’t believe this happened! I am still shaken up. My daughter says I should bring legal charges.” ***
Each of you is on the Ethics Board. Your task is to submit a brief memo to President and CEO Christine Williams, no more than two pages, citing possible legal claims out of this situation. Be sure to address each of these questions:
- Is there a potential tort claim from this incident? Intentional tort? Unintentional tort?
- Is there a potential contract claim?
- Is there a potential criminal claim?
- For each claim, Who is plaintiff? Who is/are potential defendant(s)? Include these terms somewhere in the memo: Respondeat superior, agent, principal.
- If there is a contract claim, use the terms offer, acceptance, consideration.
- Would the claim(s) be tried in state court, or federal?
This is a group activity. Although each person is to submit a report, you are expected to work with others on the Ethics Board to come to your conclusions.
You may discuss details with classmates. If after discussing the issues, you find yourself stuck, you may also ask me questions as a group, on the regular discussion board.
I will mark each paper separately, but as co-board members, you are welcome to submit identical copies if you wish. You will lose points if you do not FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS . 10 points