Tagged: Medical Negligence
The Hospital argued that the pleadings in the action alleged a defect with, or in, a forceps used in the Hospital. It argued that a claim that a forceps was defective was not a medical negligence claim (“…the correctness or otherwise of the surgical procedure being carried out”), but was a defective product claim.
The logic in the title to this post is lurking in every action alleging negligence, but it is a formidable retort in a medical negligence action.
A plaintiff must prove the liability of the defendant. This is not equivalent to proving causation. Liability may arise where proof of an error in judgment or management is established, but the plaintiff must go in to prove that that error was the cause, or a cause, of the untoward outcome for the patient.
The extent of injury inflicted on hospital patients by clinical negligence is a case in point. We do not know what it is. When it happens the consequences are real. Somebody somewhere pays for the injury. Clearly, the victim suffers the injury and pays in that fashion. The family of the victim may pay in care deployed or care costs paid. Or, if the family consists of children of the victim, the children may suffer diminished life opportunities by being deprived of care they would have got from the victim.
She suffers from cerebral palsy after the alleged mismanagement of her birth.
Time only runs against a plaintiff who knows he/she has been injured (or could reasonably ascertain he/she has been injured) AND knows who or what has injured him/her (or could reasonably ascertain who or what has injured him/her).
What is staggering is that the reason the public needs to know such things is to ensure that the HSE management effectively deals with the problems that would be revealed generally.
I have written elsewhere that legal proceedings are not a search for truth. Nevertheless, in legal proceedings, as in war, there are limits to restrain the parties.