Malpractice Analysis

The objective of the medical malpractice liability system is to compensate patients who are injured through the negligence of healthcare providers and to deter providers from practicing negligently.  Unfortunately, many actions are without merit, while others of great merit may remain unresolved.

In consideration of the medical background of the firm’s Principal, the Spiers Group is uniquely qualified to assess the merit of factors in a medical malpractice case and is experienced in providing sound counsel for protecting the rights of both the provider and patient.

Working in support of defense counsel, the Spiers Group helps providers and counsel mobilize their defense, while providing an unbiased appraisal of the case.  Because of Dr. Spiers’ long cardiac surgical practice experience and legal knowledge, he and his team can help translate the subtleties of the law into terms familiar to the provider, and help counsel understand issues important to providers. The Spiers Group prides itself on its dedication to resolution of complex matters in a fair and efficient manner.

For those cases that the firm finds have merit, the Spiers Group does provide its services to plaintiffs’ counsel. The insights offered often “fill in the blanks” in a case, and the firm works to help reach a fair resolution for all, maximizing the benefits to all parties over a slavish devotion to litigation for its own sake.

Negligence

To establish medical negligence, it must be shown that the provider’s conduct fell below a generally accepted standard of medical care.  In these cases, the plaintiff must prove injury to the patient, a causal relationship between the provider’s deviation from standard of care and the patients injury, a breech of duty owed to the patient, and the existence of a duty owed by the healthcare professional.

Negligent Prescription of Medications or Medical Devices

A provider may be liable for a negligent prescription of medications or medical devices if he ignored manufacturer’s instructions or prescribed an incorrect medication or dosage that results in patient injury.  The physician has the primary duty to advise patients on risks and side effects of the medication or medical device she provides, however, in some cases, the manufacturer may be held responsible.

Informed Consent

Medical providers must inform patients of all potential benefits, risks and alternatives involved in surgical and medical procedures, as well as other courses of treatment, and must obtain written consent from the patient to proceed.

Breach of Contract or Warranty

Patients may attempt to recover damages under breach of warranty if the physician guaranteed a certain result from a medical procedure and failed to produce that result.

Problems of Proof:  The “res Ipsa” Doctrine

The Latin phrase “res Ipsa” or “the thing speaks for itself” implies that the plaintiff in a negligence case need only show that a particular result occurred and would not have done so if not for negligence—the injury is not of the kind that usually occurs in the absence of negligence; the plaintiff was not responsible for his own injury; evidence for actual cause of the injury is not obtainable; the defendant had exclusive control over instrumentality that caused the injury; the injury could not have been caused by instrumentality other than that over which the defendant had control. Once this doctrine is successfully invoked, the burden transfers to the defendant to show that he was not negligent.