Health care provider apology not admissible in malpractice cases

Friday August 15, 2014

When medical malpractice occurs, a health care provider may apologize for his or her actions. This may be a heartfelt, honest apology, or it may be an attempt to thwart a medical malpractice lawsuit. Whatever the case may be, in Connecticut, the apology is not admissible in a malpractice case.

According to Chapter 899, Sec 52-184d of General Statutes of Connecticut, the definition of a health care provider includes an institution. The apology may be one that includes an admission of fault or an expression of sympathy, benevolence, condolence or compassion. The statute also states that the apology may be made to the victim, his or her family or legal representative, among others.

The statute states that the apology is “inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest” in a civil action or arbitration dealing with “an unanticipated outcome of medical care.”

Victims of medical malpractice may want to hear such an apology, but they should be aware that it cannot be used against the health care provider. Because medical malpractice cases can result in serious injuries or death, health care providers that do not meet the standard of care should be held accountable.

Victims of such actions or the family members of a patient that died due to medical malpractice have a right to seek compensation for many civil claims, including pain and suffering, short- and long-term disability, medical expenses and more. There are time limits on filing such cases called statutes of limitations. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide more information about filing such a case.

Source:  cga.ct.gov, “Sec. 52-184d. Inadmissibility of apology made by health care provider to alleged victim of unanticipated outcome of medical care” Aug. 12, 2014

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