Who can be sued in birth injury liability cases?

Wednesday January 14, 2015

Connecticut residents would agree that the occurrence of a birth injury is one of the saddest moments of any parent’s life. A birth injury is normally caused by labor complications which make a parent’s worst fears come true.

A birth injury claim can be made against doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmacists and other healthcare specialists. Hospitals are liable for institutional negligence; they are also responsible for the negligence of employees. A hospital’s medical staff normally comprises licensed physicians, physician’s assistants and nurses. It is expected that a hospital would make all the necessary inquiries when recruiting trained staff because it may be held liable for any staff negligence.

A hospital is also required to ensure there is sufficient number of registered nurses so that patients are assured of quality care. A hospital that fails to follow these guidelines will be held responsible for any occurrence that is deemed to be medical malpractice. A hospital may also be liable if a hospital attendant does not follow a physician’s order for a patient. Conversely, if a hospital attendant finds that the treatment by a physician is not what is expected, then the individual is expected to notify supervising medical personnel immediately.

When an infant is injured at birth as a result of hospital staff negligence, then the hospital is held vicariously liable for the negligence. Conversely, if an independent doctor commits medical malpractice on hospital premises, then the hospital may not be held responsible for that act. However, the hospital can be held responsible for negligence if it gives attending privileges to an incompetent doctor.

Source: FindLaw.com, “Responsible Parties in Birth Injury Cases: Who Can Be Sued?” Accessed on Jan.6, 2015

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