What’s New in Health Law

New Cases

Emergency or Not?

The Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed a trial court’s ruling that an obstetrician was negligent in failing to use ordinary care, resulting in a newborn child’s permanent injury, holding that a heightened standard of negligence was not appropriate given the circumstances. An infant the OB delivered through a scheduled elective induction experienced injuries after complications arose, requiring the OB to perform maneuvers to dislodge and deliver the child quickly. At trial, the OB claimed that a heightened negligence standard utilized in cases arising out of emergency medical care should apply. The trial court rejected the obstetrician’s argument and found for the mother.

On appeal, the court determined that the heightened negligence standard was meant to be applied only where the emergency medical providers had no notice of the situation or familiarity with the patient. The court stated that, when treatment begins as an elective procedure and develops into an emergency, the heightened requirement of willful and wanton negligence does not apply. Because the mother underwent a scheduled, elective induction, out of which an emergency arose, the court affirmed the trial court’s decision in favor of the mother, rejecting the obstetrician’s argument that the heightened standard should have applied.
Glenn v. Leal

To read more about this case and other new cases, visit our What’s New page.

Question of the Week

At one of our recent physician leadership courses, a registrant said that they were struggling with an applicant who refused to answer one of the questions on their application form, telling them that her lawyer told her it could violate a settlement agreement that she has with another hospital.  Their Medical Staff leaders think that information is relevant to her request for appointment and want to know if they can still ask for the information and hold the application incomplete?

Read the answer>>

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