A very interesting case recently made it to New York’s highest court that brings up a unique issue when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits.
We have extensively discussed medical malpractice lawsuits on our blog that involve a patient who was injured due to alleged negligence by a medical professional. If that individual was injured, he or she may file a lawsuit. In other cases we also hear about someone dying due to alleged negligence and their family filing a medical malpractice lawsuit on their behalf.
But what happens when the injury happens to a third party? This is exactly the issue that the higher court recently took on.
The case stems from a car accident that happened between a vehicle and a bus. A female driver apparently crashed into a bus, injuring at least one person. The woman had apparently been given painkillers intravenously a couple of hours before the crash happened.
After the incident, a lawsuit was filed by a passenger on the bus who was injured in the crash. The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against a Long Island hospital, a physician’s assistant and a doctor who administered the painkillers. The lawsuit claims the hospital failed to tell the driver that the medicine could impair her driving ability.
Recently, the Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit against the hospital. The vote was divided 4-2, with the court saying that the duty to warn patients that drugged driving could be dangerous extends to a third party. The two who disagreed said it only applies to the patient.
This will definitely be an interesting case to follow. This case may give hope for those who were injured in a third-party situation.