A Tale of Two Lawsuits
Gabriel H. Teninbaum
Suffolk University Law School
Benjamin R. Zimmermann
Sugarman & Sugarman, P.C.
September 1, 2012
Journal of Health & Biomedical Law, Forthcoming
Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 12-34
Imagine two patients, Mal and Gary, are admitted to neighboring rooms in a Boston teaching hospital. While hospitalized, they both suffer serious injuries, but the mechanisms are different: Mal’s are caused by a drug interaction that her medical team knew, or should have known, would cause her injury when they delivered it to her. Gary’s injuries, by contrast, were caused by a contract maintenance worker who dropped a fixture on him while attempting to make a repair in the patient’s room.
Both patients have a right to bring claims for the negligence that injured them. Only Mal’s, however, will be framed as a medical malpractice case, while Gary’s will be a framed as a garden-variety negligence claim. This essay will examine some of the ways the litigation and trial of their respective cases will differ and how it will impact their cases’ outcomes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Date posted: September 25, 2012 ; Last revised: September 27, 2012