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A Tale of Two Lawsuits

Journal of Health & Biomedical Law, Forthcoming

Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 12-34

20 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2012 Last revised: 27 Sep 2012

Gabriel H. Teninbaum

Suffolk University Law School

Benjamin R. Zimmermann

Sugarman & Sugarman, P.C.

Date Written: September 1, 2012


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.

Suggested Citation

Teninbaum, Gabriel H. and Zimmermann, Benjamin R., A Tale of Two Lawsuits (September 1, 2012). Journal of Health & Biomedical Law, Forthcoming; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 12-34. Available at SSRN:

Gabriel Teninbaum (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

Benjamin Zimmermann

Sugarman & Sugarman, P.C. ( email )

One Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
United States

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