Texas Medical Malpractice Laws Under Review
Under the Texas Medical Liability Act, anyone who is assaulted or injured in any way in a healthcare setting is subject to the limitations and payment caps of a medical malpractice suit. This doesn’t make sense in many different situations, whether it’s a nurse who has been assaulted at work or an electrician who is hurt while working in a medical setting. Medical malpractice suits are between patient and doctor, yet hospital visitors who sue the hospital for a slip and fall accident find their case being treated as medical malpractice.
3 years ago, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that any lawsuit against a medical provider must have a medical expert report to be considered valid. Because of this ruling, Lezlea Ross found her case dismissed because she failed to file an expert report after she slipped and fell in St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital while visiting a patient there. However, the Supreme Court did not agree that Ross’s case should require an expert report, since her claim had nothing to do with the hospital’s level of care and treatment of patients, and therefore cannot be considered a HCLC (health care liability claim).
Right now, the lines are blurred when it comes to lawsuits against medical providers in Texas. Lawmakers are working to ensure that plaintiffs who need to file a lawsuit against a medical provider aren’t automatically lumped in under Texas’ tort reform laws and treated as a medical malpractice suit when what they have is a negligence suit.
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