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Suit alleging hospital negligence stalled by immunity assertion

The Ohio Court of Claims will determine whether a doctor is entitled to immunity against a medical malpractice lawsuit regarding a patient of Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. The doctor named in the suit claims that she has immunity under Ohio Revised Code in both this case and in a connected case related to the Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The suit, filed on March 2014, claims that the hospital failed to act with the required degree of care for healthcare professionals and delayed proper treatment proper diagnosis. The patient suffered from an ear infection that led to other problems like meningitis, and the delay resulted in conditions like muscle atrophy, myocardial infarction and impaired cognition.

A father filed this action on the behalf of his minor child, and the suit argues that the family were not informed about treatment options or the risk of the pursued treatment plan. The suit says the family would not have consented to the chosen treatment if they had been fully informed. Additionally, the result of the care received reportedly caused substantial pain and suffering that will continue in the future, and the injuries suffered influence daily life and include the use of a jejunostomy for feeding and a tracheostomy for breathing.

The family seeks damages of more than $25,000 and interest, but the defendant's attorney denies the allegations. The attorney reported that damages were caused by omissions and wrongful acts from the plaintiff, and the defenses involved include claiming that the court has no jurisdiction for hearing the matter.

Medical malpractice cases may involve many parties because anyone who contributed to causing one's injuries could be liable even when unintentionally causing harm. A suit may include doctors, nurses, the facility and those in charge.

Source: The Athens News, "OU med school lawsuit continues", David DeWitt, September 07, 2014

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