Tag archives: Medical negligence

Medical malpractice: A USA birth injury comparison

South African healthcare practitioners and insurers may take some comfort (on the basis that the grass is not greener) from the jury verdict of an Illinois, US Court in a medical malpractice claim against the West Suburban Medical Center and others. The jury awarded a record US$100.6 million damages against the hospital in respect of brain … Continue reading

Expert evidence

Parties to any dispute who rely exclusively on opinions of experts without establishing the factual basis for those opinions do so at their peril. The opinion of an expert must be based on facts that are established by the evidence. The court then assesses the opinions of experts on the basis of ‘whether and to … Continue reading

Personalised medicine and medical malpractice

Personalised medicine involves the consideration of health risk factors and genetic information to determine individual risk profiles. This customisation of healthcare uses medical decisions, practices, treatments, and products that are tailor-made to an individual’s requirements, and is based on hereditary profile. This could result in quicker diagnosis and a more targeted form of treatment for … Continue reading

Informed consent to medical procedure

The claim in R B v Smith was based on an alleged failure by a surgeon (who performed a laparoscopic hernia repair on the appellant) to provide the appellant with sufficient information to enable her to give informed consent for the surgery which resulted in colon perforation. There was no negligence on the surgeon’s part in … Continue reading

Hospital receptionists owe duty to inform patients accurately regarding available medical assistance

A judgment of the English Court of Appeal which we called ‘bizarre’ and ‘peculiar’ has been predictably overturned by the UK Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found that the hospital run by the NHS Trust is liable to a patient with a head injury who had been given misinformation by the hospital receptionist that he … Continue reading

General damages and contingency deductions in medical negligence cases

When a patient’s brain injuries diminishes their awareness and full appreciation of their pain and suffering, an award for general damages is appropriate if the patient experiences intermittent periods of heightened awareness. When determining the amount to be awarded for general damages, our courts prefer a flexible approach. The award should be determined by the … Continue reading

Law Commission report on medico-legal claims for comment by 30 September 2017

The South African Law Reform Commission has issued a lengthy paper on the investigations into medico-legal claims with proposals for the reform of the law in connection with those claims. The paper discusses the current situation and the legal principles underlying claims for damages for medical negligence, state liability, the basis for payment of compensation … Continue reading

Exclusion for medical services in a medical malpractice claim (US)

Over a 150 patients claimed damages against a hospital because of an outbreak of fungal meningitis and related infections which resulted from the patients receiving injections with contaminated substances. The court held that there was no claim under the insurer’s commercial package policy based on personal injury claims because the policies excluded bodily injury ‘due … Continue reading
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