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Legislators Consider Updates to Ohio Medical Malpractice Laws

March 13, 2015

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When a doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional commits an error that causes their patient harm, an honest apology may help the victim begin the healing process. But should an “I’m sorry” protect a medical professional from being held liable for damages through an Ohio medical malpractice lawsuit? Under a bill being considered by the Ohio Senate, the answer to that question may soon be "yes." Fox Business reports the Ohio General Assembly passed a measure in December of last year—known as House Bill 276—that would make any statement a doctor makes to a patient or their family after an accident has occurred inadmissible in court. The state currently has an “I’m Sorry” law on the books, but the new measure would add the terms “error” and “fault” to a list of words that are considered apologetic expressions a doctor can use when speaking to patients and their families or lawyers that will be considered inadmissible in court. Furthermore, the measure would make most aspects of patient-physician conversations inadmissible in court, unless the comments are recorded in the patient’s medical records as well. At the law firm of Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we recognize the impact an open dialogue regarding a medical mistake can have on victims of such errors and our Cleveland personal injury lawyers are anxious to see if the new measure is approved during the next legislative session.

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