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May 8, 2013
The Ohio Supreme Court made a precedent setting decision late last month regarding how statements made by doctors can or cannot be used in an Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawsuit. Court documents show that now, a doctor’s comments cannot be used as evidence in court.
The case stems from an incident that occurred following a patient’s gall bladder surgery. During the procedure, the patient suffered a bile duct injury. The doctor later told the patient, “I take full responsibility for this. Everything will be OK.”
An article from the Claims Journal explains the patient later filed suit against the doctor, saying that his comment was and admittance of guilt and negligence.
Ohio state law says that after September 14, 2004, apologies and statements of sympathy made by doctors to patients were inadmissible in court. The woman who was injured during gall bladder surgery contended that her doctor’s statement was not an apology and shouldn't be covered under the law. A jury disagreed and found in favor of the doctor.
The patient appealed, but the Supreme Court found that while the statement was an apology, it was covered under the statute because of the date the lawsuit was filed, not because of the date of the incident.
The Ohio Personal Injury Attorneys with Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy recognize how complex the laws surrounding medical malpractice claims can be. That's why the firm suggests discussing your legal rights with an attorney if you are considering filing a suit.
Source: Estate of Johnson v. Randall Smith, Inc., Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-1507. Court of Appeals for Portage County. 23 Apr. 2013. N.p., n.d. Web
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