What legal recourse might my family have if my dad was given a high dose of methadone in preparation for surgery by mistake?

This med was intended for another patient. My dad fell into a drug-induced stupor, was intubated and sent to ICU. The surgery was cancelled. The hospital repeatedly apologized and it was noted in the ICU that he was suffering with a “methodone OD”. He is recovering slowly.

Asked on September 29, 2014 under Malpractice Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

When a medical care provider (e.g. a hospital) is careless and injures a patient, they may have committed malpractice. If so, they may be liable for all the patient's additional medical costs caused by the error (such as the ICU and intubation), for lost wages, if any, for out of pocket expenses, if any (such as if family had to rent a motel/hotel room to stay close), and possibly for "pain and suffering" if there is long lasting or significant impairment, disability, etc. If the care provider does not voluntarily offer an acceptable settlement or payment, you could sue them--a malpractice lawsuit. You should speak with a medical malpractice attorney about the case, to evaluate its strength, what it might be worth, and the best way to pursue it.


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