My mom went to the hospital with a cyst in her ear, she has been here over 3 weeks.

My mom came to the hospital
with a cyst in her ear.
That was 3 weeks ago. Since
then, she went from having
a cyst to having MRSA, then
they said she had
meningitis, then pneumonia.
She had gotten released
twice, but both times ended
up back in the hospital
within 24 hours. This last
time, they sent her home
with 9 different meds, all
to be taken at the same
time. Yesterday she had a
seizure at home. Then
another in the ER. Now she
is in the hospital, non
verbal. Can we sue? And if
we do, would we win? She
can’t work, doesn’t have
insurance and they keep
running the same tests on
her.

Asked on April 28, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Medical care providers (e.g. hospitals, but also doctors, clinics, etc.) are liable for the harm they do to their patients if they are at fault. That almost universally means, if the injury, illness, etc. occured because the provider was unreasonably careless or otherwise provided medical attention which did not meet current accepted standards (e.g. standards for disinfection or hygiene). They are not responsible if they did nothing wrong: sometimes, for example, a patient gets worse after treatment even though the provider did everything right; and sometimes, it can be surprisingly difficult to even diagnose, or after diagnosing, treat, what is wrong with a patient. So whether you have a case depends on whether there is any evidence that that hospital has been careless nor negligent in its diagnosis or treatment of her, or in general infection control procedures. If they were--and again, you need some evidence of this, or reason to think it--you may have a viable case. But if there is no evidence of any fault on the hospital's part, you would not have a viable case.


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