If after a knee repalcement the hospital called my father and told him that the instruments were not properly sterilized, what are his rights?

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If after a knee repalcement the hospital called my father and told him that the instruments were not properly sterilized, what are his rights?

Asked on January 3, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If he's not injured in some way--didn't pick up an infection; hasn't had to pay for additional medical treatment; etc.--then he cannot sue. Even though the hospital would be at fault for not sterilizing, the law does not provide compensation for possible or potential injury--only for actual injuries or losses. Therefore, if he is not injured, he cannot bring a lawsuit. (He may file a complaint with the state's medical licensing board, if he likes.)

If your father was injured or made ill, he may potentially sue for compensation for  his suffering and costs; he should consult with a malpractice attorney to discuss the case.


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