What is my recourse regarding failure to disclose information about a positive pregnancy test resulting in an unwanted pregnancy?

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What is my recourse regarding failure to disclose information about a positive pregnancy test resulting in an unwanted pregnancy?

About 5 months ago, I went into the emergency room because I had fallen and hurt myself. A pregnancy test was performed that I didn’t know about and when I walked out of that hospital with my pain pills, I had no idea that I was pregnant. Now, 2 weeks later, I went to the same ER to find out that I this time that I was pregnant and I was almost 8 months along. Can I sue?

Asked on November 26, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue based on what you write. The fact that you are pregnant is not the hospital's fault: it did not cause your pregnancy. And the fact that you did not find out about the pregnancy immediately does not appear to have caused you any injury or costs--at least, you do not write about negative impacts from the failure to notify you. You can only recover compensation in a  lawsuit for actual injuries or costs the alleged malpractice causes you--without injuries or costs, there is no no basis for a lawsuit, since there are no consequences. (Even minor costs or injuries would not, as a practical matter, justify a lawsuit: malpractice suits can be very expensive, since you need to hire a medical expert to testify for you, and so should only be undertaken when there are many thousants or tens of thousands of dollars in costs, or some significant and long lasting injury.)


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