If I accept ‘follow up care’ as part of a resolution to a grievance does that hinder any future decisions on my part to seek legal action against the clinic?

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If I accept ‘follow up care’ as part of a resolution to a grievance does that hinder any future decisions on my part to seek legal action against the clinic?

My clinic erroneously denied me access to Valium because they did not realize I
had been on it for 3 years. Someone did not thoroughly review my charts. It is
only after receiving a grievance I filed with the clinic that the error was
apprehended. I underwent a withdrawal episode due to not tapering off the
medication. Now the clinic wants to offer me what is described as ‘follow up
care’ in the resolution to the grievance letter. There was a lot not explained
to me. Is it possible I am being maneuvered in some way, that the care offered
serves an ulterior motive beneficial to the clinic? Would such an error/
confusion warrant follow up care from the clinic?

Asked on June 19, 2019 under Malpractice Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

First, if you sign any agreement saying anything to the effect that you are accepting the follow-up care as compensation for or in resoluation of any claims you might have, or that you are giving up your right to sue, you'd be barring yourself from later litigation. Anything you sign is a legally binding contract if you receive something of value (like care) in exchange for signing it. So depending on the language of any forms, documents, etc. they want you to sign, you could be giving up legal rights.
Second, while the mere act of accepting care does not by itself deprive you of legal rights, it may make it harder--if you sue--to convince a judge or jury that the clinic's care was suboptimal. The clinic's attorney will basically say in court, "So, if the care you received was so bad, why did you accept more care from them?"


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