Proposed Law Threatens Ohio Patients’ Rights

December 4, 2014

Imagine you have been injured by the negligence of another person.  Perhaps you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, or you tripped and fell due to a concealed defect on someone else’s property.  Whatever the scenario, imagine that after you are injured, the other person approaches you and says in no uncertain terms, “It was my fault that you were hurt.  I was negligent.”

Fast forward to your civil trial.  The defendant is on the stand and you now have the right to ask him, in front of the jury, whether he believes he was negligent.  Under threat of perjury, the honest defendant will admit his negligence.  But, if he denies his negligence, you have the right to impeach his testimony by raising his admission to you that he was, in fact, at fault.

Except that, if the health care lobby has their way, this rule that applies to all other defendants will no longer apply to doctors.

You read that correctly.  Under a bill recently passed by the Ohio House of Representatives and moving to the Senate, admissions of fault by a health care provider or its employees would be inadmissible at trial.  This means that even if a doctor admits his own negligence to you, his admission cannot be used at trial, even when the doctor lies about being at fault.  No other defendants have this protection under the law, and it is hard to rationalize any justification for granting it to health care professionals when the number of medical malpractice claims in Ohio continues to plummet.

Unfortunately, this bill is not surprising considering the health care lobby’s consistent efforts to erode the rights of innocent malpractice victims under Ohio law.   In the face of such anti-patient measures, now more than ever it is important that victims of medical and surgical malpractice contact an experienced malpractice attorney following negligent treatment or misdiagnosis. 

The trial lawyers at Cleveland, Ohio’s Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA have decades of experience helping malpractice plaintiffs obtain the recovery they deserve.  If you or a loved one have suffered injury or wrongful death as the result of medical malpractice, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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