Facility where surgery took place may be liable for doctor error

Thousands of Pittsburgh residents have surgery every year. Most of these surgeries go as planned, but occasionally a surgical error occurs. When this unexpected event happens, patients often hold the surgeons accountable. But, it may also be possible to hold the facility where the surgery took place accountable as well.

Vicarious liability is holding the facility that retains a negligent medical provider on its staff responsible for its actions. It involves using a legal theory called “respondeat superior,” which holds an employer liable for the actions of its employees. An employer may be held liable for vicarious liability if a few things are true. First, the injury to the patient needs to have occurred while the employee was working. Second, the injury to the patient needs to be caused by an activity that the negligent medical provider was hired to perform. And third, the employer needs to have benefitted from some way from the actions that were performed by the employee.

Medical errors happen more often than they should. For unsuspecting patients, these errors can cause serious consequences, including death. Families can be devastated by unexpected medical bills, lost wages and other concerns. It is important to hold these medical providers responsible for their actions. Injured patients have legal rights. A legal professional skilled in medical malpractice can help families navigate a medical malpractice lawsuit and collect the compensation they deserve.

Pittsburgh patients who have been injured due to a surgical error may be interested to know that they can sometimes also hold the facility accountable for the error. Holding medical professionals accountable for mistakes can help make sure that no one else gets injured.

Source: FindLaw.com, “Vicarious Liability, accessed on Jan. 13, 2015