North Carolina Court Upholds Dismissal of Medical Malpractice Claim Involving Emergency Room Care

There are many different medical issues that can take place in a hospital or a nursing home facility. We trust medical professionals to take good care of us and to provide us with the attention and treatment that we require. When we fail to receive this treatment, and we suffer unnecessary and avoidable injuries as a result, the outcome can be devastating. As North Carolina personal injury lawyers, we have assisted numerous individuals and families with understanding their legal rights following a medical malpractice incident.

In a recent appellate decision, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against a hospital, alleging that she suffered injuries as a result of sepsis while in its care. The jury returned a verdict finding that the hospital was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff appealed this decision, arguing that the trial court made a number of errors regarding the evidence that it allowed or disallowed in the proceedings. It also dismissed her claim based on a nursing negligence theory.

The plaintiff’s first argument on appeal alleged that the trial court made an error when it allowed evidence from experts regarding three medical studies that were published many years after the plaintiff suffered the alleged injuries. In response, the defendants argued that the plaintiff did not make an appropriate objection to the admission of these studies at the time they were offered into evidence at trial. In reviewing the appropriateness of admitting the studies, the appellate court first noted that the trial court provided the jury with a limiting instruction regarding the studies and advised the jury that the studies were not indicative of the standard of care in the case. The appellate court found the limiting instruction appropriate and an effective way to mitigate any prejudice resulting from the admission of the studies. As a result, it rejected the plaintiff’s argument on this appellate issue.

The plaintiff next argued that the court erred when it prevented the plaintiff’s medical expert from testifying regarding the standard of care that emergency room professionals are required to provide to patients with the same illnesses that the plaintiff suffered at the time of treatment. The appellate court ruled that there was no error in denying this testimony because later, during trial, the plaintiff was allowed to present testimony from the expert regarding his opinion of how the plaintiff should have been treated when she arrived at the hospital emergency room department.

Regarding the nursing home claim, the court concluded that the plaintiff failed to offer any evidence showing that the nurses involved in the incident failed to provide care according to the applicable standard. As a result, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s ruling on these evidentiary issues.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of negligent medical care either in a hospital or at a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. At Maurer Law, we have assisted numerous individuals throughout North Carolina with asserting their right to compensation and understanding their legal options. To set up your free consultation, call us at 1-888-258-1087 or contact us online.

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