Michigan City Indiana medical malpractice lawyer discusses the 3 reasons why Porter Hospital tried to turn a slip & fall case into a medical malpractice case.
The Facts of the Case
On June 23, 2009, a patient admitted to Porter Hospital f/k/a Porter Memorial Hospital slips, falls on water that was outside the shower area and is injured. He files a claim against Porter Hospital, which eventually works its way into a lawsuit. The parties in the lawsuit go through the discovery process where they exchange information and then the hospital files a motion to dismiss the case. Porter Hospital took the position that the claim was a medical malpractice claim and the injured patient did not follow the requirements of Indiana's Medical Malpractice Act.
The trial court granted Porter Hospital's request to dismiss the case finding:
Because Mr. Powell was being treated for leg related circulatory issues, his ability to walk may have been the subject of a medical recommendation, this case falls within the realm of medical malpractice.
The injured patient would have none of that and appealed the trial court's ruling. The appellate court agreed with the injured person that this was not a medical malpractice case but a simple negligence case. Click here to read the court's opinion. Specifically, the appellate court said:
The Powells' complaint alleges only a premises liability claim. Further, Dennis was not receiving care or treatment at the time of his fall. He was merely walking to the shower room and slipped on liquid in the hallway.
The 3 Reasons Why Porter Hospital Wanted The Court To Find This A Medical Malpractice Case
- Medical malpractice cases are much more involved and require a long, drawn out, presuit process before the Indiana Department of Insurance.
- Most Plaintiff's do not get a favorable decision before the Medical Review Panel.
- Medical malpractice cases are very expensive and the injured patient's damages may not have supported the costs associated with the claim.
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