Lawsuit?

  1. One of the girls on my floor gave the wrong patient Ampicillin IV. Patient had a noted Penicillin allergy (itching). No reaction after 36 hours. All MDs involved with patient are aware (as is the patient) and have informed her that the patient is alright. She's still nervous, though. Can a lawsuit stem from this?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Dempather
    One of the girls on my floor gave the wrong patient Ampicillin IV. No reaction after 36 hour. Can a lawsuit stem from this?
    People can and do sue for anything. The issue here is that she suffered no damages as a result of a med error. I doubt anything will happen to the nurse who made the error. JIMOHO
  4. by   ElvishDNP
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    JIMOHO
    JIMOHO?
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Arwen_U
    JIMOHO?
    "Just in my own humble opinion"

    Hi ya Arwen!
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    Just in my own honest/humble opinion.....


    ETA: dang, we posted at the same time...
  7. by   ElvishDNP
    Hiya Dutch!
  8. by   suanna
    Sure, a lawsuit can happen because the sun came out that day and made the patient squint too much but it's not likely to go anywhere. In order for a lawsuit to be sucessfull you have to prove that harm was done- increased length of stay, injury, some complication that "cost" the patient something. I would never say a lawsuit can't happen but it was correct to inform the patient of the error. Errors happen every day. Was it discovered in a timely manner? Was appropriate treatment or monitoring done? Want more specific reassurance talk to your hospitals' risk management department. They should have been notified of the error when it happened.
  9. by   Kyrshamarks
    Actually no a lawsuit cannot happen from that incident. For there to be a lawsuit there had to be damage done to the pateint. There was no damage done thus no lawsuit could be filed. Just because an error was made does not automatically mean there is grounds for a suit. Remember for lawsuits to filed there has to have been damage done. That is the law in all states. That comes from my attorney sister in law.
  10. by   Agnus
    Kyrshamarks

    Right you are. Take a course in legal nurse consulting and you will lean this. The attorney can not even will not even take a case where there are no damages. AND the damages have to be enough for it to be profitable to the attorney or generally the attorney still will not take it. So even if you have damages you can sometimes be hard pressed to find an attorney who will take it.

    Some times they take non profitable cases that are a special interest to that lawyer but rare.
  11. by   bill4745
    Actually no a lawsuit cannot happen from that incident. For there to be a lawsuit there had to be damage done to the patient. There was no damage done thus no lawsuit could be filed.
    A lawsuit can happen anytime a court does not throw it out. They might not win, but you still need to defend yourself and go through a trial. And don't forget "emotional distress" as being harmed by the error.
  12. by   Daytonite
    in order for a patient to sue successfully they need to have suffered an injury and incurred money damages as a result of the injury. since the patient had no injury as a result of this error there would be no lawsuit. the nurse, however, did make a medication error and has to answer for that with the hospital management.
  13. by   TazziRN
    Quote from bill4745
    a lawsuit can happen anytime a court does not throw it out. they might not win, but you still need to defend yourself and go through a trial. and don't forget "emotional distress" as being harmed by the error.
    thank you! i tried to post this several times last night and my lappy kept wigging out on me.

    the act of filing a lawsuit can be done for any reason at any time. a conscientious attorney would not accept the case and if it went to court anyway any judge with half a brain would throw it out. an attorney isn't even needed to file a suit, anyone can represent themselves. look at the stupid lawsuit the one joker in the wheelchair has been filing in courts all over california, if not in other states. he deliberately goes out looking for public establishments that do not have handicapped access and he sues. there is a long-standing, locally historic fast food place in my town that had to close because the current owner did not have the funds to make the changes. his way of dealing with disabled customers was to go out to them and take their orders, and deliver them (think outside stand, no inside seating). was the person in the wheelchair harmed because there was no ramp? no!!! he couldn't claim extreme hunger because there was a more modern fast food place right next door.
  14. by   Dempather
    Appreciate the posts. I passed them on to my co-worker. Thanks!

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