Patient suing surgeon

  1. It is definite that the pt is suing her surgeon. She and family were happy/satisfied with nursing care, they said. They are not suing the hospital.
    Surgeon made mistakes BUT will he settle out of court or will his lawyers drag nursing down with him?
    What are the statistics on something like this?
    All info appreciated.
  2. Visit Butternut profile page

    About Butternut

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 64; Likes: 2
    RN
    Specialty: Big Variety

    7 Comments

  3. by   Soon2BNurse3
    Depends....was his mistake in the OR? Usually, from my experience, they'll take full responsibility - they are the surgeon & the one ultimately responsible for what happens during surgery.
  4. by   Butternut
    The mistake must have begun in the OR and pleas to the surgeon went unheeded, for days.
  5. by   Soon2BNurse3
    I mean without knowing the whole story, I don't know. But, like I mentioned, the surgeon is the ultimate person in charge during surgery. When the patient gets lawyered up....he might end up going after the hospital as well...
  6. by   ozoneranger
    They'll use the shotgun effect. Blast at anyone with deep pockets... & hope something falls out.
  7. by   leslie :-D
    i would think the surgeon would offer an attractive amt, in hopes of it not going to trial.
    however, the pt's atty will likely be focusing on where the most money is.
    i don't think they could go after the hospital, since surgeon is not employed by hospital.
    if nurses were involved, yep, they would likely go after them too...
    at which the hospital would then become involved and liable.

    leslie
  8. by   Vito Andolini
    I think that people usually sue surgeon, hospital, nurses, anybody and everybody from whom they think they can get anything. It really depends on what evidence they have against which parties, on how aggressive their lawyer is, how angry they are and at whom, I would think.

    I hope it turns out well for the innocent. If the nurses tried to tell the surgeon that something was wrong, if their pleas to him were ignored, minimized, or mishandled, if the nurses went up their chain of command and/or to the surgeon's Chief of staff/department, if you guys involved managers, supervisors, and did everything you could to rectify the problem, and if you documented your efforts and the fact that you did all you could, you might be alright. But who really knows? Maybe you want to talk with a couple of attorneys yourself to find out what they think.

    Good luck.
  9. by   RNperdiem
    Remember, it needs to be proven that harm was done and that the nurses were responsible for it.
    I think the BON and lawyers are the adult "boogymen" that we fear more than necessarily.
    I have never met a nurse who has been sued; I don't think we are wealthy enough to make good targets.

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