Year: 1995 (Date of Decision: 31 October, 1995)
Forum, Country: Court of Appeals, United States of America
Standards, Rights: Negligence; Right to health
Summary Background: The deceased patient’s children and grandchildren brought this case against the hospital for medical malpractice and violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA).
Holding: The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower Court’s decisions in favor of the plaintiff. The lower Court held that the defendant’s failure to provide appropriate screening to the decedent and assigning her a number when she told the hospital she had chest pains demonstrated a lack of justification that amounted to an effective denial of a screening examination [p. 1193].
Additional Comments: Jury awarded the family $200,000 damages for pain and suffering, which the Court of Appeals affirmed [p. 1197|. The Hospital argued that the jury award was excessive, but the Court held that the damages were not excessive as the record supported the evidence presented regarding emotional suffering [p. 1197-98]. Further, the hospital’s negligence in addressing the deceased plaintiff’s medical problems led the jury to hand out a reasonable amount of damages [p. 1198].
Link to Full Case: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1014686.html