Medical Malpractice Law

Who Can Be Held Accountable For The Medical Malpractice?

Generally, a medical malpractice claim can be brought against a licensed health care provider. This can include a person, corporation, facility or institution licensed by the state to provide health care or professional services, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his employment. A claim can be brought against physicians, dentists, nurses, therapists, hospitals, and pharmacists, among others. Liability is the responsibility for causing damages or injuries.

A physician commits medical malpractice if he fails to act in the same manner a reasonably careful physician in the same field of medicine would act under the same circumstances. Nurses, therapists and other health care providers, and the hospitals or clinics they work for, can be held responsible for their failure to meet accepted standards of care in their particular field.

In Connecticut, hospitals have generally not been held liable for the negligence of their independently contracted physicians. Connecticut courts have noted, though, that this is factual issue dependent on the circumstances of each case. Political subdivisions of the state are generally liable to the same extent as private individuals. In general, a political subdivision is liable for damages caused by the negligent acts or omissions of such political subdivision or any employee, officer or agent acting within the scope of his employment or official duties except when those acts or omissions constitute criminal conduct, fraud, actual malice or willful misconduct.

Actions against the state must be presented to the Claims Commissioner who may refer the claim to the General Assembly with a recommendation on whether or not the claim should be paid or he may waive the state`s immunity and allow a claim to be brought in court. State officers and employees are immune from lawsuits for negligence.

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