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How do you prove breach of duty of care without additional specific injury to patient. Is there cause for tort action?

Bolivar, TN |

88 yr old patient in hospital for 9 days. Diagnosed with samonella on 4th day. Staff left feces on toilet, floor, and bed side potty on numerous occasions; left feces stained towel on floor for 24 plus hours; feces stained linen in overfilled hamper; potty un-emptied; garbage overrun with adult diapers and stained disposable wipes left in room daily. Pictures available. Had to asked for assistance with bathing. Staff placed room check sheet on wall but did not actively do checks but falsified chart any way.

Attorney Answers 3


What you describe is a breach of the duty of care but not an issue that cannot be realistically give rise to a lawsuit. To prove a malpractice case you must prove that a breach of the standard of care caused an injury - no injury, no lawsuit.

This is an issue best brought to the attention of hospital administration and the state licensing board.

Doctors cannot diagnosis diseases over the Internet, and lawyers can rarely determine someone's legal rights and responsibilities over the Internet. Lawyers who answer questions in this type of forum do so with the hope of providing basic education, not providing the advice and guidance one would get after a true legal consultation. Thus, please use my responses only as a way to help you gather information and ask better questions of the lawyer you employ to help you in your legal matter. Licensed only in Tennessee.

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Thank you. It is as I suspected but needed confirmation.


Best bet is to complain to the hospital administrator

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While what you describe "may" be care below the standard of care, this is not enough. YOu would need to show that this lack of care caused the samonella condition. An expert would need to review the records and make that connection. YOu would need to hire an attorney interested in investigating this claim who would gather the records and have them reviewed. This may be difficult since if there is no long term consequence of this condition there would be very little value to the case. Medical negligence cases are extremely expensive to pursue and risky. If a case is not likely to result in a meaningful economic recovery to you then pursuit of this case would not justify the expense or risk.

If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.

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