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Hello.. My question comes from an incident that I had to go to the Emergency Room. I shared with the hospital staff that I am

Jonesboro, GA |

allergic to Penicillin. However, I was given medicine in the Pencillin family. Of course, I had an reaction. What can I do legally about this matter after this was shared with them before hand.

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Attorney answers 6


you certainly have a claim, however, your ability to recover a significant amount may depend on the severity of the reaction and other potential factors RE: the hospital staff's negligence. If your reaction was severe, uncomfortable, or caused you to miss any work any thing else, it would certainly be worth visiting with an attorney to see about the details of your claim.


Sorry to hear that. You can file a medical malpractice lawsuit, however; the problem is that your damages or injuries were probably temporary and/or minor and these types of lawsuits cost a lot of money to prosecute. The costs will likely far outweigh the award. You can file a Complaint with the Board of Ethics and/or the Hospital.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.


Unless you have damages, the adverse reaction alone is not likely enough to pursue a claim. Malpractice is difficult generally to pursue because of the expense involved, so unless you have great resources to pursue a claim, it generally is something that you will have to let go. You should call a couple of malpractice lawyers in your area to see if they agree. Good luck.

David B. Snyder, Esq.
6876 Buckley Road
Syracuse, NY 13212
Mr. Snyder is licensed to practice in New York and practices Medical Malpractice Plaintiff’s work in Syracuse; he cannot offer legal advice in other states. This answer is meant to be a public service and not an attempt to solicit business. Moreover, my answer cannot be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. Unless I am retained in a matter and have completed a full investigation of the underlying facts and law, I cannot give an opinion on which to rely. Furthermore, unless your matter concerns New York law, I am not licensed to practice or give specific legal advice in your state.


Unless you sustained significant injury, a lawsuit would likely cost more than would be recovered, but call one of the lawyers in your state to discuss.


As all the other attorneys have suggested, medical malpractice cases are very costly and expensive to pursue, so transient or temporary damages, will make it extremely difficult for any attorney to pursue a malpractice case for you. I understand you had a bad reaction, but hopefully have recovered fully. If you haven't recovered, then you should seek the advice of a local malpractice attorney.


My colleagues are correct in that medical malpractice cases are difficult and expensive to pursue, and your damages in this case appear to be relatively minor. This is a unique situation in that it is a hospital involved, rather than a physician, which changes the dynamic a little bit. Many hospitals do not want the expense of litigation, and because they don't have to report settlements to the Medical Board, they are often willing to resolve smaller claims without litigation, if the documentation is clear and the damages provable (for example, you broke out with a documented reaction, needed additional medical treatment, etc.). This is not a "big" case, but in cases of clear negligence, sometimes you are able to offset the low return by keeping litigation expenses low.

So yes, you do have some recourse that you can pursue if you choose, it's just not going to be a huge resolution. Good luck and glad you're getting better.

For more information, contact us at or (770) 984-5380. The initial consultation is always free. This post is intended to provide general guidance, and should not be construed as legal advice. While I am an attorney, unless we sign a retainer agreement, I am not your attorney, and any information shared on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it.

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