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Life insurance blood sample gone wrong

Bethel, AK |

I was out of town, and the phlebotomist (P) came to our home to take A's blood. She was 29 years old, and healthy mother of 4. P had A sit at the table, and proceded to find a vein. This has never been a problem throughout 4 pregnancys. After 7 or 8 attempts, A was feeling light headed, and told P she wanted to go lie down. A has no recollection of standing up, falling forward, hitting her head on the corner of the table, etc. When she awoke, she was on the floor in a pool of blood, and remembers P telling our 11 year old to call 911. P never helped, nor attempted to keep A from getting up, etc. Now, 18 mos later, the plastic surgery bill (for the forhead stitches), and numerous chiropractic visits (to correct neck pain from whiplash) have added up to over $4000. We live in AK. What to do?

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Attorney answers 4


I am not licensed to practice in your state, as I'm only licensed in CA. I can, however, offer some general feedback to your question.

Whether P would be liable for A's injuries is most likely a question of fact. That means it is a question that would need to be decided by a jury, if a lawsuit was filed and the case was not settled before trial. I say "most likely" because I do not know whether there is case law in your state containing very similar facts, with liability being found on the part of people in P's position.

Missing from your facts is precisely what A remembers occurring (including the approximate elapsed time) from the point she told P she was feeling light headed and wanted to go lie down to the point she lost consiousness. If P recognized the danger in A attempting to stand up after complaining of feeling faint and P was the cause of A's complaints (very hard to know) and P could have done something to help A remain safe from harm and failed to do so, P could be liable. But, this conclusion is likely open to argument, unless there is case law on point in your state.

You can contact a personal injury/medical malpractice attorney in your state to discuss the facts in detail. Because 18-months have passed since the accident, it will be crucial to know the applicable statute of limitations for this type of claim.

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I agree with the other attorney

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The case may cost more to pursue than it would be worth even if you win. This is especially so if health insurance paid the medical bills, because they will have subrogation rights to get paid back out of any result you get.

Also, since you admit that "A" has no recollection of the events, you may have a failure of proof issue regarding negligence. How can you prove that "P" did anything wrong if "A" doesn't remember anything ? Also, you say that "A" told "P" she was going to go lie down. So, this indicates to me that "A" made this decision on her own, and the fact that she fell is not "P's" fault. What happened after "A" woke up seems irrelvant, because it's the fall that caused the injury, not the lack of help after she fell.



Thank you for the replies! Our 4 children watched the whole thing, but prob. not credible? No health insurance involved. Every time I have had blood drawn, they make me lie down. I just feel like there was too much unprofessionalism, and feel like they should at least help to pay the associated bills. It's ok if I am wrong, I guess that is the main question I had: Should the company P works for pay medical bills.


The company the phlebotomist works for is surely insured, thus, you would want to retain a medical malpractice lawyer in your state to investigate the facts and circumstances. Good luck to you.

John Lassen 1-877-252-4630