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On failure to warn: court weighs in on widely relevant case

We note on a relevant page of our website at the Maricopa County medical malpractice law firm of Harris Powers & Cunningham that medical facility-based negligence occurs across a wide universe of patient-inflicted harms.

On a web page discussing hospital injuries, we point out, for example, that the gamut of patient risks and resulting harm ranges from emergency room errors, surgical mistakes and inappropriate referrals to misdiagnosis, medication error and facility-acquired infections.

And failure to warn can certainly be added to that list, as was centrally noted in a recent media article discussing the result in a landmark case in New York that easily commands relevance in Arizona and all other states across the country. We pass along the material details immediately below for our readers.

The key facts of the case are clear enough. A woman was prescribed painkillers while at a hospital. She subsequently left the facility and, while driving home, was involved in an accident that injured another person. That individual filed a lawsuit for damages.

Although a lower court dismissed the lawsuit, which had named the medical facility as a defendant, the state's highest court reinstated the litigation.

The court reasoned that, where a provider gives a patient drugs that could reduce the patient's driving abilities, "the medical provider has a duty to third parties to warn the patient."

The patient had insisted that the hospital provided no such warning to her.

The case well illustrates that a person harmed by medical negligence might reasonably commence a legal claim against both individual providers and a medical facility for negligence, and on various grounds.

Persons with questions or concerns regarding deficient medical care can obtain candid guidance and zealous legal representation from a proven medical malpractice attorney.

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