When patients entrust medical professionals, facilities, and hospitals with their healthcare, an expectation of competent diagnosis and treatment consistent with the established standard of care in the community constitutes a reasonable expectation. Many people are overwhelmed by the massive stack of intake paperwork they face as new patients. Frequently, a waiver or release of liability often will purport to limit the legal rights and remedies of patients to seek financial compensation for injuries or other harm caused by the negligence of a health care provider. Although many patients assume they cannot pursue a medical malpractice claim because their health care provider had them execute a document limiting the liability of the provider or facility, courts do not always enforce these types of provisions. In this blog, our Miami medical malpractice lawyers review a court case decided a few weeks ago that allowed a plaintiff to pursue a medical malpractice claim despite signing a release of liability.
In Brooks v. Paul, the plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that her physician and other defendants negligently cut her ureter during spinal fusion surgery. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the defendants sought summary judgment by claiming that the release signed by the plaintiff shielded the medical providers from liability. The language of the release provided in pertinent part that the medical providers “will not carry any medical malpractice insurance. Being of sound mind and sound body, I hereby acknowledge this fact and agree not to sue [the medical providers] for any reason. My reason for doing this is that I realize that [the medical providers] will do the very best to take care of me according to community medical standards.” Continue reading →