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MI: Pt. claims suit v. hospital for 'negligence': court ruled suit was for 'medical malpractice'.

CASE FACTS: On December 11, 2004, Aaron Sibley, Jr., was taken to the emergency room at Borgess Medical Center, complaining of chest pain. Following a heart catheterization, he was admitted to the hospital's cardiac unit for post-surgical observation. During the course of the next several hours, the patient illuminated his call button several times to advise that he was bleeding from the site where the catheter had been inserted. However, there was no response. Later, the patient illuminated the call button for a fourth time and advised the responding nurse that he was bleeding from his catheterization site. A nurse then came to his room, checked his pulse and, according to the patient, cleaned the catheterization site and changed his clothing and bedding. Thereafter, he was taken to the intensive care unit. According to the patient, his nurse failed to disclose to the treating physicians in the intensive care unit that he had been bleeding from his catheterization site, which delayed his receipt of appropriate medical treatment, causing him to suffer residual effects resulting from his blood loss. The patient sued the hospital, alleging negligence, gross negligence, breach of contract and fraud or fraudulent concealment. The trial court granted the hospital's motion for summary judgment, concluding that the patient's negligence, gross negligence and breach of contract claims actually were claims for medical malpractice and that the patient failed to meet the requirements for such claims. The patient appealed.

COURT'S OPINION: The Court of Appeals of Michigan affirmed the judgment of the trial court in dismissing the patient's case. The court held, inter alia, that the trial court correctly determined that the patient's claims for negligence and gross negligence were claims for medical malpractice. The court concluded that the patient could not avoid the application of the procedural requirements attendant to medical malpractice claims by couching his claims in terms of negligence. Accordingly, because the patient failed to comply with the procedural requirements set forth for a medical malpractice case the trial court properly granted the hospital's motion for summary judgment. Further, the court rejected the patient's contention that his claims for fraud and/or fraudulent concealment should not have been included in the trial court's order for summary judgment for the hospital. The court noted that actionable fraud consists of the following elements: (1) the defendant made a material representation; (2) the representation was false; (3) when the defendant made the representation he knew it was false; (4) the defendant made the representation another would act in reliance on it. Sibley v. Borgess Medical Center, (07/15/ 2008) N.W.2d-MI

Meet the Editor & Publisher: A. David Tammelleo, JD, is a nationally recognized authority on health care law. Practicing law for over 40 years, he concentrates in health care law with the Rhode Island firm of A. David Tammelleo & Associates. He has presented seminars on medical, nursing and hospital law throughout die United States In addition to his writings as Editor of Medical Law's. Nursing Law's & Hospital Law's Regan Reports. his legal articles have been published in the most prestigious health law journals. A prolific writer, his thousands of articles, as well as his achievements as an attorney and lecturer, have won him recognition in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Marquis Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America and Who's in the World.
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Title Annotation:Hospital Law Decisions of Note
Author:Tammelleo, A. David
Publication:Hospital Law's Regan Report
Article Type:Case overview
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:556
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