Medical Malpractice Liability Extended

Recently, an appeals court in Utah extended medical malpractice liability of healthcare providers to the patient’s family, not just to the patient.  This case involved a murder where the husband, under medication, shot his wife.  The children sued the healthcare provider after their dad stated he would not have acted that way if he was not under the influence of medication.  While the defendants claimed the children cannot be party to the case, the court declared there is liability when their negligent prescriptions cause physical injury to nonpatients.

This decision will most likely be appealed and sent to the Supreme Court in Utah; nonetheless, this is an industry changing decision.  If the Supreme Court upholds the appellate court’s decision, insurance providers will now have to be more cautious about treating patients since their liability would now extend further.