Pennsylvania has made medical malpractice cases against health care providers (and nursing homes and hospitals) progressively more difficult for injured people or surviving families. This latest bill is one of the more extreme examples. Apparently afraid that a jury might figure out the truth if the jury was allowed to hear all of the evidence, House Bill 495 makes it illegal to tell a jury that a hospital (or doctor, nurse or other health care provider) has admitted wrongdoing.
So, imagine this scenario: a doctor with a drug or alcohol problem performs surgery while high and accidentally kills your loved one. After the surgery, in a fit of guilt and compassion, the doctor confesses: “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have been doing surgery. I’m an alcoholic. I just had a couple of drinks to steady my nerves. I’m sorry. I made a mistake. I never thought this would happen.”
Years later, your lawsuit has progressed. The doctor’s tune has changed. Now, he denies that the death was his fault. Now, he wants to pretend that he’s a competent doctor and that your loved one’s death was “just one of those things.” He denies fault. He denies that he was drunk. His insurance company refuses to pay the medical bills or the funeral costs or provide any other compensation. You’ll have to go to trial and refute the doctor’s lies.
Now, imagine you are in your lawyer’s office the night before trial. Imagine listening to your lawyer telling you that you are not allowed to tell the jury that the doctor admitted the death was his fault, that the doctor admitted he’d been drinking. Does that feel right to you? Does it feel fair? If you lose your trial (and you might) do you imagine that you’ll feel that you had a fair trial?
You can read the bill yourself. We’ve posted it on our website in our Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Library HERE .
We are opposing the bill and the statewide injury lawyers are going to oppose it. You can help by calling your state representative or state senator and telling them you do not approve of the legislature keeping important, truthful evidence from our juries.
Contact an Erie Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or someone in your family has suffered a serious injury (or death) as a result of what you suspect may have been negligent medical care in a northwest Pennsylvania hospital, an experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney can help you find out what happened and, if appropriate, to obtain some measure of compensation for your harm. For a free consultation with one of our Pennsylvania injury lawyers, call locally 814-833-7100 or toll free at 814-833-7100.