In Louisiana and other jurisdictions, any deviation from the minimum standard of care recognized by the medical profession with respect to the subject treatment may be medical malpractice that requires compensation to the patient or to his or her estate. The deviation must also be proved to be a substantial factor in causing the injury or death to the patient. When both negligence and causation are proved by a preponderance of the evidence, medical malpractice is established, and liability of the defendant to the plaintiff is legally mandated.
A claim for malpractice compensation can be settled between the injured patient and the defendant medical providers prior to suit being filed. If the patient is deceased, the patient’s estate may negotiate for a settlement prior to filing a lawsuit. Basically, that kind of procedure is initiated by a letter from the patient’s attorney to the medical providers or sometimes directly to their medical malpractice insurance carrier. Recently, a case settled in another state for $6 million prior to filing a complaint.
Due to the procedural rules in that state, a paper was filed that gave the defendant’s notice of a claim. Each state will have its own peculiarities of local procedure, particularly in medical malpractice actions where the legislatures in each state have tried to aggressively manipulate the flow of such cases. The case involved a woman’s wrongful death claim against various doctors and a hospital for her husband’s death in a surgery that somehow went awry. The information made available is that physicians discovered a growth on the man’s chest after he had been involved in a minor accident.
He was scheduled for surgery to remove the mass. He died the next day due to what is described as multi-system organ failure. The claimant asserted, through expert opinion reports, that the surgery involved numerous deviations from the standard of care. The $6 million will be divided between the man’s widow and his two minor children. These facts could result in a similar pre-litigation medical malpractice settlement in Louisiana.
Source: sharonherald.com, “Medical malpractice case settled for $6 million“, Joe Pinchot, July 8, 2016