In a case where the plaintiff alleged that a camera used during robotic surgery fell on her and injured her, the Connecticut Appellate Court stated in its decision released on March 3, 2020, “Depending on the factual circumstances, some of the allegations might support a conclusion of ordinary negligence (e.g., ‘‘failing to properly secure the camera so that it does not fall on patients’’) and some might support medical malpractice (e.g., ‘‘operating the robot in such a manner to cause the camera to fall’’). Neither we nor the trial court are assisted by any facts regarding a description of the camera, where it was, how it was used, whether a medical provider was manipulating the camera at the time it ‘‘fell,’’ to state but a few questions. A holistic and reasonable reading of the complaint as drafted does not necessarily foreclose the possibility that injuries were caused by ordinary negligence not involving the exercise of medical judgment.”
Medical Negligence vs. Ordinary Negligence
In Connecticut, “the relevant considerations in determining whether a claim sounds in medical malpractice are whether (1) the defendants are sued in their capacities as medical professionals, (2) the alleged negligence is of a specialized medical nature that arises out of the medical professional-patient relationship and (3) the alleged negligence is substantially related to medical diagnosis or treatment and involved the exercise of medical judgment.”
The Connecticut Appellate Court stated in footnotes: “We interpret the second prong to consist of two related but separate elements, both of which must be met: (1) the alleged negligence is of a specialized medical nature, and (2) the alleged negligence arises out of the medical professional-patient relationship. Similarly, the third prong consists of two related but separate elements, both of which must be met: (1) the alleged negligence is substantially related to medical diagnosis or treatment, and (2) the alleged negligence involved the exercise of medical judgment. We consider each element separately. We consider together the issues of whether the alleged negligence was of a ‘‘specialized medical nature’’ (part of the second prong) and whether the negligence ‘‘involved the exercise of medical judgment’’ (part of the third prong)”.”
In the case it was deciding, the Connecticut Appellate Court stated, “because the plaintiff was under the care of the defendant in its capacity as a medical provider and suffered injuries while under treatment, we conclude that the first prong [was satisfied].”
Nonetheless, the Appellate Court held: “The specific factual scenario, then, is far from clear. We are left without guidance as to the precise circumstances claimed to have resulted in injury. In light of the duty to construe the allegations in the light most favorable to the pleader, we are constrained to reverse the judgment of dismissal and to remand the matter to the trial court for further proceedings. We, of course,express no opinion as to whether some or all of the allegations of negligence will be barred by the failure to file a certificate pursuant to § 52-190a.”
Source Young v. Hartford Hospital, AC 41997.
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