Case •childs v. weis | HSA 4502 | Florida State College at Jacksonville
Case: Childs v. Weis (440 S.W.2d 104 Texas Ct. Viv. App. 1969)
Decide if you are dealing with a state or federal case.
- The case is in the state courts.
Why was this case sent to the court system in question and not another?
- This case was sent to the Texas Court of Civil Appeals which is the intermediate court of appeal for civil matters in Texas. The case was most likely sent to this court since the initial trial in Texas was civil and the appeal was a civil one.
Talk about whether the case is eligible for the Supreme Court of the State or the Federal
- It is because this case was settled in state courts that it would be ineligible to appeal to the supreme federal court. This case could possibly be appealed before the Texas Supreme Court which is Texas’ highest court for civil cases.
Summary the facts and the risk involved in the case.
- The patient was a nine-year-old child who had abdominal pains and vomited. The appendix was removed after he had been diagnosed with appendicitis. During the surgery, the patient’s common bile duct was accidentally cut, which caused bile to leak into his abdominal cavity. Peritonitis followed, and the patient died.
- Healthcare facility: A hospital has been sued for medical negligence. The hospital claimed that the surgeon performing the surgery was not an employer of the facility and the hospital could not be held responsible for the actions.
Two examples of errors found in the facts of the case. Include in your description:
- Mistake 1: The surgeon accidentally cut the patient’s common bile duct during the appendectomy. It was a mistake, because the surgeon had not intended to do this. The patient suffered significant damage.
- Legitimate reasons for the provider actions: The surgeon was likely attempting to remove the patient’s appendix and accidentally cut the bile duct while performing the surgery.
- The provider may have acted for less than legitimate reasons: it is possible that the doctor was inexperienced or not properly trained to perform appendectomies, and as a consequence made an error.
- Error 2: Hospital argues that surgeon performing the procedure is not a hospital employee and hospital not responsible for their actions.
- There may be legitimate reasons why the service provider acted in this way: For example, the hospital might have thought that the surgeon wasn’t an employee but was instead an independent contractor.
- There may be some less than legitimate explanations for provider’s actions. The hospital might have tried to escape liability by saying that the surgeon wasn’t an employee.
How do you believe the case elements impacted your treatment/services at your most recent visit to the healthcare facility?
- The specifics of the case, and the health care organization where I was treated are not known to me. It would be difficult to know how this affected my treatment or services. This case is a good reminder that malpractice and medical mistakes can happen in any setting. It’s important to ensure healthcare providers have procedures in place for preventing, identifying, and addressing these problems.
Consider that you work as a member of a team responsible for risk management at the Hospital of Hope located in Jacksonville, FL. What actions, as part of a team of risk managers, would you recommend to prevent the recurrence in your case?
- The Hospital of Hope can take a number of actions to prevent this from happening again, such as:
- Implementing surgical protocols to ensure all surgeons have the proper training and experience in performing the surgery.