Duty to avoid malpractice does not protect non-patients in Groton, Connecticut. 

This means that only a patient of the doctor can sue for malpractice, even if the general type of injury that occurs is forseeable by the doctor. 

Here, is an example:  A person while walking across the cross-walk is run down by a car.  The driver of the car just left his eye doctor’s office with his eyes partially dilated so he could not see well.   The standard of care for an eye doctor is to examine the eye before the patient leaves the office to confirm whether the patient is fit to drive.  In this instance, the doctor was too busy to do the examination. 

Here is another example:  A car crashes into another car pinning a pedestrian between the cars causing serious injuries.  The driver had a severe allergic reaction to food he ate earlier even though that driver was just tested for food allergies, and was cleared with no food allergies.  The doctor misread by the allergy test in violation of the standard of care. 

In both instances medical negligence occurred.  In both instances harm was caused by the medical negligence.  Finally, in both instances the harm was generally forseeable. 

But recently the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the duty to avoid medical malpractice does not extend to non-patients of the doctor.  So, this means that the driver of the cars in the examples above (if they were injured) can bring a medical malpractice claim against their doctor, but you the victim in the car crash cannot.    

The case is Jarmie v. Troncale, 306 Conn. 578 (2012).

If you or anyone you know is a victim of medical malpractice in Groton, Connecticut,  and is a patient then contact the medical malpractice lawyers of The Bartinik Law Firm, PC., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, CT., 860 445 8521 or toll free at 888 717 4211.

Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut
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