Medical Negligence - Causation: Hamilton V. Scott

Hamilton v. Scott, [Ms. 1150377, Mar. 9, 2018] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2018). This per curiam (Bolin, Main, Wise, Bryan, Sellers, and Mendheim, J.J., concur; Parker, J., concurs specially; Stuart, C.J., and Shaw, J., dissent) opinion reverses a defense verdict in a medical negligence-wrongful death case concerning the death of a non-viable fetus where the trial court failed to give the plaintiff's proposed requested jury instruction on causation from Parker v. Collins, 605 So. 2d 824 (Ala. 1992).

Specifically, citing Parker, the Court reiterates that:

... the issue of causation in a malpractice case may properly be submitted to the jury where there is evidence that prompt diagnosis and treatment would have placed the patient in a better position than she was in as a result of inferior medical care. Waddell v. Jordan, 293 Ala. 256, 302 So. 2d 74 (1974); Murdoch v. Thomas, 404 So. 2d 580 (Ala. 1981). It is not necessary to establish that prompt care could have prevented the injury or death of the patient; rather, the plaintiff must produce evidence to show that her condition was adversely affected by the alleged negligence. Waddell; see, also, Annot., 54 A.L.R. 4th 10, § 3 (1987).

Ms. *14 (quoting Parker, 605 So. 2d at 827).

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