The medical malpractice attorneys at the Fitzsimmons Law Firm recently obtained a settlement in a medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit filed against a mental health facility and a school board for allegedly failing to diagnose and treat the 10 year old plaintiff and prevent his attempted suicide. In West Virginia, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against a health care provider, such as a mental health facility, for its failure to follow accepted standards of care resulting in injuries or death to the patient. Specifically, a medical malpractice case can be sustained if the plaintiff can show: (1) the health care provider failed to exercise that degree of care, skill and learning required or expected of a reasonable, prudent health care provider in the profession or class to which the health care provider belongs acting in the same or similar circumstances; and (2) such failure was a proximate cause of the injury or death. W.Va. Code §55-7B-3.
According to the underlying lawsuit, the mental health facility, by and through their medical professionals, were negligent for failing to diagnose the plaintiff with major depressive disorder and further misdiagnosing him with oppositional defiant disorder. The plaintiff also alleged the school was negligent and that it breached its duty of care owed to the plaintiff by failing to alert the plaintiff's therapist and mental health professionals of his alarming behaviors displayed at school prior to the attempted suicide. As a result of the attempted suicide, the plaintiff sustained a severe and permanent anoxic and traumatic brain injury requiring 24-hour medical care. The Complaint sought damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, past and future medical expenses, and loss of the plaintiff's earning capacity as a result of his disabling brain injury. Plaintiff's mother also sought damages for the loss of her filial consortium as a result of her son's tragic injuries. A confidential settlement was reached with the defendants who both denied liability.
Notably, a portion of the settlement proceeds will be used to build a handicap accessible house designed to meet all of the plaintiff's specific needs.
The Fitzsimmons Law Firm is a personal injury litigation firm that has dedicated its practice to patient safety and protecting victims harmed as a result of medical negligence or medical errors. For over 35 years, our medical malpractice attorneys have represented clients throughout West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and across the country in a wide variety of medical malpractice claims.