Oregon High Court Rules Loss of Chance for Better Medical Outcome is Actionable
A patient sued his physicians and hospital for medical malpractice after he suffered permanent brain damage from a stroke. He alleged that because his doctors did not take the proper steps to follow up on his complaints of stroke symptoms, he lost a chance for treatment, administration of a drug, that proved successful in reducing or eliminating complications following a stroke in one-third of the cases. The Oregon Supreme Court held as a matter of first impression that loss of a substantial chance of a better medical outcome can be a cognizable injury in a common law claim for medical malpractice. Accordingly, the patient's allegations of loss of a 33 percent chance of total or close to total recovery from his stroke, supported his claim for medical negligence.