What is “Foreign Body Presumption of Negligence”?
Did the surgeon leave a sponge in your body after he sewed you up? As disgusting a thought as that is, it happens more often than you would believe. In fact, operating room procedures have been updated to number surgical sponges in an attempt to try to account for all of them so the hospital staff can do a “head count” to try to ensure that nothing got left behind.
In response to the incredible number of “foreign bodies” that get accidentally left inside of surgery patients, the Florida Legislature enacted a “foreign body” presumption of negligence statute (it’s § 766.102(3)(b) for you legal geeks) and which makes the discovery of something like a forgotten surgical sponge inside the body of an alleged victim trigger a presumption of medical malpractice which then puts the doctor and hospital on the spot for proving that leaving such a “foreign body” inside of a patient was not medical malpractice. In layman’s terms what this means is: If you end up with something foreign in your body after surgery (and which shouldn’t be there), the surgeon has some serious explaining to do.
What does this mean to us as citizens? Well, mainly it gives us a much lower burden of proof to prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit for this type of injury. Unlike auto accidents or other types of injury claims, the doctor’s political lobby (yeah, they’re powerful) made it really hard for someone to file a successful medical malpractice claim in Florida. In essence, you must be really, really injured – and permanently so – in order to end up filing a medical malpractice lawsuit to make sense.
If you or someone you know suffers from medical malpractice at the hands of an incompetent medical provider, contact us for a free consultation about our case. If Barrister Law Firm can’t help you directly, we have excellent malpractice attorneys that we can refer you to for an expert evaluation of your case.