Everything is bigger in Texas?


July 25, 2011

Written by: Mike Sacopulos

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that the medical malpractice statutes of the state cover a patient’s death from a spider bite. Classie Reed was a patient at the Omaha Health Care Center when she was bitten by a brown recluse spider. The spider bite ultimately resulted in Ms. Reed’s death. At issue is whether the claim was one that resided in medical malpractice or in ordinary negligence. Writing the opinion for the Supreme Court of Texas, Justice Phil Johnson wrote that the nursing facility failed to inspect for pests or clean the premises. Justice Johnson went on to state that the underlying claim at issue was that the nursing home should have exercised the care required of an ordinary and prudent nursing home. “Those claims fell within the statutory definition of a health care liability claim,” Johnson wrote.

So it seems that everything is bigger in Texas including the definition of medical malpractice. It seems that there would be good reason to argue that a patient stung while entering the physician’s office could have a medical malpractice claim against the physician in the State of Texas. Can a patient that goes into Anaphylactic shock as a result of a bee sting at a physician’s office really have a medical malpractice case in Texas? The recent decision from the Supreme Court of Texas might open the door for just such a claim. Time will tell if other states will adopt then Supreme Court of Texas’ reasoning in expanding the scope of professional liability for medical providers.