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Another Nail in the Medical Malpractice Coffin

Photo of Randy Sorrels

The Texas Supreme Court dealt another blow to Texans who are victims of medical malpractice on January 14, 2011, in the case of Franka vs. Velasquez. This case should be a wake-up call to all patients who may see a state employed doctor, as this blow is likely fatal to any claim brought against any state employed physician. The court held that no patient in Texas can bring a medical malpractice case against a state employed physician if it involves the physician's decision-making process, and not caused by a condition or use of tangible personal property. For example, if a patient is seen at Memorial Herman Hospital by a University of Texas physician, and that physician fails to diagnose breast cancer that causes the death of a mother of three, the physician will not be held accountable for her death under the Texas medical malpractice laws.

Our law firm advises all patients who see a doctor, determine exactly who that doctor's employer is, and if he or she is a state employee, to change physicians immediately. State employed doctors have complete immunity from their discretionary decisions. Only if the injuries or death was caused by a condition or use of tangible personal property will there be any opportunity to make a medical malpractice recovery.

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