Supreme Court Rules Against Malpractice Victims

A baby allegedly injured by malpractice during delivery at a public hospital has no right to sue the negligent doctors employed by the hospital. That is the result of a recent ruling from the Texas Supreme Court in Franka et al. v. Velazquez, et al., ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2011)(1/21/11).

In Franka, the family of the baby could not sue the hospital since, under a provision of the Texas Tort Claims Act, the injury was not caused by the use of “tangible personal property.” Another provision of that Act requires dismissal of the individual employee whose conduct caused the harm when suit could have been brought against the governmental entity for whom the employee worked. Here, even though the family could not sue the hospital under the Act, the Supreme Court ruled that the Act applied and that they could not bring a claim against the allegedly negligent doctors. Thus, the family is left with no remedy whatsoever against a physician employed by the government.