Home » Medical Malpractice » Medical Malpractice: Breach of the Standard of Care

Medical Malpractice: Breach of the Standard of Care

The fundamental issue in all medical malpractice cases is whether or not the health care provider breached the standard of care. According to Connecticut General Statute Sec. 52-184c, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice action must prove “by the preponderance of the evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” In other words, it is incumbent on the plaintiff to find a health care provider with training and experience in the same specialty or discipline who is qualified to establish the appropriate standard of care and is of the opinion that the defendant breached that standard.  Connecticut General Statute Sec. 52-190a mandates that a complaint for medical malpractice contain a certificate of good faith that “reasonable inquiry gave rise to a good faith belief that grounds exist for an action against each named defendant.”  The statute further requires the plaintiff to “obtain a written and signed opinion of a similar health care provider, as defined in section 52-184c, … that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence and includes a detailed basis for the formation of such opinion.” The three essential questions that arise in medical malpractice questions are: 1) What is the requisite standard of care, 2) did the health care provider deviate from that standard, and 3) was the injury caused by the deviation from the standard? Connecticut courts generally require the plaintiff to produce an expert witness who will testify to “both the standard of care to which the defendant is held and the breach of that standard.”  Vitone v. WaterburyHospital, 88 Conn. App. 347, 351 n. 5, 869 A.2d 672 (2005).

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