Subject Matter: Ross v. St. Lukes
Texas passed tort reform on health care claims several years ago and one of the ongoing issues has been the extent of the reach of the statute to the garden variety premises claims at health care facilities. The Texas Supreme Court just issued its opinion in the Ross v. St. Lukeâ€™s case. This case looks at the issue of whether slip-and-fall type cases that occur in hospitals qualify as health care liability claims under Chapter 74 of the CPRC. Some of the courts of appeals had held that such claims do fall within Chapter 74, which makes them subject to the stringent requirements of that statute. The Supreme Court rejected that position.
The court held that safety-based health care claims must â€œhave a substantive relationship with the providing of medical or health care.â€ It listed seven non-exclusive considerations to be used in analyzing whether a safety-related claims constitutes a health care liability claim:
1. Did the alleged negligence of the defendant occur in the course of the defendantâ€™s performing tasks with the purpose of protecting patients from harm;
2. Did the injuries occur in a place where patients might be during the time they were receiving care, so that the obligation of the provider to protect persons who require special, medical care was implicated;
3. At the time of the injury was the claimant in the process of seeking or receiving health care;
4. At the time of the injury was the claimant providing or assisting in providing health care;
5. Is the alleged negligence based on safety standards arising from professional duties owed by the health care provider;
6. If an instrumentality was involved in the defendantâ€™s alleged negligence, was it a type used in providing health care; or
7. Did the alleged negligence occur in the course of the defendantâ€™s taking action or failing to take action necessary to comply with safety-related requirements set for health care providers by governmental or accrediting agencies?
Firm/Company: Texas Supreme Court
Document Date: February 23, 2020
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