The Third District Court of Appeal State of Florida (“Florida Appellate Court”) held in its opinion dated October 13, 2021: “Because Mr. Torres alleged sufficient facts to plead his action as one sounding in ordinary negligence, a dismissal with prejudice was not warranted at this juncture … Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
The Underlying Facts
Edwin Torres challenged the trial court’s dismissal with prejudice of his negligence action against Kendall Healthcare Group, Ltd. Mr. Torrres’ complaint alleged that he was admitted as a patient to Kendall Healthcare’s facility, where he underwent diagnostic imaging. After the imaging was complete, Mr. Torres attempted to transfer from the exam table to his wheelchair but fell and injured himself when the wheelchair rolled away because his assigned attendant failed to properly secure its brakes. The trial court dismissed the action finding it sounded in medical malpractice rather than ordinary negligence, and Mr. Torres failed to comply with the statute of limitations in section 95.11(4)(b), Florida Statutes, as well as the mandatory pre-suit requirements in chapter 766, Florida Statutes. Mr. Torres filed an appeal.
The Florida Appellate Court stated: “In order to determine whether Mr. Torres’ failure to comply with the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims and the pre-suit requirements in chapter 766 is fatal to his claim, a determination needs to be made as to whether this suit is for medical malpractice or ordinary, which is an intensively fact based analysis … At this stage of the proceedings, however, our inquiry is limited to the factual allegations within the four corners of Mr. Torres’ complaint, which we must accept as true … Because Mr. Torres alleged sufficient facts to plead his action as one sounding in ordinary negligence, a dismissal with prejudice was not warranted at this juncture … Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
Source Torres v. Kendall Healthcare Group, Ltd., No. 3D19-1528.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury while physically in a hospital or in another health care faciity that may not be due to medical negligence but rather ordinary negligence, you should promptly find a local medical malpractice attorney who may investigate the facts underlying the cause of your injury and advise you whether your claim is for medical malpractice or ordinary negligence. As the appellate case above advises, there are important pleading and other differences between a medical malpractice claim and an ordinary negligence claim, which may determine whether you have satisfied the specific requirements with regard to filing and proceding with your personal injury claim.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of medical negligence in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Florida medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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