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Another case thrown out because the patient didn't explain their negligence to the doctors in advance

Medical malpractice victims are required to give notice of their claim to the alleged at-fault doctors in advance of filing suit.  This is part of "tort reform".  Traditionally, "notices" of this nature, given before suit and discovery and before the victim has access to powers of subpoena or deposition, are considered sufficient if they simply advise the alleged wrong-doers of the nature of the victim's claim.  In malpractice cases, however, the Engler Majority established a politcally-motivated threshold so high that many claims are permanently dismissed because the victim hasn't adequately explained the nature of his or her claim to the doctors involved.  Bond and Blue Cross, Blue Shield v. Adam Cooper, M.D., Kristen McDaniel, D.O. and Botsford General Hospital is a case in point.

Bond's decedent, Norma Jean Blocker, entered the hospital for a hysterectomy and gall bladder surgery.  She was discharged despite abdominal complaints and was promptly re-admitted with a gangrenous bowel.  She became septic and languished for nine months before she died.  Her attorneys sent out a detailed Notice of Intent alleging that Cooper and McDaniel had caused her death by failing to respond to her symptoms and failing to treat an ischemic bowel.

After Bond filed suit, the Defendants sought dismissal of the claim, arguing that Bond's Notice of Intent did not spell out with sufficient precision how the doctors' alleged negligence caused her death.  Despite a standard that requires, at most, "good-faith averments that provide details...and...are as particularized as is consistent with the early notice stage of the proceedings", Bond's claim was dismissed:  apparently because she didn't explain, organ by organ and system by system, how the failure to treat dead bowel tissue leads to sepsis, organ failure and death.  While the court recognized that Bond's attorneys had filed an exhaustive and detailed list of breaches of the standard of care, the judges claimed the notice of intent did not adequately explain to the doctors the "manner" in which these breaches killed Blocker.

Its a pretty sad day when the courts become so politically motivated that the family of an innocent dead patient must explain to her doctors--before filing suit--the precise manner in which their alleged breach of the standard of care caused her death.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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