Falls and Brawls: What Qualifies as “Health Care” Under the Medical Malpractice Act?

Robert David recently wrote an article for the Louisiana Bar Journal, discussing two cases from the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal that further defined what qualifies as “health care” under the Medical Malpractice Act (MMA).

After being diagnosed with severe dementia weeks earlier, the patient in In re: Med. Review Panel Proceeding of Lyons, 51750 (La. App. 2 Cir. 11/15/17), __ So. 3d __, 2017 WL 5473698, was found wandering around the parking lot of the assisted-living facility where she resided. Later that day, the patient was discovered unconscious beneath an open third-story window. The Second Circuit held that the facility failed to provide adequate health care as contemplated by the MMA to the patient when she was not properly supervised to secure her safety.

In Evans v. Heritage Manor Stratmore Nursing & Rehab. Ctr., L.L.C., 51,751 (La. App. 2 Cir. 9/27/17), __ So. 3d __, 2017 WL 4273693, a patient was admitted to Heritage after suffering a severe stroke with the specific orders to prevent bed sores. Two months later, a nursing assistant was attempting to change the patient’s diaper and undershirt when he resisted and struck the nursing assistant. Out of reflex, the nursing assistant responded by hitting the patient with her “fist and long acrylic fingernails.” The Second Circuit held that the patient’s injuries occurred during the course of his health care, as diaper changes were necessary to prevent the development of bed sores.

Read more of Mr. David’s article, Health Care Provider Claim Non-Qualified HCP Status, in the Recent Developments Section of the Louisiana Bar Journal at pages 348-49.