Features  |   February 2015
The Process and Evolution of a Lawsuit
Author Affiliations
  • Dean F. Connors, M.D., Ph.D.
    Committee on Professional Liability
Article Information
Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Patient Safety / Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   February 2015
The Process and Evolution of a Lawsuit
ASA Monitor 02 2015, Vol.79, 22-23.
ASA Monitor 02 2015, Vol.79, 22-23.
While not being an attorney, I have had the good fortune to have served as an expert witness in cases involving physician anesthesiologists over the last few years. I would like to take a few minutes to give you an idea of the process(es) involved and the role you will play in the sequence of events to follow.
The lawsuit begins with the complaint filed by the plaintiff. Depending on where the event occurred, it may be filed in a city, county or even in federal court. The plaintiff (the injured party or potentially surviving family members) is asserting that you, as an anesthesia care provider, have committed malpractice. The plaintiff is saying you had a professional relationship with the injured party, and through your action (or inaction), you failed to provide the level of care that another anesthesia provider (with the same or similar training and experience) would have provided under the same set of similar circumstances. As a result of your action, the plaintiff alleges that he or she suffered harm or injury.
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