Bobby and Rachel were playing basketball on the school playground with a brand new backboard and rim build and installed by ACE Sports. When Bobby, with a boost from Rachel, tried to slam dunk the ball, he injured his wrists cutting them on the rim which had small pieces of metal sticking out from it.
There were no teachers or supervisors on school grounds at the time and the cuts were so severe that Rachel could not wait to call for help and was forced to take Bobby to the hospital on her bike. When they arrived at City General hospital, Bobby was immediately seen by a nurse who wrapped two large towels onto Bobby’s wrists. Nurse Williams told Bobby to put pressure on the cuts while she tried to get a hold of his parents. Bobby was then directed to wait in the waiting room while his mother was contacted for insurance information for payment and consent. Bobby’s mother was reached 75 minutes later. Because of lack of insurance Bobby was transferred to a local county facility for treatment.
Once seen by the county emergency room physician, Bobby was referred to Dr. Andrews for immediate surgery. Dr. Andrews determined that due to delays and extent of injuries Bobby’s right hand/wrist would need to be amputated. The surgeon made all arrangements and the surgery was completed 3 hours later. When Bobby awoke with mother at his side, he was told that the left wrist was amputated in error and that he would require additional surgery to amputate the right wrist.
As a result of the circumstances in the hospital Bobby was left with both hands/wrists amputated.
Evaluate and discuss the potential liability (negligence or other torts) of the various parties in the scenario involving Bobby, the nurse, the surgeon and City General.
Be sure to discuss the elements of negligence as they apply to each party separately, and also discuss the application of EMTALA.
Define comparative negligence and discuss its application to the analysis of liability.
Avoid simply restating the facts/scenario. Incorporate them into your discussion. Be sure to cite all references properly.