University of Kentucky Tries to Dismiss Medical Malpractice Suit By Man Who Claims He Was Misdiagnosed With HIV Eight Years Ago

October 2, 2013

A Kentucky man has filed a lawsuit against the University of Kentucky Medical Center, claiming that the medical staff misdiagnosed him with HIV back in 2004. The University of Kentucky has requested that the Fayetteville Circuit Court dismiss the case.

hospital-1031747-m.jpgIn 2004, Bobby Russell went to the University of Kentucky emergency room with symptoms including a sore throat, fever, and open sores and wounds. After undergoing testing, Russell was diagnosed with HIV and started on an antiretroviral medication that seemed to suppress the illness. The only problem was that in 2012, Russell underwent more testing at Bluegrass Care Clinic, an infectious disease and HIV/AIDS clinic that is affiliated with the University of Kentucky's medical school. There, he learned that he did not have HIV.

Russell argues that none of the University of Kentucky Medical Center's staff ordered the full spectrum test for HIV, and thus did not take reasonable care. Meanwhile, the University of Kentucky's spokesmen argue that proper testing was conducted back in 2004, and that using proper testing techniques, Russell was properly diagnosed with the HIV virus. The University of Kentucky Medical Center took every precaution to ensure that Russell's illness did not progress. The University of Kentucky also asked for the court to dismiss the Medical Center and Bluegrass Care Clinic from the case because the Kentucky Supreme Court had established that the university was entitled to sovereign or government immunity from medical malpractice claims.

In Kentucky, most people with a medical malpractice claim have just one year to file a lawsuit from the time the injury occurred or reasonably should have been discovered. When filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the injured party can file against not only physicians or nurses, but also any health care provider licensed or certified to provide treatment or medical services. Under the doctrine "vicarious liability," medical employers can be sued as well as medical staff as long as the disputed actions took place within the scope of the staff's regular duties.

Those who file medical malpractice lawsuits typically argue: (1) the medical staff involved had a duty of care to patients to act reasonably according to the standards of the profession; (2) the medical staff breached that duty by behaving unreasonably; (3) the breach caused the injury; and (4) the injury resulted in damages. Kentucky has what is called a "pure comparative negligence" system, which means that an injured party can collect a monetary award even if the injured party is partially at fault. Unlike many states, Kentucky does not place a limit on the amount of economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages that can be recovered. If you live in Kentucky and have been injured by medical staff, contact a Kentucky medical malpractice attorney to find out more about what you can do.

Miller & Falkner is a plaintiffs law firm serving residents of Kentucky and Indiana. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the firm provides representation in the areas of personal injury and employment law. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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