Texas Bill Would Modify ‘Claimant’ Definition in Medical Liability Cases

January 29, 2015

Texas state Rep. Chris Turner, House District 101- Grand Prairie, has filed a measure that would clarify the definition of “claimant” in respect to a healthcare liability claim.

HB 956 stems from the Texas Supreme Court’s decision in the Texas West Oak case, which held that an on-the-job injury claim brought by a hospital worker was required to have an expert report like those required in a traditional medical malpractice case, according to Turner’s announcement.

As a result of this decision, cases stemming from sexual assault, racial discrimination, or basic slip and falls, are considered a “Health Care Liability Claim” under the Texas Medical Liability Act, simply because they occur in a health care environment.

HB 956 would restrict the definition of a healthcare liability claimant to patients.

“Under current law, if a person is assaulted or injured in a healthcare setting and seeks legal relief, they are subject to the liability limits and other provisions laid out in the Texas Medical Liability Act. I am confident that this was not the intent of the law and something must be done to address it this session,” said Turner. “By making the definition apply solely to patients, we’ll ensure that a case filed by nurse who is sexually assaulted on the job or an electrician hit by a falling beam isn’t treated as medical malpractice.”

Source: Texas House of Representatives

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