Can I File a Patient Profiling Lawsuit?

Patient Profiling & Discrimination Lawsuits

In this post we’ll answer these questions and more:

  • How do doctors discriminate and is it malpractice?
  • What is a patient profiling lawsuit?
  • Can I file one?
  • How does patient profiling become medical malpractice?
  • Can I sue for patient profiling?

Read on to find out more!

Check out our quick answers section below to find answers to frequently asked questions about patient profiling lawsuits.

When Profiling Patients Becomes Fatal

Grisel Soto rushed to the hospital with a 101 degree fever and excruciating pain in her head. She couldn’t speak, and was acting irrational. Her husband overheard a nurse say that those symptoms were exactly like those of people who smoke synthetic weed.

Pleading with doctors to run more tests, Soto’s husband insisted his wife had never used drugs. But ER workers ordered only blood and urine tests. Then they injected her with a tranquilizer and restrained her in a bed. There she fought for her life for 10 hours, going into cardiac arrest 5 times. She finally succumbed to what an autopsy revealed as meningitis.

If doctors hadn’t made false assumptions, Grisel Soto would still be alive today. The nurse pegged the Brooklyn grandmother as a marijuana user. She then diagnosed her with “unspecified psychosis.” As a result of the nurse’s patient profiling, Soto’s family suffered a devastating loss.

Doctor looks through medical records.

What Is A Patient Profiling Lawsuit?

Grisel Soto was the victim of blatant patient profiling, which led to misdiagnosis of her illness. Patient profiling is when a medical provider determines that you have (or may have) a certain behavior or illness, based on your appearance, sex, race, or financial status. In short, it’s a type of discrimination that can lead to devastating consequences.

Studies have shown that certain people are more at risk for patient profiling than others. Dr. Pamela Wible asserts that “profiling disproportionately impacts patients with chronic pain, mental illness, the uninsured, and patients of color.”

Is it possible to hold doctors accountable for discrimination via a patient profiling lawsuit? That depends on whether the provider’s assumptions led to malpractice. We’ll discuss how malpractice stems from patient profiling below.

How Patient Profiling Becomes Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can be described as negligence by a medical professional that causes some form of injury. It could be incorrect treatment, faulty illness management or misdiagnosis, for example. And if patient profiling causes one of these forms of negligence (and you can prove it) – that’s how patient profiling becomes malpractice.

In order to file a patient profiling lawsuit, you must prove that your healthcare provider was negligent. This means that your provider didn’t treat you according to the standard of care. 

In Grisel Soto’s case, patient profiling resulted in misdiagnosis, and misdiagnosis caused her death. But there are many other types of medical malpractice. Here are some examples:

  • Discharging a patient too early
  • Misreading or ignoring symptoms
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
  • Performing unneeded surgery
  • Refusing to provide any treatment
  • Not ordering correct tests
  • Surgery errors such as operating in the wrong place
  • Providing poor aftercare or no aftercare
  • Making the wrong diagnosis or no diagnosis at all
  • Failure to obtain informed consent
  • Nursing home abuse

Patient discrimination doesn’t always lead to malpractice. But doctors who profile patients instead of evaluating them as individuals are more likely to do them harm.

If you believe you or a loved one are the victim of this type of malpractice, you may be wondering, “Can I sue for patient profiling?” Read on to discover what you’ll need for a patient profiling lawsuit. Remember, it’s best to contact a medical malpractice lawyer for specific advice about your case.

Are you or a loved one a victim of patient profiling? Call Hampton & King today to discuss your case and seek damages. 

Can I Sue For Patient Profiling?

You can sue for patient profiling when your case meets 4 key requirements:

  1. There’s proof that patient profiling led to medical malpractice.
  2. You have proof that you suffered harm or injury.
  3. A lawyer can prove that your doctor’s negligence was the cause of your injury or harm.
  4. You can show that this harm can be compensated.

There must be proof via tangible means, such as medical records and documents. The more information you can gather, the better your chances for winning a lawsuit.

If you are able to prove your case, you can win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, and more. Sometimes, courts award damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering.

Woman is aching with pain.

How To File A Patient Profiling Lawsuit

If the error came from patient profiling and you can prove that there was malpractice – you can file a lawsuit. You should know that there is a difference between negligence and profiling, and that one might not lead to the other. But if a healthcare provider profiled you and that led to malpractice, you have a case.

Do you believe that you or a loved one are the victim of malpractice stemming from patient profiling? You may be eligible for compensation. But first, you’ll need to file a patient profile lawsuit.

The statute of limitations restricts how long you have to file after negligence has taken place. So it’s important to begin this process sooner rather than later. To get started, contact a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer at Hampton & King today. Our staff will help you determine eligibility, gather evidence, and file your lawsuit in a correct and timely manner.

Call today for a free consultation. It’s time to get the compensation you deserve!

Quick Answers Section – FAQs

What is patient profiling?

When a healthcare professional assumes your behavior or illness is because of your national origin, race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, appearance or other visual characteristics, for example.

Can you sue a doctor or other medical professional for patient profiling?

When doctors are negligent and the result is some form of injury, that’s medical malpractice. If the doctor is negligent because of patient profiling, you can sue the doctor, although specifically, you’re suing because of malpractice, not just profiling.

How do I fight patient profiling?

If you have been treated badly by a doctor, especially in a way that injured you, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your options. Many if not most malpractice attorneys can give you a consultation for a minimum fee or even for free. You can also file a complaint and send it to the medical board of your state.

Can I sue a doctor for emotional distress caused by profiling?

Short answer, yes. If the distress is because of medical negligence, then you can sue the doctor just like if he/she inflicted physical harm on you. Oftentimes, emotional distress is just as damaging, and it can be much worse.

How much can you sue for emotional distress?

It depends on your state. In Texas, there’s no cap on pain and suffering (non-economic damages), but for medical malpractice, you can only sue each doctor or an individual health care provider for $250,000. If there are multiple medical facilities involved in the patient profiling lawsuit, the overall maximum amount of compensation you can receive is $750,000.

Can I sue for patient abandonment due to patient profiling?

The refusal by a doctor to treat a certain patient can cause harm, if he/she stops care prematurely, for example. You may have a case if you were a patient who still needed treatment but were abandoned. Learn more about patient abandonment here.

Can I sue a doctor for refusing to treat me because of profiling?

If you have an injury, pain or suffering because of the delay, you may have a case. Failure to diagnose or treat an illness alone is not enough for you to have a case.

There needs to be an injury caused by the failure to diagnose or treat. You need to be able to prove that the delay of care led to an injury of some sort.

Can I sue my hospital for discrimination?

If the personnel in a healthcare facility discriminate against you, you may be able to sue and receive compensation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act are all laws that prohibit discrimination in healthcare (and otherwise).

If your healthcare facility discriminates against you and you’re able to prove it in court, you can get compensated for relevant damages. Depending on the details of your case, this may be medical expenses, lost income, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, or some other form of damages.