Gross negligence in Texas malpractice cases


Having to go to a hospital is usually an experience that raises as many
questions while also providing answers. For an expecting mother in Texas,
a hospital stay can offer reassurance that a pregnancy is progressing
as planned, but it can also bring up many questions about pregnancy, labor,
delivery and recovery after birth. In some cases, delivery room negligence
during or before birth may cause pregnancy-related injuries – these injuries,
in turn, can spark the need for more information regarding negligence
in Texas law.

For severe birth injury and pregnancy-related injury cases, a family might
encounter the term “gross negligence.” As defined by the Texas
Civil Practice and Remedies Code, gross negligence means either an act
or an omission which entails an “extreme degree” of risk when
viewed in an objective manner at the time of occurrence. The risk refers
to potential harm done to a patient – in particular, the magnitude and
probability of such harm.

The second part of the definition of gross negligence involves the actor
– the medical professional accused of gross negligence – being aware of
the risk but proceeding anyway. A doctor who is aware of the substantial
risk of harm to a patient but continues anyway may be consciously indifferent
to the safety or rights of others; in such a situation the doctor may
be grossly negligent.

It’s important to know that OB/GYN negligence can still occur without
gross negligence being involved. There are different types of negligence,
but all can cause harm to a mother or baby. A Texas medical malpractice
attorney can offer legal advice regarding how to determine if negligence
occurred and how to hold negligent staff or providers accountable.

Source: Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, “Title 2: Trial, Judgment and Appeal,” accessed Oct. 30, 2015