If you or someone in your family has suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse, you should know your legal rights – and your obligations at trial. It is important to note that the plaintiff has the burden of proof in a medical negligence case, meaning that he or she has to provide proof of each element of the case sufficient to convince the jury beyond a preponderance of the evidence.
Seeking fair compensation in a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuit can be a complex task. As compared to a traditional tort case arising from, for instance, an auto accident, a medical negligence case may trigger more demanding procedural requirements, including the posting of a bond in some instances. As with other types of litigation, a person who believes that they may have a cause of action against a health care worker for medical malpractice should seek counsel as soon as possible.
Facts of the Case
In a recent (unreported) case, the plaintiff was a man who sued the defendant hospital, averring that he had been the victim of an act of medical negligence. Apparently, the plaintiff did not have an attorney, either at trial or on appeal. This put him at a serious disadvantage, making it exceptionally difficult to win his case. He began his appeal by complaining to the court of appeals that the trial court had been error in declining to appoint counsel to represent him as he pursed monetary compensation against the defendant hospital. He also argued that the trial court should have reduced the amount of the bond required by Massachusetts General Laws ch. 231, § 60B. (His failure to post the required bond resulted in dismissal of his case.)