Unless you are in the health care profession or dealing with the health care profession, it is hard to appreciate the deference given to medical records. Doctors believe – correctly in most cases – that looking at a patient’s medical records can tell you exactly what should come next in the care and treatment of that patient.
In spite of this, the Indiana Supreme Court wants to impose liability on doctors and hospitals for losing medical records, rejecting the idea of a medical malpractice claimants’ tort for losing the records themselves.
This opinion was the result of a medical malpractice claim filed by a woman who had complications after her son’s emergency cesarean birth in 1999. The Plaintiff brought a separate damages claim against the hospital for losing the records, which made it difficult to bring a birth injury claim against her obstetrician.