Filing a lawsuit is no easy task. It is emotionally draining, financially draining, and – in the worst cases – socially ostracizing. The Hale family in Oklahoma is currently suffering just that after recently receiving a letter from the OU Physicians Group, stating that their entire family would be refused care by any doctors in the group. Why? Because the family filed a lawsuit against the physicians who delivered their son, who has since suffered from cerebral palsy, which the family alleges to be the fault of a negligent delivery. Is it legal and/or ethical for the group to deny coverage to the entire family for exercising their right to sue? You be the judge.
Henry – the Hale’s son who’s delivery is in question – is a happy little boy at the age of three. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at one year old, and the family spent his second year of life making the difficult decision to sue the OU Physicians Group. They believe Henry suffered brain damage at birth, due to sub-par care by his delivery doctors. It is important to remember, filing a lawsuit serves the purpose to recover lost compensation. For the Hales, they simply decided to exercise their right to take the matter to court so a judge can decide if and what compensation is due to them. They were not prepared for their health care to be severely limited.
The vast majority of doctors in Oklahoma work under the OU Physicians Group, which means the Hale family, and Henry in particular, have little to no options now that their care has been denied. To put things in a different perspective, lets assume the Hale family was aware of this consequence; would they still have decided to sue? Most likely not. Unless of course they were prepared to potentially drive hundreds of miles, or even relocate to a different state. Is this truly an ethical practice of the OU Physicians Group to impose such consequences?
As horrible as this scenario sounds, it is not unique. Many hospitals around the country have similar bylaws, which prevent care to be provided once a lawsuit is filed. It does make sense in the rare situation that a patient is simply looking to make a buck off his/her doctors; however, people are inherently good, which means the innocent are most often paying the price. It is not right for people to be afraid of filing a lawsuit in this county, particularly in the medical arena where procedures and medical care can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Medical malpractice due to negligence is all too common, and filing a lawsuit is often the only option patients have if they hope to have the financial means to recover from these horrible fates.
The medical malpractice attorneys at Baizer Kolar P.C. can help you or loved ones if you are in a similar position. Don’t let your family suffer as the Hales are now. Contact us and we will help you fight for what is rightfully yours.