N.Y. Court: Doc May Owe 3rd Party for Not Warning Patient About Driving on Meds

December 21, 2015

New York’s highest court has reinstated a medical malpractice suit against a Long Island hospital and the doctor and physician’s assistant who gave painkillers to a woman who subsequently crashed her car.

The suit was filed by the driver of a bus who was injured in the crash. It claims the medical providers at South Nassau Communities Hospital failed to warn Lorraine Walsh that the opioid narcotic and anti-anxiety drug she got intravenously two hours earlier could impair her ability to drive safely.

Walsh crossed a double-yellow line and hit the bus.

The Court of Appeals, divided 4-2, says medical providers have a duty to warn patients of the possible danger from drugged driving that extends to third parties.

The two dissenters say that duty only applies to the patient.

Topics New York Personal Auto

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