In Massachusetts, the law requires any person wishing to pursue a medical malpractice action to provide a sufficient offer of proof of liability at the onset of the claim. Recently, in Moalli v. Genesis Healthcare, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts overturning a trial court’s dismissal of a claim due to insufficient proof, explaining that proof offered will be sufficient if it shows a likelihood that the defendant’s negligence caused the harm alleged. If you or a loved one was injured due to negligent medical care, you should consult a knowledgeable Massachusetts personal injury attorney to analyze the facts of your case and assess whether you may be able to recover damages.
Facts Surrounding the Decedent’s Illness
Allegedly, the decedent was admitted to the defendant rehabilitation facility following a hospitalization for pneumonia. He was 87 years old at the time of his admission. He was placed in a room with an individual suffering from a Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff) infection. The decedent’s family members were not informed of the infection. Additionally, the decedent’s daughter observed the staff members performing their duties without gloves or gowns. Twelve days after he was admitted the decedent was transferred to another room. He began reporting loose stools and had an elevated white cell count, which was not revealed to the decedent’s family. He was ultimately discharged to an assisted living facility where he continued to be treated for loose stools. Approximately one month after his admission to the defendant facility he was diagnosed with C. Diff. He passed away twelve days later while in hospice. Colitis was listed as one of the significant factors contributing to his death. The plaintiffs, decedent’s family, filed a medical malpractice suit against the defendant facility. The plaintiffs’ complaint was ultimately dismissed for failure to provide sufficient offer of proof of liability. The plaintiffs subsequently appealed.