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465 S.E.2d 628 Medical Standard of Care Cases of Interest
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465 S.E.2d 628
Danielle Boyd


• Gooch was diagnosed with severe bronchitis in Hopewell, Virginia, and given and injections of penicillin and vitamin B12 and a prescription for Penicillin tablets. The Doctor rated his condition a 3 out of 10 10 being most severe.
• The next day Gooch was stopped by Trooper Lake in Raleigh County, after two motorists had informed the officer of Gooch’s erratic driving. He was driving 45 in a 65 and weaving in and out.
• When Trooper Lake pulled Gooch over he had urinated and vomited on himself, was disoriented, exited the car from the passenger side, and had an open bottle of whiskey in the front seat. He failed a field test, and was given the option of a blood test or breathalyzer, as the officer observed signs of intoxication and driving under the influence.
• Gooch told the trooper he was just on several different medicines and had not been drinking, and that he had a respiratory illness and would prefer a blood test.
• He was taken to the hospital where the officer supplied the equipment for the blood test, he was not admitted, and the only record of his presence there was his name in the log.
• Gooch died four days after he was released from jail after no drugs or alcohol were found in his blood, and his estate is suing the hospital, WVDPS, and Trooper Lake for wrongful death damages.
o Gooch listed no medicines, sought no medical help, nor informed anyone that he had any existing medical conditions besides the initial statement to the Trooper when he selected the blood test.

• Estate is appealing the summary judgment granted to the hospital, stating no client-patient relationship existed.

• Hospital/Patient Relationship: To establish a hospital-patient relationship, unless otherwise imposed by law, there must be a natural person who receives or should have received health care from a licensed hospital under a contract, expressed or implied. W. Va. Code, 55-7B-2(e) (1986). As a matter of law, a hospital-patient relationship cannot be created merely by virtue of an arrestee being presented to a hospital for a drug and alcohol blood test.
o To avoid summary judgment, a plaintiff must show sufficient additional evidence beyond the presentation for a driving under the influence blood test to demonstrate either an expressed or implied contract between the parties was created.
• Civil Immunity for hospitals: W. Va. Code, 17C-5-6 (1981), ***4 specifically provides civil immunity to institutions and individuals who draw blood at the direction of a police officer unless there is gross negligence or willful or wanton injury.
• Summary Judgment: "Summary judgment is appropriate where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, such as where the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of the case that it has the burden to prove." Painter v. Peavey


Summary judgment granted to the Hospital was affirmed for lack of issues of material fact for trial due to no hospital/patient relationship.

List of attached files
ID Name desc uploaded Size Downloads Actions
105 doc Boyd-Cyber.doc Fri 24 of Apr., 2009 05:48 GMT by DanielleBoyd 29.00 Kb 1163 View Download  

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