Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Smith v. Richmond Memorial Hosp
Plaintiff was admitted to Richmond Memorial Hospital in July, 1988. Approximately thirty-three weeks pregnant, she suffered a premature rupture of the uterine membranes, and remained at the hospital for approximately one week. During her stay, she developed acute complications and as her condition worsened, the hospital brought in a physician, not her attending, who without examination transferred her to another facility. There, after she consented, she underwent and emergency caesarian section during which both mother and child sustained substantial injuries. The child sustained severe brain damage. The court found that the treatment and transfer requirements contained in COBRA applied when an emergency medical condition or active labor commenced after a patient was admitted and their condition stabilized. Thus, Plaintiff pleaded sufficient facts and allegations to state a claim pursuant to the federal statute. The court rejected Defendant’s assertion of trial court error in holding that the notice of claim provisions of a Virginia statute did not apply to COBRA claims.
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