Would I have a case if my son passed out and injured himself while undergoing a medical test?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Would I have a case if my son passed out and injured himself while undergoing a medical test?

My son went to an allergist for hives and had a skin scratch test. Then 10 minutes in to the 20 minute test, he passed out and fell from a sitting position off of the exam table, onto the floor face first and broke his nose. There was no doctor or nurse in the room with us. Would we have a case since he was left alone while testing and no one was monitoring him? I was in there with him but I’m not a doctor. This was the first time he has ever passed out.

Asked on August 14, 2017 under Malpractice Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you most likely do not have any recourse. A medical professional is only responsible if they were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in some way. There is nothing unreasonably careless in leaving someone alone while they are waiting out a scratch test--people very rarely spontanously pass out and fall during this test. Therefore, it was not reasonably foreseeable, or predictable, that this would happen; and if not foreseeable, they were not careless to not guard against it--and therefore, they would not have been negligent and would not be liable.

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