Suppose a client explains to you that he is dying of cancer and, according to the client’s tale, the doctor diagnosed the cancer — but the diagnosis was late. When the attorney confronts a missed diagnosis or missed treatment for a medical malady, consider the recovery avenue known as “loss of chance.”

The typical rule in tort litigation is a simple one. The patient is entitled to recover for damages that the tortfeasor inflicted, but there must exist a real and direct line of causation. Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co., 162 N.E. 99 (1928). In the medical negligence setting, this general rule requires the plaintiff to show that, absent the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff would have lived a normal life. The plaintiff must show that the defendant caused certain damages; the damage conundrum surfaces when damages are theoretical and uncertain. Courts created the loss-of-chance recovery to deal with this theoretical damage analysis.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]