A former Ohio University student who is suing the college for medical malpractice has asked for a postponement in her trial. She has asked an appeals court to order the delay until another aspect of her case is settled. The woman's suit stems from possible errors that may have caused the hospital to fail to properly diagnose her.
Under Ohio law, universities are not liable for punitive damages and are only liable for a limited amount of non-economic damages. The woman is arguing the constitutionality of this law and wants a postponement of her case until that issue is settled. The woman already lost a plea to have her case heard in another court where these limits would not apply and is awaiting a decision from the appeals court before proceeding with her lawsuit.
Ohio University is planning to file a vigorous opposition to the proposed delay. The university claims that she visited the emergency room twice, including once before going to the university's Hudson Health Center. However, she allegedly left without being seen by a physician after her first visit to the emergency room, a move that could possibly have negative implications on her case.
The university also claims that it intends to call as many as seven lay witnesses, including the plaintiff and her father, who is also a party to the suit. The appeals court's decision about the plaintiff's right to have her case heard in another court will affect her ability to collect damages. Therefore, the decision on this trial delay is crucial in terms of the ultimate decision in this case.
Source: Athens Ohio Today, "Former OU student seeks delay in medical malpractice trial," Steve Robb, Oct. 11, 2012