Utah Malpractice Suit Will Be Appealed
Suit Dismissed Because Plaintiff’s Were Not Patients
In early 2008 David Ragsdale shot and killed his estranged wife in a church parking lot in Lehi. Ragsdale later pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and is serving 20 to life in Utah State Prison. The legal issues following this accident did not end there however. In April 2010 the financial guardians for Ragsdale’s children brought a malpractice suit against a doctor and nurse at Pioneer Comprehensive Medical Clinic who treated Ragsdale. According to the plaintiff’s counsel the clinic prescribed medication to Ragsdale that caused him to commit the murder. This suit, however, was never decided on the merits because the judge dismissed the case in December 2010. According to Judge Denise Lindberg because the children were not patients of the Pioneer clinic they could not bring a malpractice lawsuit against the clinic. In most malpractice cases the defendant was negligent as to a duty they owed to the plaintiff, in this situation the judge is basically saying that there was no duty owed to the children because they were not patients of the clinic.
Appeal In The Works
It is now being reported that the counsel for the Ragsdale’s children are now planning on appealing the decision by the district court judge. The family has stated that they want the Utah Supreme Court to overturn Judge Lindberg’s decision and allow the case to be heard. If the family wins on appeal that does not mean they win the malpractice suit, it only means that the case can not be dismissed simply because the children were not patients of the clinic.
The Ever Changing Law
If the Utah Supreme Court ever hears this case and if they in fact decided in the families favor it would be a huge shift in the law. The range of duty owed by defendants would increase and there would be an influx of lawsuits brought to the court system. The appeals process provides the justice system with an avenue to continually update and modify the interpretation of the law; however, that change only comes based on what types of cases are appealed. Although the appeals process can be very time consuming and very expensive it is often important to clients to try and give the courts a chance to modify the laws they consider erroneous. Because the courts are constantly deciding cases that could and will have an impact on future cases it is important to have an attorney that is up to date on the current landscape of the law. The lawyers at Salcido Law Firm are continuously working on knowing the ins and outs of the law and are prepared to give you every viable option in your case. Call today to find out what we can do for you. 888.337.3235