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Theories of Liability: Medical Malpractice and Cosmetic Surgery

  • By Phil Press Institute 
  • Category: Taking Notes 
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Cosmetic surgeon with patientA doctor, regardless of his or her specialization, could make an error that harms or injures a patient, prompting him or her to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. However, not everyone is aware that medical malpractice statutes also protect patients of botched cosmetic surgery procedures. Cases resulting from issues associated with cosmetic surgery typically falls into these categories: negligence, breach of warranty, and breach of contract. Take a look at these liability theories below.

Cosmetic Surgery Negligence

The majority of medical malpractice lawsuits, including those based on errors arising from cosmetic surgery procedures, are founded on the negligence theory. Essentially, it means that a doctor committed an error that any doctor of reasonable competence and proficiency wouldn’t have committed under the same circumstances, so he or she would have to compensate the aggrieved patient for the error committed. However, proving negligence will require the patient to establish that the doctor, beyond a reasonable doubt, really didn’t provide the quality of care that other equally competent cosmetic surgeons would’ve delivered under the same conditions.

Breach of Warranty

In some cases, doctors promise specific results to encourage patients to undergo a surgical procedure. The court will typically interpret this promise as a type of warranty. In the event that the doctor failed to deliver the results he or she promised, a patient might have a case for breaching that promise or warranty, says an attorney in New York. For instance, if a doctor promises a patient that she’ll have a behind similar to Gigi Hadid’s, but ends up having a behind more similar to that of Kim Kardashian, the patient could sue the doctor.

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Breach of Contract

A patient could likewise sue a cosmetic surgeon for breach of contract in the event that the surgeon did not perform the exact cosmetic surgery procedure they agreed upon. Let’s say that a surgeon performed a breast augmentation procedure and utilized the wrong type of breast implant. Apart from committing an error, the surgeon did not perform the specific procedure agreed upon by both parties.

In the event that a cosmetic surgery procedure results in an unwanted or medical harmful mistake, a patient could sue the cosmetic surgeon based on all or one of the abovementioned liability theories. It is, however, crucial to note that all these theories will require the patient to prove specific elements to win a case, so legal counsel is an absolute must.

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