The found that HMC and Dr Ricketson were jointly and severely liable but only

The found that hmc and dr ricketson were jointly and

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$2,000,000. The found that HMC and Dr. Ricketson were jointly and severely liable but only for 25%. The other 75% was attributed to Mr. Iturralde’s pre-existing condition. They also found that HCM was not liable for damages to Rosalinda. Rosalinda appealed the decision on October 9, 2007 and HCM cross-appealed on October 15, 2007. The conclusion of the appeals stated that “For the foregoing reasons, the Circuit Court's September 10, 2007 Judgment is vacated, and this case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion” (Leonard, n.d.). Legal Components The case of Iturralde vs. Hilo Medical Center presents many legal components where wrong was committed. There were numerous breaches in standard of care, malpractice and negligence in the part of Dr. Robert Ricketson, M.D. and Hilo Medical Center. According to Fremgen (2016), negligence is “the failure or omission to perform professional duties to an accepted standard of care, such as a “reasonable person” would do. In other words, negligence occurs when a person’s actions fall below a certain level of care”. Negligence can also occur
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when something is not done or is done carelessly. In order to prove negligence occurred four conditions are required. The first is duty. Duty is “responsibility established by the physician– patient relationship” (Fremgen, 2016). Under duty a physician is to not perform a procedure that is known to be harmful to the patient. Dr. Ricketson violated this when he chose to insert a screwdriver shaft in Mr. Iturralde’s spine instead of the titanium rods that were required. The second condition is standard of care. The modern definition of standard of care is “that which a minimally competent physician in the same field would do under similar circumstances” (Moffett and Moore, 2011). Ricketson made the decision to implant the screwdriver shaft instead of waiting 90 minutes for the correct parts from a Medtronic representative. He deviated from standard of care and performed a surgery that was outside the scope of the original consent and that could ultimately put the patients’ health at risk. The third condition is harm. By utilizing the screwdriver shaft and giving the patient the go ahead to start physical therapy resulted in the screwdriver shattering when the patient fell. Because the screwdriver was not intended for medical implantation and because the patient was “exercising” without proper spinal support, further surgery to remove the shattered screwdriver was required. This also led to the inability for proper titanium rods to anchor and work effectively resulting in even more surgeries and the ultimate health decline of Mr. Iturralde. Finally, the last condition is causation. Causation means that “but for the defendant's actions, the plaintiff's injury would not have occurred” (Elements, 2019). If Dr. Ricketson had waited for the proper titanium rods to be delivered and postponed the surgery for a later date, there is a high probability that none of the patients’ health issues would have occurred and that he would still be alive today. Hawaii Orthopedics Inc. was also sued for negligence because they employed Dr. Ricketson knowing that he had a history of serious
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  • Spring '16
  • osborn
  • Physician, Dr. Robert Ricketson

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