• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Did negligence cause patient’s death?

    David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D.DS is a 48-year-old man with a multiple squamous cell carcinoma and a history of immunosuppression. He is seen every six months for skin evaluation. His cancerous lesions have been treated with a variety of methods including electrical destruction, topical agents and Mohs surgery. Some lesions have recurred; others have not. The patient develops metastatic disease from a recurrent lesion and dies, leaving behind multiple family members. The plaintiff’s estate sues the treating dermatologist contending that there must have been negligence and a breach of duty for the skin cancer to return. Perhaps more frequent dermatologic visits and/or more aggressive treatments would have prevented the patient’s unfortunate death. Was the dermatologist negligent?

    READ: When can I accept a patient's gift?

    Standard of care

    Any analysis of physician negligence must first begin with a legal description of the elements of negligence. There are four required elements for a cause of action in negligence. They are

    • duty

    • breach of duty

    • causation

    • damages

    The suing plaintiff’s estate must show the presence of all four elements to be successful in the claim.

    NEXT: Duty of a dermatologist


    David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D.
    Dr. Goldberg is Director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, Director of Mohs Surgery and laser research, ...


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available

    Latest Tweets Follow