Colorado Supreme Court holds hospital to physician standard of care.

In a recent Colorado Supreme Court decision, In re: P.W. v. Children’s Hospital Colorado (15SA151), the Court held that a hospital agreed to provide mental health services to its patient, consistent with the standard of care of a physician.  This is a departure from established case law that holds hospitals do not practice medicine, a common defense to malpractice claims seeking to hold hospitals liable for injuries to patients.  The ramifications of this decision could be far reaching.  It was not the intended result from Plaintiff’s perspective, as the Plaintiff argued the Hospital was not providing medical care in safeguarding the patient on the mental health ward as Hospitals ‘don’t practice medicine.’  The initial import of the Court’s ruling is that the limits on damages from the Health Care Availability Act will likely apply in this case.  I foresee an appeal over this issue if the case goes to trial and results in a multi-million dollar verdict. 

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