OT: Advice from MGoLawyers/Health professionals

Submitted by Cranky Dave on January 1st, 2019 at 12:32 PM

Happy New Year everyone. 

Looking for input from the lawyers and health professionals. My 75 year old mother went in for a cardio lite stress test last week.  I wasn’t there so this is only hearsay. 

Apparently when my mother finished the allotted time on the treadmill a chair was placed on the treadmill and my mother was instructed to sit in the chair    At some point the treadmill started and my mother was thrown off backwards  she received treatment   Immediately but had to visit the ER a few days later due to ongoing problems  

My first question is why in the hell was a chair placed on a treadmill? Seems crazy to me but perhaps there is a valid reason?

Second question is whether it’s worth suggesting to my mother that she speak with an attorney  





Craptain Crunch

January 1st, 2019 at 12:54 PM ^

Unless the accident caused permanent or long-lasting physical damage, you have no real case. What you most likely will be able to do is have the hospital pay for all of her medical bills related to the injury. But the cost you'll incur hiring an attorney, assuming one actually thinks there is a case to take,  will not be worth it, imo. 


January 1st, 2019 at 2:37 PM ^

What are you talking about? Any attorney taking this type of case would be handling it on a contingency basis.  Other than time, there’s no real cost.  

Also, the rest of the post is terrible advice.  What’s long-lasting or permanent? A fracture heals and is of course not permanent — does that mean if I get hit by a car on my bike and I break my leg, I shouldn’t sue?

Again, if you’re an attorney on this site and your advice to the OP isn’t consult an attorney in your mom’s jurisdiction, you’re committing malpractice.  


January 1st, 2019 at 2:46 PM ^

What this dude said is good advice. There's a reason you shouldn't be taking legal advice from this board. You don't yet know whether there is long term damage, you may be able to recover the costs of the ER visit, you would probably get a contingent representation...at least do yourself a favor and try something like reddits legal advice board. 


January 1st, 2019 at 2:58 PM ^

Not to mention the fact that you don’t need to “prove” those types of injuries to bring a case unless your mom’s state has some really whacky laws.  It just means the case is worth less.  Obviously the fact that your mother is likely elderly and not working is going to impact the value of any case since there’s no economic damages to speak of (other than out of pocket medical costs).  Some attorneys certainly won’t touch cases that don’t have significant injuries, but others will.  

Again, consult an attorney where your mom lives.  It’ll cost an hour or two.  

KC Wolve

January 1st, 2019 at 1:01 PM ^

The internet is both amazing and an extremely strange place. I just can’t imagine the thought process of going through something like this and then asking for opinions on a sports blog message board. It’s incredible really. 

Cranky Dave

January 1st, 2019 at 2:20 PM ^

You must be new here. There have been any  number of threads here asking for advice or help on many different subjects  

While the injuries were severe enough for an ER visit I don’t believe there will be any permanent damage. So nothing to do legally. Thanks to everyone who answered seriously. 


Also so for the Simpson’s GIF


January 1st, 2019 at 1:14 PM ^

I mean, absent any long-term or permanent damage, is it worth it? I’m glad she’s ok. Sometimes stuff just happens, and it doesn’t mean there is or should be a settlement on the back end (unless she has the aforementioned long-term or permanent damage). They should pick up the tab of any after-care and otherwise kiss your ass. 


January 1st, 2019 at 1:51 PM ^

Is negligent conduct for which liability could likely be proven.  Is absolutely not worth the time since fortunately mom's injuries are not significant.  


January 1st, 2019 at 1:56 PM ^

I am going to preface this with: 1. I am a lawyer; and 2. This isn’t legal advice. 

It seems your mom has a pretty easy negligence case. There may be medical malpractice but I don’t know anything about that area of law. Even if there’s a medically relevant reason for the chair in the treadmill, there’s no reason for the treadmill to be on while your mom is seated in the chair on the treadmill. 

If you decide to talk to a lawyer, many get 30% of recovery as a fee. So if awarded damages are $10,000 your mom gets $7,000. I don’t know what damages would be based on the extent of her injuries. The doctor should at least be paying the medical bills and there would likely be a few grand in pain and suffering. 

There’s a good chance the case would settle before court. Doctors pay a malpractice insurance for a reason. And your lawyer would negotiate that for you. If it does go to court, it could be over a year to actually see damages paid out.

I would make sure you document the injuries by taking pictures and seeing if you can get a copy of the medical chart after she was taken in for the fall. Things with dates closest to the injury will be most helpful. 


January 1st, 2019 at 2:32 PM ^

Not a med mal lawyer either but it seems like it would fall in the area of ordinary negligence not a med mal case.  This of course is highly dependent on the state where OP’s mother resides.  Injuries can also manifest themselves later on, so just because there isn’t something now doesn’t mean it can’t develop later.  

If all she has is some bruising, a sternly worded letter from a lawyer might get them to pay up for her bills and maybe some nominal amount so you don’t sue later.  

Basically, consult an attorney in your jurisdiction. 


January 1st, 2019 at 4:59 PM ^

F’ing lawyers.

1. It’s not med-mal. It didn’t involve a medical decision. It’s bad decision making by a nurse or tech, if that because I’m doubtful on the chair-on-the-treadmill thing. Regardless, this was not the doctor’s fault.

2. The doctor can chose to waive his/her charges, but won’t be “paying the medical bills.”

3. “A few grand for pain and suffering.” Why because she fell down and it scared her?

4. Doctors have malpractice insurance because assholes like you will argue to the end that any bad outcome must have been someone’s fault. It is not intended to be used as your lottery ticket.

MGoFoam, MD


January 1st, 2019 at 6:14 PM ^

1) Which is why both of us said it’s probably a negligence case and not a med mal case because it didn’t involve medical decision making.  If the hospital drops grandma and she breaks a hip they can still be sued under negligence theories.  And you (the practice) are still responsible for the actions and negligence of your employees.  It would probably still be covered under the practices general liability policy or under the malpractice policy’s rider.  

2) Medical bills are in reference to the charges she would incur seeking treatment for the injury she sustained, not for the testing he was originally doing.  Learn to read. 

3) Not my decision to make.  

4) Every profession has malpractice insurance.  I have malpractice insurance, dentists do too, and so do accountants.  You have malpractice insurance because it’s smart and cheaper to pool the risk.  But hey if you want to pay out multimillion judgments or settlements out of your own pocket, good for you.  I personally think that’s stupid, but you do you.  

Bad outcomes are sometimes people’s fault. 


Sparty Doesn't Know

January 1st, 2019 at 2:44 PM ^

This is why the Old West should be the model of law.  Best thing to do is challenge the chair placer to a duel at high noon.  One way or the other, he or she won't be putting chairs on treadmills ever again.


January 1st, 2019 at 3:27 PM ^

Request a copy of her medical records from both the cardiologist and ER, then bring them to a lawyer for a consult. HIPAA guarantees your mom (or you, if she designates you) the right to a copy of the records.


January 1st, 2019 at 6:53 PM ^

not sure what went into the decision to place a chair on the treadmill. She should have been slowed,and eventually stopped and stabilized on the treadmill. When her heart rate returned to normal (depending on how vigorous the test was related to her physical state) she should have been guided off the treadmill and set into a chair with spotters ahead and behind her. Maybe it is their SOP to place a chair but that is clearly fraught with risk