Can You Sue A School For Giving Your Child The Wrong Medication?


A lot of children have to take prescription medications while they're at school. What happens when the school nurse gets distracted or doesn't pay enough attention and gives your child the wrong medication? Can you sue? Should you sue? The answer may depend on several factors.

Was your child injured as a result?

One of the first questions that any personal injury attorney will ask is what injury was suffered? If your child wasn't injured or suffered no lasting harm, you probably don't have much cause for a personal injury case. For example, if your child was given another child's antibiotic instead of his or her ADHD medication, but suffered no ill effects (other than missing a dose of the right drug), it may be unsettling but no lasting harm equals no case.

On the other hand, if your child has an allergy to penicillin and ended up in the hospital because of a reaction to the wrong drug, you may very well have a cause of action. At the very least, you could make a case that you should be repaid for the hospital bill and any missed work that you had to take in order to care for your child.

Is the school public or private?

It's easier to sue a private school than a public one. That doesn't mean that you can't sue a public school, nor that you shouldn't—it just means that you have to be aware of the limitations you face so that you don't miss your window of opportunity if you do decide to sue.  

Public school systems are branches of the government, which means that you have to follow special procedures in order to be allowed to sue them. In most districts, you have to follow a strict set of guidelines and you have to make sure that you act quickly—your deadline to act may be as short as six months.

Private schools don't enjoy the same protections, but they still have the same duty to provide a safe environment for students, and that includes making sure that the right medication reaches a student.

Is the school the only potential defendant?

Some school districts have made the move in recent years to outsource their health care providers, including school nurses. If that's the situation, you may have a cause of action against both the school district and the agency that employs the nurse who mixed up the medications.

An attorney will likely want to know more about the safety record of any agency that's providing nurses to the school. How training is handled to equip nurses for the demands of a school population is also likely to be an issue. Any outside agency should exercise a considerable amount of care when hiring and training its staff to handle the medical needs of children.

For more information, contact an attorney like James Lee Katz in your area to discuss the situation and see if you have a case.


24 November 2015

Maximizing Compensation in Accident and Injury Lawuits

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