|May 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 5
A clarification for the defendant physician
Dr. Richard Soderstrom’s article, “Chicken soup for the defendant physician” [February], has some good tips for the physician who is facing a lawsuit and trial. I write to point out 1 small but significant error.
The article states, “The plaintiff also must demonstrate that the defendant’s alleged error was the proximate cause of an injury.” The correct term is “a proximate cause.” Although the law varies somewhat from state to state, all jurisdictions—to my knowledge—require only that the negligence constitute a proximate cause or a substantial factor in causing the injury. Thus, there can be more than 1 cause of injury—for example, the underlying illness of the patient plus negligence or a violation of the standard of care.