Manor, TX asked in Health Care Law for Texas

Q: Denied care in an emergency room. Do I have a case?

I brought my husband to an emergency room. We were denied care. He had a possible kidney stone and was in severe pain. The receptionist said their system was down and it was would take 45 min to an hour to receive care. I called 911 to the emergency room and EMS assisted my husband in the parking lot. Then they brought him to the major city hospital.

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Under EMTALA, an emergency department of a hospital is required to provide a medical screening examination and appropriate health case to stabilize a patient if the hospital accepts Medicare reimbursement. Participating hospitals and physicians who negligently or intentionally violate the statute are subject to a civil monetary penalty not to exceed $50,000 (or $25,000 for small hospitals with less than 100 beds) for each violation.

In a private cause of action against a facility under EMTALA, a litigant must show that the violation caused harm to your husband. For example, the cost of the EMS transport. You may have additional financial losses, but they are not stated in your question.

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