Friday, January 18, 2008

South Carolina Supreme Court rejects medical battery cause of action

In Linog v. Yampolsky, the South Carolina Supreme Court declined to recognize the tort of medical battery. According to the court:

In light of the availability of a medical malpractice claim or a civil battery claim to any patient that is injured by a physician, we believe medical battery would constitute an unnecessary and superfluous cause of action. We see little need to recognize an additional cause of action related to tortious injuries arising out of interactions with medical providers when the tort of medical malpractice fully covers all acts performed in relation to medical services and when the remaining area of private tort law applies to acts not related to medical services. Accordingly, we limit the holdings of Hook, Harvey, and Banks to the extent that they indicate that our State recognizes medical battery and hold that no independent cause of action for medical battery exists in South Carolina. We further hold that in order for a patient to pursue a claim stemming from a situation involving lack of or revocation of consent, a physical touching within the medical context, and a resulting injury, the patient must bring this claim under the medical malpractice framework.

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