Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in California

Can I sue a Beverly Hills, CA surgeon for giving me Hepatitis C?

I am a US citizen, and I was offered a job teaching English at a university in Saudi Arabia. In order to qualify for my work visa, I had to complete an extremely detailed physical exam that found that I am in excellent health. About a week after that physical I had a surgery, I spent about two more weeks doing little other than bed-rest to recover from the surgery, and then I arrived in Saudi Arabia and they told me that I need to complete a minor physical here as well before I can have my work visa. I just received my blood test back, and they are saying that I tested positive for Hepatitis C. I haven't engaged in any high-risk activity whatsoever (mainly just bed rest) since my surgery, so the only way that I would have contracted the Hepatitis C is from that surgery.

In terms of damages, the ailment itself is obviously an issue, but it is possible that it will cost me my work visa, and therefore will cost me my university teaching job, which will damage my overall career, and will get me deported from Saudi Arabia back to the United States. Can I file a lawsuit against that Beverly Hills surgeon?

Asked on 11/06/13, 4:31 am

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Anybody can sue anybody for anything.

Winning is a very different question.

You can't even file a lawsuit for malpractice unless you have an independent medical expert willing to testify 'to a medical certainty' that your claimed injury and damages were caused by the negligence of the treating doctor.

In addition: what admissible, credible witness or documentary evidence do you have to prove your allegations? All you have described so far is 'coincidence' that you now have tested positive some time after surgery.

Talk to your current treating doctor about your claims and what expert[s] you might consult on this.

I wish you good luck finding such expert testimony. IF you do, then feel free to contact me to discuss these issues, and the potential case.

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Answered on 11/06/13, 1:23 pm

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