Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Texas

My daughter sustained an injury during her HS softball game. Her doctor said it need further attention from an orthopedist and put her in an "air" cast and told her to stay off it as she could further damage her foot/ankle. No softball.

Today at school the high school athletic trainer met with my daughter and examined her, told her "its not that bad, it will tighten right back up" took her out of her cast and put her in a flexible sport support and asked her to come in after school for physical therapy.

I did sign a release allowing emergency treatment while at school.

I feel that what the trainer has done is wrong in the following ways: she is not a doctor and her opinion should not supercede that of physician, she is not a doctor and cannot diagnose, she has no right to treat my daughter without my permission and she may have or could injure her futher.

I called the school and asked what their policy was in this matter, if the trainer is a M.D. and what they would do about it. The person I spoke to did not now what the policy is just that kids go to her, she is a trainer not a doctor and invited me to call the trainer directly. I did call and left a message but frankly I think her judgment is so poor I do not want to enter into a discussion with her.

Am I over reacting, what are our rights and what do you recommend I do from this point. My daughter is part of the varsity team and would like to continue but I fear her being pressured into doing something that will result in permanent damage to her ankle and foot.

Asked on 3/02/10, 12:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Dan Street Street Law Firm

Unfortunately, none of your concerns make any difference because our legislature has chosen to give a full, blanket immunity to all schools and school districts in Texas. This means that, no matter how negligent they may be, and no matter how serious the injury they cause, you cannot file a claim or a lawsuit against them. Ridiculous? Absolutely. Contact your legislator and complain (but don't be surprised if you don't even get an answer). The only solution is to clean all the Republicans out of the legislature and the governor's mansion and start all over--though with the typical Texan's shortsightedness on matters political, this is highly unlikely.

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Answered on 3/08/10, 10:05 am

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