EMTALA Malpractice

Mikeska v. Las Cruces Regional Medical Center, LLC, — P.3d — (N.M.App. 2016), 2016 WL 1619353

This decision clarifies that a hospital’s failure to carry out a procedure that diagnoses an emergency patient’s acute condition is actionable not only under the general medical malpractice theory, but also as a violation of the hospital’s statutory duty under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). The fact that the patient had medical insurance and consequently received no free treatment guaranteed by EMTALA is of no consequence. EMTALA entitles an aggrieved patient to sue the hospital for failure to carry out the appropriate medical screening examination, and not only for denial of emergency care.