Booty v. American Ambulance Services Inc.
[T]he relevant considerations in determining whether a claim sounds in medical malpractice are whether 1.) the defendants are sued in their capacities as medical professionals, 2.) the alleged negligence is of a specialized medical nature that arises out of the medical professional-patient relationship, and 3.) the alleged negligence is substantially related to medical diagnosis or treatment and involved the exercise of medical judgment, pursuant to Gold v. Greenwich Hospital Assn., a 2002 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Allegedly, the defendant, American Ambulance Services Inc., failed to secure the legs and feet of a paraplegic patient, John Bronejko, when the defendants agents and employees loaded Bronejko into a vehicle, and Bronejko was injured. The plaintiff, as conservator of Bronejkos estate, sued and the defendant moved to dismiss. The defendant argued that the plaintiff failed to file a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider, indicating that the defendant was negligent and failed to meet the standard of medical care, as required by Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a. The plaintiff objected that the plaintiffs complaint sounded in ordinary negligence, as opposed to medical malpractice, and a written opinion was not required. The court found that the plaintiff did not sue the defendant in the defendants capacity as a medical professional. Also, the defendants alleged negligence was not of a specialized medical nature and did not relate substantially to medical diagnosis or treatment. American Ambulance, wrote the court, was not required to exercise medical judgment in securing Bronejko into his wheelchair for transport. The court added, American Ambulance was merely called upon to transport Bronejko; not to treat Bronejko. The plaintiff was not required to file a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider, pursuant to C.G.S. §52-190a, and the court denied the defendants motion to dismiss.