An Ohio (OH) family has filed suit against two hospitals and a managed care system, alleging that doctors in charge of treating their son for the flesh-eating streptococcus bacteria infection necrotizing fasciitis did not do enough to prevent the amputation of the boy’s legs. According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, the Haxton family has sued Riverside Methodist Hospital for care that “fell below accepted medical standards.” Ohio Health Corp. and Ohio State University Medical Center have also been sued for failing to properly inform the family of the treatment plan.

I cannot comment on the specifics or merits of the Haxton family’s case. I do recognize, though, that the case involves serious questions about doctors’, hospitals’ and managed care systems’ duties to patients. For instance, could the doctors at Riverside have diagnosed or treated the strep infection more rapidly or more aggressively? What did the staff at Ohio Health and the OSU Medical Center tell the Haxtons, and when? Was it absolutely medically necessary to amputate both of the boy’s legs?

The answers to these question will only emerge as evidence is gathered for the civil trial and as testimony is given in the courtroom, if the case progresses to that point. These types of questions are always worth asking, however.

My many years of representing victims of medical and surgical malpractice have shown me how important it is to explore every question concerning possibly inappropriate, negligent or mistaken care. It is essential for people who have suffered injuries while being treated in hospitals learn how and why those injuries occurred. It is even more essential that victims are able to hold the doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other health professionals who caused the injuries responsible.