Tort law vs state’s Medical Malpractice Act

In 2006, a  Virginia high court held that a brutal  assault on a disabled patient is  governed by tort law and not by the  state’s Medical Malpractice Act. In this  assignment, you will analyze  this case and identify the scope of medical  malpractice and tort law.

The Case

Alcoy  was 79 years old when she suffered a  stroke that left her physically helpless  and mentally damaged. She was  moved to a nursing home. Four days later, she  was brutally assaulted  sexually; the assailant was never identified. Alcoy  died several months  later. Her estate administrator sued the nursing home for  negligence  and assault. The nursing home responded that the case was governed  by  the state’s Medical Malpractice Act, and that Act controlled the extent  of  the nursing home’s liability. The district court held in favor of  the nursing  home; the administrator appealed. Virginia high court held  that the case is  governed by tort law and not by the state’s Medical  Malpractice Act (Alcoy v. Valley Nursing Homes,  2006).

Reference: 

Alcoy v. Valley Nursing Homes, Inc., 272 S. E.2d 301 (Sup. Ct., Va.  2006).

Analyze the  scenario and respond to the following questions:

  • Why  did the state change the case from medical malpractice to tort law?
  • Do  you agree with the state’s decision? Why or why not?

Compile your analysis  in a 3-to-5-page Word document.

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