On 28 January 2021 the Supreme Court accepted for adjudication a cassation appeal prepared by Ewelina Jeglikowska, attorney-at-law, and Paulina Kozłowska, attorney-at-law, on behalf of our client – one of the hospitals in Wielkopolska.
The dispute concerned the establishment of the Hospital’s liability on account of a so-called medical error, which allegedly consisted in performing an extended surgery without obtaining the patient’s written consent. At a later stage the case was joined by the Patient Ombudsman who demanded that the patient be paid compensation for the infringement of her rights.
The Court of First Instance upheld the claim in part. As a result of accepting the appeal of the parties and the Patient Ombudsman, the Court of Second Instance corrected the summary of the judgment and changed its content as regards the amounts awarded (accepting in part the appeal filed by the Law Firm on behalf of the Hospital). The Court of Second Instance recognised that the Patient Ombudsman, by joining the case and requesting that the statement of claim be supplemented, de facto brought a separate action against the Hospital, which should be considered together with the case brought by the patient. Consequently, accepting this claim as justified, the Court of Second Instance also awarded compensation from the Hospital to the plaintiff for the infringement of patient’s rights.
The appellant (the Hospital) takes the view that the Patient Ombudsman did not bring an action on behalf of the patient. Neither did it have the legitimacy to extend the action brought by the patient herself in the situation in which he entered the proceedings.
At a later stage, the Supreme Court will decide whether the pleas raised by the Hospital are justified, as well as – what procedural role the Patient Ombudsman plays in the pending proceedings and what his/her powers are.
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