Jane Drummond


The law of negligence imposes few affirmative duties on actors in society. In the medical profession specifically, negligence law traditionally contains no requirement that a physician provide medical treatment to those in need absent an existing relationship between the doctor and patient. Yet there has long been the sense that doctors owe a higher duty to the public, and courts are finding ways to redefine the doctor-patient relationship to allow plaintiffs greater access to claims for a physician’s failure to render care. In Millard v. Corrado, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Easter District of Missouri provides plaintiffs with two new potential avenues of recovery when an on-call physician fails or refuses to treat: (1) a traditional medical malpractice claim, even though the physician had not contact with the plaintiff, and (2) a claim for general negligence based on public policy and the foreseeability of harm.

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