Visitor Question

Can I file malpractice or an official complaint against the hospital?

Submitted By: Linda (Virginia)

I was a patient at the hospital for Special Surgery and had a serious operation. In the Recovery Room afterwards I had terrible treatment, nurses ignored me, one male nurse was threatening (I complained about him), and I was in terrible pain for 10-12 hours before I was allowed out of the Recovery Room.

I expected so much more from a hospital with such a good reputation. It was the worse experience I ever had in a hospital. I am a 72 year old woman in good health. Can I sue them for malpractice? If not, is there anywhere I can file an official complaint against them?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Linda,

Unfortunately, rudeness, even extreme rudeness is not compensable. Your experience was quite understandably unnecessary.

Anyone who has gone through surgery can empathize with you. The feeling of helplessness after surgery can be overwhelming. Adding callous behavior from nurses and other hospital attendants can make a hospital stay unbearable. There is no reason for rudeness, especially at your age. As a patient you are owed special care, above a person whose medical problems are not as serious.

From the facts you present there doesn’t seem to be any grounds for medical malpractice against the hospital, doctors, or nurses. To have the basis of a malpractice claim you would have to be able to prove not only that you received inappropriate care, but the inappropriate medical care resulted in an injury.

You are certainly well within your rights to file a formal complaint against the hospital. There is a process for doing so. Go to the Virginia Department of Health’s complaint page.

If you would like to file a complaint over the telephone you can call the The Virginia Department of Health’s Toll Free free number at: 1-800-955-1819. In the Metro Richmond area you can call: (804) 367-2106.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 24, 2013

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