Restraints: Civil Assault and Battery Claim Is a Health Claim, Requiring Plaintiff to Provide Medical Expert Opinion Testimony, Texas Court Rules

November 22, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​A patient admitted to the hospital for treatment of an accidental overdose of a prescription medication alleged that hospital employees committed assault and battery by forcing him to remain in his hospital bed. A Texas court of appeals has interpreted a provision of the state's Medical Liability Act as applying to his claim.

The patient was an adolescent at the time and was accompanied by his mother at admission. Hospital staff requested that she leave the hospital that evening. At approximately midnight, the patient, anxious and stressed, remained out of bed and ambulatory in his room. Three members of the hospital staff allegedly attempted to force him into bed and restrain him. In the ensuing struggle, the patient allegedly suffered "multiple bruises, contusions, bleeding in...

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