Cutchin v. BeardAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court accepted a question certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and answered that the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act applies when a plaintiff alleges that a qualified healthcare provider treated someone else negligently and that the negligent treatment injured the plaintiff.
Plaintiff was the husband and father of two individuals killed in a car crash caused by Physician's patient. Plaintiff filed a civil action in federal court alleging that Physician's negligence in prescribing opiates to his patient caused the wrongful deaths of his wife and daughter. The state insurance commissioner, who administered the Patient's Compensation Fund, received permission to intervene. Plaintiff settled with Physician, who was dismissed. Plaintiff then sought excess damages from the Fund. The Fund responded that it had no liability because the underlying claim was not covered by the Act. The district court entered judgment for the Fund. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit certified to questions to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declined to answer question one and answered question two in the affirmative, holding that the Act applies where a plaintiff alleges that a qualified healthcare provider's negligent treatment of someone else caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury.