It is unusual for a supreme court to go ahead with a case that has been settled, but that’s what is happening in Florida right now.
According to documents, the original case began when a patient escaped from a psychiatric hospital, ran onto Interstate 75, and was struck and killed by a truck. The case made its way to Florida Supreme Court but was settled before justices could hear testimony. In most instances, that settlement would have been the end to it all. In this case, the court still wants to hear arguments.
In September, a 4-3 decision made it clear that the court would be hearing the case. Despite the settlement, justices want to hear the case, but did not disclose its reasons. The attorney for the plaintiff in the case that was settled has pointed out that the court may want to make a clearer line in what constitutes medical malpractice and common negligence.
The patient escaped the hospital after taking an employee’s badge and keys. The woman’s estate filed a negligence suit, but attorneys argued that it should have been a medical malpractice case. Justice’s agreed to take the case and later received notice that the estate was voluntarily dismissing their appeal following a settlement.
The justices’ reasoning for moving forward with the case may be sound, but to date, no one knows exactly what those reasons are.
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