Italian medical malpractice liability: family members of the victim are entitled to compensation
Italian Court of Cassation has clarified that, in the event of liability for medical malpractice, compensation is also due to family members of the victim. In the present case, the Court had to assess compensation claim submitted by the spouse and sons of the victim, which suffered a debilitating clinical condition.
First instance Court, once determined medical malpractice liability of both the head of hospital and the hospital, it dismissed the compensation request. Therefore, the family appealed the first instance court decision before the Cassation Court. In details, the appellants asked for the recognition of moral damages due to family habits disruption as consequence of debilitating consequence of the injury.
The Cassation Court accepted this last request. In fact, family members of the victim might be entitled to moral damage compensation while this is not against art. 1223 Civil Code. In particular, the Court of Cassation stated that partial invalidity status involves a relatives’ commitment to provide assistance and the subsequent worsening of life condition.