ADMIRALTY / MARITIME LAW

Will artificial intelligence be a medmal defendant?

| Jun 23, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Artificial intelligence is becoming more available to consumers in their smartphones, 3D-printing technology and through virtual tours of homes in real estate transactions.

It is also expected that AI will be applied to medicine for quick and accurate patient diagnosis and interpretation of test results. But AI may be like other medical technology which has a risk of failure and may pose new challenges in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Now there are no known laws or governing court decisions that govern the use of AI because it has not been used in health care. But courts may have to ultimately determine liability for injuries caused by AI failures.

Artificial intelligence could be considered as a product instead of its own person, despite its sophistication. In that case, failures would be treated like a product liability lawsuit where a manufacturer is held liable for injuries directly caused by their product that was improperly designed, poorly manufactured or its risks were not disclosed.

Cases involving artificial intelligence also pose other complications. AI may be a device to make a health care practitioner more efficient. But AI and other technology do not excuse medical malpractice by doctors who still have the primary duty of ensuring that their patients are properly treated.

Doctors may still be liable for injuries or fatalities if they fail to meet their duty of providing a reasonable standard of care comparable to other doctors in their specialty. This negligence can happen through their failure to monitor a patient or misdiagnosis, among other things.

Patients who were injured through a faulty medical device or medical negligence, or their families, may be entitled to compensation and damages. An attorney can help obtain evidence of malpractice or defects in developing technologies and file a timely lawsuit.