Medical “Never Events”: What Are They?

Many medical malpractice claims originate from a mistake made by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional that creates a serious health issue later in the patient’s life. A mistake is considered malpractice if the medical professional violated the accepted standard of care, as specified by the testimony of other practitioners and experts. However, some incidents of medical malpractice errors are so egregious and unthinkable that medical professionals and legal organizations categorize them as a NEVER EVENT, or a medical error that should never occur if reasonable safety precautions are taken. “Never events” are entirely preventable by anyone exercising a reasonable level of care and caution when treating a patient.


1. Operating on the wrong body part or even on the wrong patient.

2. Leaving a medical tool inside a patient after surgery.

3. Escape of a patient from a mental health facility.

4. Discharging an obviously mentally incapacitated patient with no guardian or caretaker.

5. Conducting an MRI without removing all metal objects from the site.

These are just a few of the events that should not happen if the medical personnel involved were exercising reasonable caution. Unfortunately, doctors and hospitals are often unwilling to admit fault or offer compensation to patients even in these extreme circumstances.

If you believe yourself or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, call us at 212-227-4000 for a free consultation. If we take your case, you will not owe us a fee unless we win a settlement or judgment for you.