Federal Supreme Court, Decision 4A_432/2020 of 16 December 2020

16 February 2021 – In this judgment, the Federal Supreme Court ruled on claims for damages and satisfaction due to inaccurate treatment in a public hospital under the cantonal state liability law. The state liability provisions of the canton of Solothurn apply to public hospitals and refer to the rules of the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO). However, in this context, the CO was treated as cantonal law and the Federal Supreme Court only examined the violation of the prohibition of arbitrariness. The plaintiff accused the attending doctor of not having performed the treatment in a lege artis manner. She further alleged that she had not been adequately informed and that she had not given her consent to the treatment in the legally required manner. The Federal Supreme Court held that a breach of duty only occurs when a diagnosis, therapy or other medical procedure no longer appears justifiable according to the general state of professional knowledge. Due to the limited cognition, the Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the treatment was carried out lege artis and that the patient's consent had been obtained. The claim was dismissed.

For the full decision, see here.