While many are aware that hospitals can face liability for actions of their employed staff, some are surprised to learn that hospitals can also face liability for actions of medical providers who are independent contractors when a patient mistakenly believes the independent contractor was a part of the facility’s employed staff. Plaintiffs use this theory of liability to recover damages from a hospital when damages awards exceed the available insurance coverage of the independent contractor provider who actually treated the patient. The result is that a hospital can be liable for the plaintiff’s damages even though the allegedly negligent party was not the hospital’s employee.
Jason Britt recently secured a decision on a motion for summary judgment precluding a plaintiff from pursuing this theory of liability against a hospital in a medical malpractice action. This was an important decision as it ensures the hospital can only ever face liability for the actions of its staff, and not the other medical providers involved in the plaintiff’s care
Jason Britt recently secured a victory for a major local hospital when a judge dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit that alleged the hospital’s staff failed to provide proper post-operative care resulting in an infection requiring additional hospitalizations. Securing this decision through a motion for summary judgment allowed the hospital to avoid the costs that the hospital would have had to incur to vindicate its staff at trial.