Judge dismisses med-mal claim against client hospital

BOSTON (Sept. 10, 2014) – Brendan T. Malvey and Pamela S. Gilman recently persuaded a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to dismiss a medical malpractice claim against a hospital on the basis that it did not employ, direct or control the emergency room physician assistant and supervising physician who treated the injured plaintiff.

A co-defendant practice group employed the physician assistant and supervising doctor as part of its contract with the hospital to provide emergency room services.

The judge rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the hospital is nonetheless potentially liable for the actions of the physician assistant and doctor based on the plaintiff’s subjective belief at the time of treatment that they were employees of the hospital.

Massachusetts law on “apparent agency” requires that a hospital in some way represent to patients that it employs a treating medical professional, or that it controls his or her provision of medical services. However, the judge found that the hospital made no such representations in this case.

“We are pleased on behalf of our client that the judge dismissed it from the case before trial, sparing it any further litigation costs,” said Malvey. “The judge rightly determined that the plaintiff had no evidence of any potential basis for liability against the hospital.”

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman LLP is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News has named the firm as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work in 2014.