Medical Employer May Still Be Sued For Malpractice Even Though Employee’s Claims Dismissed On Statute Of Limitations Grounds
In a recent Appellate Division decision, the Court held that a Hospital and Medical Group that employed a physician, who was dismissed from the case on statute of limitations grounds, may still be sued for medical malpractice on a vicarious liability theory.
In Walker v. Choudhary (A-1425-10T1 – Approved for Publication), a deceased patient’s family sued a medical practice group, hospital and four physicians for malpractice. One of the doctors moved to dismiss the complaint based upon an Affidavit of Non-Involvement. The motion was granted and plaintiff moved to add the correct doctor as a defendant. Subsequently, as more than 2 years had passed since the amendment to add the new doctor, and, because plaintiff had not acted diligently in moving to amend, the newly named doctor was dismissed from the case on statute of limitations grounds. The newly named physician had also been employed by the defendant South Jersey Emergency Room Physicians P.C. group. South Jersey Healthcare owned the defendant South Jersey Regional Medical Center, and, it was also contended that the newly added doctor would also have been an employee of the defendant South Jersey Healthcare under the principles of apparent authority and respondeat superior. Read the rest »