Summary Judgment Granted: Hospital Cannot be Held Vicariously Liable for Alleged Negligence of Co-Defendant Surgeon
by Michael D. Neubert and Adam V. MaioccoJune 9, 2015
On April 30, 2015, a Bridgeport Superior Court judge granted summary judgment in favor of a Connecticut hospital as to the plaintiffs’ claims that the hospital was vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of one of the co-defendants, a general surgeon. Representing the hospital, Michael D. Neubert and Adam V. Maiocco moved for summary judgment on several grounds, including that the surgeon, a private physician with hospital privileges, was neither an actual nor apparent agent of the hospital.
After extensive briefing and oral argument, the Court issued a twenty-eight page decision granting the motion as it related to the vicarious liability claims against the hospital that were based on the surgeon’s alleged negligence. On the issue of actual agency, the Court carefully reviewed the evidence and found that the hospital did not exert the requisite level of control over the surgeon’s treatment of the plaintiff. On the issue of apparent authority, the Court held as a matter of law that Connecticut does not provide for liability under a theory of apparent authority in medical malpractice actions. The Court also found, based on its review of the evidence, that there was no issue of material fact in dispute that the surgeon was not an apparent agent of the hospital.