When medical malpractice occurs, it is often at the hands of a physician or medical professional employed by a larger hospital or practice. Following an incident of medical malpractice, many potential plaintiffs in Georgia are interested in bringing legal action. One of the options available is to directly bring a claim against the physician who caused the accident and also sue the physician’s employer for allowing the malpractice to occur in the first place. When a plaintiff brings an action against someone’s employer in addition to the employee themselves, this claim is known as vicarious liability.
In a recent Georgia court decision, a plaintiff sued a defendant hospital for vicarious liability following a medical accident involving his wife. After giving birth, the plaintiff’s wife was treated by the two physicians who were the defendant’s employees. As a result of their actions, the woman suffered a catastrophic brain injury that led to her entering full cardiac arrest. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice claim, arguing that the defendant was vicariously liable for the actions of the doctors who treated his wife.
However, when filing his claim, the plaintiff only listed the hospital and one of the doctors who treated his wife as defendants, while the complaint itself only contained allegations against another doctor’s conduct who was not named as a defendant. In addition, the plaintiff did not bring any independent allegations of negligence against the hospital, just vicarious liability claims. Following the trial, the lower court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendants appealed and argued that the plaintiffs failed to properly present a claim for vicarious liability.