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Florida Third DCA reverses trial court’s summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s medical negligence lawsuit against hospital, finds that plaintiff’s claim of apparent agency between allegedly negligent doctor and hospital should have been left for jury determination

November 27, 2019, in King v. Baptist Hospital of Miamiet al., No. 3D18-1017, the Florida Third DCA reversed the trial court’s summary judgment dismissal of a plaintiff’s medical negligence lawsuit against the defendant hospital, concluding that the plaintiff’s claim of apparent agency between the allegedly negligent doctor and the hospital should have been left for a jury determination. The opinion itself is brief and devoid of any details regarding relationship between the parties. However, the filings in the circuit court reflect that the allegedly negligent doctor acted as the chief of the pediatric surgery division of the hospital and that the hospital paid his employer, the University of Miami, for his administrative duties. The Third DCA concluded that there was sufficient evidence from which a jury could conclude that the hospital engaged in activities to create the appearance of an agency relationship. It is particularly noteworthy that the Third DCA arrived at this conclusion notwithstanding evidence that the plaintiff was specifically referred to the allegedly negligent doctor by her treating physician. The plaintiff asserted in opposition that she chose the doctor partly because of his position with the hospital.

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