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Florida Third DCA affirms trial court ruling that University of Miami is entitled to sovereign immunity in lawsuit alleging negligence of its employee doctor while he was providing medical services at Jackson Memorial Hospital

On October 28, 2020, in Lazzari, et al., v. Guzman, et al. No. 3D19-597, the Florida Third DCA affirmed a trial court ruling in a medical negligence case that the University of Miami was entitled to sovereign immunity for services rendered by a its employee, a doctor providing medical services at Jackson Memorial Hospital where the University provides healthcare services.  Pursuant to section Fla. Stat. § 768.28(10)(f), a private medical school and its physicians are agents of the State when the institution is a “nonprofit independent college or university located and chartered in this state which owns or operates an accredited medical school, . . . and . . . has agreed in an affiliation agreement or other contract to provide, or permit its employees or agents to provide, patient services as agents of a teaching hospital” and is “acting within the scope of and pursuant to guidelines established in the affiliation agreement or other contract.” The Third DCA noted that the affiliation agreement that the University executed with the hospital provides that all faculty and employees of the University acting pursuant to the agreement do so as an agent of the hospital.