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Third DCA holds that Florida statutes do not impose on hospitals a non-delegable duty to provide non-negligent emergency room care, and certifies conflict with Fourth DCA.

July 1, 2019
Tabraue v. Doctors Hosp., Inc., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 4543 (Fla. 3d DCA Mar. 27, 2019)

The Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, affirmed dismissal of an estate’s claims against a hospital where the decedent received emergency care. The Third District held that the hospital did not owe a non-delegable duty to the decedent as the decedent’s treatment was provided by independent contractors, there was no express contract between the hospital and the decedent, and Florida common law does not impose such a duty. The Third District further agreed with the Second District’s decision in Tarpon Springs Hosp. Found. v. Reth, concluding that Ch. 395, Fla. Stat., regulates hospitals and addresses standards governing hospitals, not standards applicable to the practice of medicine. Thus, the Third District noted that it does not view §§ 395.001 and 395.1041, Fla. Stat., as imposing on hospitals a non-delegable duty to provide non-negligent emergency room care and declined to infer such a duty. The Third District certified conflict with Wax v. Tenet Health System Hospitals, Inc. and Irving v. Doctors Hospital of Lake Worth and Newbold-Ferguson v. Amisub., two Fourth District cases often relied upon by plaintiffs’ attorneys to expand hospital liability.

 

Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2019

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