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Miraldi & Barrett Co., LPA

Physician Who Was Professor of Medicine at a State University Was Immune from Medical Negligence Claim

A neurosurgeon who was engaged in both a private practice and was a full professor at the University of Cincinnati Medical School, was immune from a negligence claim brought against him by a patient. In this case, the physician performed spinal surgery on the patient. The patient claimed that the neurosurgeon was negligent. Although the patient had seen the physician at his private practice, during the actual surgery, a resident was present to observe.

Although the patient was billed from the physician’s private practice, the court ruled that because the operation involved "teaching" a resident, it qualified as part of his employment with the state. Under R.C. 2743.02(F), state employees are entitled to immunity from negligence claim if they were acting within the scope of their duties at the time of the negligence. A lawsuit is only permitted directly against the physician if the physician acted with a malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.

The patient’s remedy was to file a lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati in the Ohio Court of Claims. Because the patient did not do this in the time allowed by law, his case against the University of Cincinnati was dismissed.   For more details about the case, go to this link.