Document Category:
State: Indiana
Subject Matter: Indiana Medical Malpractice Act
Document Title:

The Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a med mal case yesterday, Fairbanks Hosp. v. Harrold, and I’ve attached a copy of the opinion for your information. 

In this case, an 18yo girl was admitted to Fairbanks, a qualified provider under the Med Mal Act, for substance abuse treatment.  After her discharge, the patient alleged that a Fairbanks employee made a series of unwanted sexual advances toward her and as a result she suffered damages.  Plaintiffs filed a proposed complaint with the Department of Insurance, and a medical review panel concluded Fairbanks failed to comply with the applicable standard of care and Plaintiffs were damaged as a result.

Plaintiffs proceeded with a state court claim, and Fairbanks requested a determination of law that all of Plaintiff’s claims fell under Indiana’s Med Mal Act.  The trial court determined that the claim did not fall under the Act because the Act does not cover ordinary negligence unrelated to patient care.  Fairbanks took an interlocutory appeal, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.  The Court framed the issue as: Does a complaint alleging negligent hiring, training, and supervision of a hospital employee fall within the Act if the underlying tort allegedly committed by that employee was unwanted sexual advances.  The Court held that under Indiana law, an employee’s sexual conduct with a patient cannot constitute a rendition of health care or professional services, and thus a claim based thereon does not fall under the Act. 

 Shared with the permission of the Author Attorney Kelly Scanlon, Bose, McKinney & Evans Indianapolis, IN.

Document Author: Indiana Ct. of Appeals
Firm/Company: Bose McKinney & Evans IN
Document Date: February 21, 2020
Search Tags: healthcare medical malpractice cap IN
File Attachments: