Articles Posted in Health Care Law

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Plaintiff was being treated at a private medical facility, a nurse employed by the clinic committed an unauthorized disclosure of Plaintiff’s confidential health information. Plaintiff filed this action in federal court against Defendants, various affiliated entities that allegedly owned or otherwise controlled the clinic. The district court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss all eight of Plaintiff’s claims. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of all but one of Plaintiff’s causes of action, reserving decision on Plaintiff’s claim of breach of fiduciary duty. In a separate opinion, the Second Circuit found the nurse’s actions were not foreseeable to Defendants nor taken within the scope of her employment. The court, however, certified a question to the New York Court of Appeals regarding Defendants’ liability where respondeat superior liability is absent. The Court of Appeals answered that, under New York law, the common law right of action for breach of the fiduciary duty of confidentiality for the unauthorized disclosure of medical information may not run directly against medical corporations when the employee responsible for the breach acts outside the scope of her employment. View "Doe v. Guthrie Clinic, Ltd." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, current and/or former longtime smokers of Marlboro cigarettes, filed this putative class action in federal court against Philip Morris USA, Inc. asserting, among other claims, an equitable cause of action for medical monitoring. Plaintiffs sought the creation of a court-supervised program at Philip Morris's expanse that would provide them with a type of medical monitoring that would assist in the early detection of lung cancer. The district court dismissed the medical monitoring claim, holding that although the New York Court of Appeals would likely recognize the medical monitoring claim, Plaintiffs failed to plead that Philip Morris's allegedly tortious conduct was the reason Plaintiffs needed to secure a monitoring program. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals certified questions of law to the New York Court of Appeals as to whether an independent cause of action for medical monitoring exists in New York. The Court answered by holding that, under New York law, a current or former longtime heavy smoker who has not been diagnosed with a smoking-related disease, and who is not under investigation by a physician for such a suspected disease, may not pursue an independent equitable cause of action for medical monitoring for such a disease.View "Caronia v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. " on Justia Law