Worcester Partner Joanne Hoban and Associate Lindsey Hanson were recently granted summary judgment in Middlesex Superior Court on a wrongful death/medical malpractice claim. Our client, a for-profit medical center, was alleged to have been vicariously liable for a non-employee physician.

The plaintiff’s firm asserted the medical center should be held liable on a theory of apparent agency. Utilizing law developed from a previous summary judgment decision, it was argued the plaintiff could not succeed on an apparent agency theory in the absence of evidence demonstrating reliance—i.e., that the decedent relied upon the apparent authority of the physician in seeking treatment at the medical center. The Superior Court Judge was persuaded by our arguments against apparent authority in the absence of evidence demonstrating reliance and granted summary judgment.