NJ Supreme Court Limits Malpractice Suits Against Uninsured Doctors - Jarrell v. Kaul
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
A plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit cannot bring a direct cause of action against a physician for failing to have the proper insurance, and a doctor's failure to tell the patient that he or she is not insured does not violate the informed consent doctrine, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Sept. 29.
However, the court also ruled that an injured plaintiff can bring claims against a health-care facility that fails to make sure that the physicians they hire do have medical malpractice liability insurance for the procedures they perform, or at least have obtained a letter of credit.
"The statute imposing the medical malpractice liability insurance requirement does not expressly authorize a direct cause of action against a noncompliant physician and neither the language nor the purpose of the statute support such a claim," said Appellate Division Judge Mary Cuff, temporarily assigned, for the 7-2 majority in Jarrell v. Kaul.