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Friday, August 17, 2007

Minnesota Supreme Court recognizes new medical malpractice claim

The Minnesota Supreme Court released an opinion on August 16, 2007 recognizing a medical malpractice claim based on “negligent credentialing.” The opinion may be viewed at http://www.courts.state.mn.us/opinions/sc/current/OPA051698-0816.htm. Under this theory, hospitals may be liable for negligently extending hospital privileges to licensed medical professionals. The practical implication of the court’s holding is that hospitals may not rely on licensure as prima facie evidence of qualification. While it is unclear what a hospital must do to meet the standard of care required in these cases, it is clear that litigation respecting the standard of care is forthcoming. This of course, raises thorny questions, such as who is in the best position to determine whether a particular doctor is qualified to undertake a particular medical task?

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