Medical Staff Receives Setback in Avera Lawsuit
[MMA News Now, July 19, 2012] In a recent ruling on the Avera Marshall case, a Lyon County district court judge found that the hospital’s medical staff do not constitute an independent legal entity that could sue the hospital or be sued by it.
Rather, she stated that the medical staff is simply a group of physicians who are accountable to the governing authority of the medical center, and whose duties and obligations are set forth in the bylaws.
The bigger issue in this case, which has not yet been ruled upon, is whether Avera Marshall’s medical staff bylaws constitute a contract.
If the judge determines that the medical staff bylaws do constitute a contract, then individual physician members of the medical staff (but not the medical staff as an entity of its own) may sue the hospital for breach should the hospital fail to follow the mutually-agreed upon bylaws. A court ruling on that issue is due by the end of September.
The MMA will continue to keep its members apprised on case developments. For more background on the case visit the MMA News Now archives.