Treatment by Physician's Assistant Can Be Considered in Malpractice Action Against Physician Assistant's Employer

The appellant, as administratix of her daughter’s estate, brought a New Jersey medical malpractice and wrongful death action against the parties involved in her daughter’s health care that culminated in the daughter’s death. Although the appellant did not name the physician’s assistant as a defendant, the appeals court held that the trial court erred in not considering the care that the physician’s assistant provided in assessing the medical malpractice claim. Using the common law principle of respondeat superior liability, “an employer can be found liable for the negligence of an employee causing injuries to third parties, if, at the time of the occurrence, the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment.” Therefore, the court was not precluded from taking into account the care of the physician’s assistant’s in considering the claim against the employer even though the physician’s assistant was not named as a defendant. See: Lomando v. U.S., 2011 WL 6849063 (3rd Cir.(N.J.) Dec 30, 2011) (not designated for publication).