Danielle Helms v. Max H. Rudicel, M.D., et al - 2/18/13

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Monday  February 18, 2013 
4:00 PM  EST

4 p.m. 18A04-1202-CT-70. Indiana Supreme Court courtroom. Danielle Helms sued her doctor, a nurse practitioner, an emergency physicians group, a clinic, and a hospital for malpractice related to treatment she received during her pregnancy.  A federal court found the doctor and clinic were federal employees and the federal tort claims limitation period had run.  The trial court determined that decision was res judicata as to Helms’s negligence claims related to the clinic or the doctor’s work there.  It also found the hospital was not vicariously liable for acts by the clinic or its employees, or for acts the doctor performed at the clinic.  It found the hospital might be vicariously liable for acts of the doctor and the nurse practitioner at the hospital, and it dismissed the clinic with prejudice.
Helms appeals, arguing the federal decision is not res judicata because that court did not address the issues before us, and the medical providers at the clinic were apparent agents of the hospital.  On cross appeal, the hospital argues it could not have vicarious liability because it told Helms its healthcare providers are independent contractors. 

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