Lawsuit Against Bon Secours and Jai Gets a Ruling
Recently, an appellate case entitled Wilhelmina Bradford v. Jai Medical Systems Managed Care Organizations, Inc. centered on a crucial topic in medical malpractice law: apparent agency. Apparent agency is when one agent is believed to conduct business on behalf of another agent.
The plaintiff Wilhelmina Bradford had to get her foot partially amputated because of the negligence of Dr. Steven Bennett, a podiatrist whom she had chosen for her treatment. Dr. Bennett participated as a specialty care provider in the network of defendant Jai Medical Systems Managed Care Organization, Inc. (“Jai MCO”), an entity that contracts with physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, and other providers to provide health care services to individuals and families enrolled in the State Medicaid program.
Ms. Bradford wanted to hold Jai MCO liable for Dr. Bennett’s negligence on account of apparent agency. Ms. Bradford argued that Jai MCO created the appearance that Dr. Bennett was its employee, and that perceived appearance was a significant reason why she decided to hire Dr. Bennett.
The Court of Special Appeals disagreed with Ms. Bradford. Even if Ms. Bradford subjectively believed that Dr. Bennett was an employee of Jai MCO and relied on that belief in seeking medical care from Dr. Bennett, that belief was not objectively reasonable under the facts of this case. In other words, Ms. Bradford did not prove that Jai MCO had made strong enough representation that Dr. Bennett was its agent.
Although Ms. Bradford did not win in the Appellate Court, the jury verdict of $3,064,00 remains intact. Now, however, Jai MCO will not be the one to pay it.
Who were the Lawyers?
Plaintiff: Mark Cohen (Bradford)
Bradford’s lawyer was Mark Cohen, based in Towson, MD. According to LinkedIn, Cohen concentrates in medical malpractice. Cohen has practiced personal injury law for more than 27 years – 22 years at his own firm, and 5 years at Snyder and Janet (Baltimore’s premiere medical malpractice firm).
Defendant: Daniel Lanier (Bennett) and David McManus (Jai MCO)
Bennett (and Bon Secours Hospital) lawyer was Daniel Lanier of Miles and Stockbridge. Lanier is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. His areas of practice include medical malpractice defense, insurance defense, and product liability defense, among others. He has tried more than 50 cases to verdict, many of which involved large corporate clients.
Jai MCO’s lawyer was David McManus, founding partner of Baxter, Baker, Sidle, Conn and Jones, P.A., a firm that dedicates 90% of its resources to litigation. McManus handles various health care law matters, including the defense of health care providers in medical malpractice litigation and malpractice defense for insurance and real estate agents. McManus has been named a “Super Lawyer” for 6 years and lectures to hospitals and physicians care groups.