The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendant NES, which staffed the hospital emergency room, should not have been granted summary judgment in this medical malpractice action. NES alleged the emergency room physicians who treated plaintiff (Perez) were independent contractors, not employees, and therefore NES was not vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of the physicians:
… [T]he evidence submitted in support of NES’s motion did not eliminate all triable issues of fact as to whether the emergency room physicians who treated Perez were independent contractors … . Although the physician agreement between NES and one of the physicians who treated Perez designated the physician an independent contractor, among other things, NES’s contract with Lutheran [the hospital] raises triable issues of fact regarding NES’s involvement in the training of the physicians with whom it contracted and the extent of NES’s obligation to participate in quality assurance and peer review activities and implement quality improvement plans … . Additionally, NES failed to submit any evidence regarding how the physicians with whom it contracted were paid … . Perez v NES Med. Servs. of N.Y., P.C., 2022 NY Slip Op 02031, Second Dept 3-23-22
Practice Point: In this medical malpractice action, the plaintiff sued the company which staffed the emergency room under a contract with the hospital. The staffing company moved for summary judgment arguing the treating physicians were independent contractors, not employees, and, therefore, the company was not vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of the physicians. The motion should not have been granted. The decision lays out the criteria for the independent-contractor versus employee analysis.