There are multiple types of nursing home accident and injury cases in Pennsylvania, such as:
- premises liability cases (fall accidents),
- medical negligence or malpractice cases, and
- other negligence cases.
Negligence claims in nursing home injury cases vary and often include claims relating to employee supervision, employee training, etc. One of the more complex negligence claims in these types of cases involves a claim of corporate negligence.
What is Pennsylvania’s corporate negligence theory?
In Pennsylvania, medical care facilities owe patients a direct duty of care and breach of that duty is known as corporate negligence. See Thompson v. Nason Hospital, a 1991 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case. There, the court defined the duties a hospital owes its patients, and also defined the concept of corporate negligence:
“Corporate negligence is a doctrine under which the hospital is liable if it fails to uphold the proper standard of care owed the patient, which is to ensure the patient’s safety and well-being while at the hospital. This theory of liability creates a nondelegable duty which the hospital owes directly to a patient. Therefore, an injured party does not have to rely on and establish the negligence of a thirty party.”
A Medical Care Facility’s Duties to Patients
Medical care facilities owe certain duties to patients:
- a duty to use reasonable care in the maintenance of safe and adequate facilities and equipment,
- a duty to select and retain only competent physicians,
- a duty to oversee all persons who practice medicine within its walls as to patient care, and
- a duty to formulate, adopt and enforce adequate rules and policies to ensure quality care for the patients.
Does the corporate negligence theory apply to nursing home accident injury lawsuits?
Yes. In a 2012 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case, Scampone v. Highland Park Care Center, the court essentially held that the corporate negligence theory may be applied in a nursing home injury case. In addition, a recent Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas case, Crawley v. Care Pavilion of Walnut Park, applied the corporate negligence theory to a nursing home injury case. There, the trial judge granted a new trial after several appeals. The issue in the case was whether the plaintiff (family of a deceased nursing home resident) should have been allowed to present and argue the corporate negligence theory.
The trial court held that under the Scampone case, nursing homes owe their residents a duty of care under the corporate negligence doctrine.
Pennsylvania Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Our law firm handles nursing home injury cases in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For a free case review, please call (215) 985-0777.
Disclaimer: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Our lawyers provide legal advice only after accepting a case. It is imperative that any action taken is done on advice of counsel. Read full disclaimer below.