New Jersey Statute 45:9-19.17 requires physicians to maintain insurance and specifically states:

A physician who maintains a professional medical practice in this State and has responsibility for patient care is required to be covered by medical malpractice liability insurance issued by a carrier authorized to write medical malpractice liability insurance policies in this State, in the sum of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 per policy year and unless renewal coverage includes the premium retroactive date, the policy shall provide for extended reporting endorsement coverage for claims made policies, also known as “tail coverage,” or, if such liability coverage is not available, by a letter of credit for at least $500,000.

Continue Reading No Insurance, No Claim Against the Physician Individually – So Says the New Jersey Supreme Court in Jarrell v. Kaul, M.D.

For those of us who practice in the world of medical negligence, it is almost routine to receive Preliminary Objections from the defense moving to strike all allegations that contain references to unidentified agents, servants, employees, attending physicians, nursing staff, and other support staff. Despite what seems to be clarity in the law, the preliminary objections are filed time and time again.

Just several months ago the Superior Court of Pennsylvania once again clearly stated that such preliminary objections are not proper and should be overruled. This additional clarification came through the matter of the Estate of Arthur Denmark, by and through his Administrator Anthony W. Hurst, Sr. v. Mercy Health System and Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, et al., 2015 PA Super. 101, Filed April 28, 2015. In that matter, there were several issues raised on preliminary objections and the Court sustained preliminary objections on punitive damages and all references to unidentified agents, servants, employees, etc.

There was an appeal on a rather convoluted procedural history since the case had been marked, in part, nolle pros as opposed to non pros, and non pros was inapplicable because there was no failure to file a complaint, failure to file a certificate of merit, failure to be ready at the start of trial, or any discovery sanction. The Superior Court looked at this procedurally as if the case had been dismissed by way of summary judgment.

Continue Reading The Ongoing Saga of Preliminary Objections to Complaints on the Basis of Unidentified Agents, Servants, Employees, Physicians, etc.