Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose in Wellington, Florida

A misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal. The case is captioned  MDVIP, Inc. v. Beber. This case involved a claim against a concierge company and one of its doctors.  The concierge company provided its members with certain benefits in exchange for an annual membership fee of $1,500. These benefits included more time with its doctors, an annual physical, 24/7 access to physicians, and same day or next-day appointments. The plaintiff alleged that a condition in her leg was undiagnosed and misdiagnosed and that the doctor's negligence resulted in the amputation of her leg.

The plaintiff alleged that the doctor was the apparent agent of the concierge corporation. The plaintiff also alleged that the doctor and the corporation had engaged in a joint venture. The plaintiff contended that because the doctor was the apparent agent of the corporation and because the doctor and the corporation engaged in a joint venture, the corporation was vicariously liable for the doctor's alleged malpractice.

The Florida Court of Appeal stated that for the doctor to be the apparent agent of the corporation three legal elements must be satisfied. First, there needed to be a statements by the alleged corporation. Second, the plaintiff must have relied on these statements. Third, the plaintiff must have changed her position as a result of her reliance on the corporation's statements. The Florida Court of Appeal found that all three of these elements were not present in this case and that the doctor was not the apparent agent of the corporation.

The Court also found that the doctor and the concierge corporation were not joint venturers. Five legal elements must occur for a joint venture to exist. First, the parties must have a joint interest in performing a common purpose. Second, the parties must have either a joint right of control or actual joint control. Third, the parties must have a common monetary interest. Fourth, the parties must have a right to share in profits and a duty to share in the losses. The Court found that all five of these elements did not exist in this case and that the doctor and the concierge corporation were not joint venturers. Therefore, the Court of Appeal reversed the lower court's ruling and remanded the case back to the trial court for another trial.

To speak with a medical malpractice attorney in Wellington, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.

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