Medical Malpractice in Telemedicine
By David Glusman, Partner, Advisory Services
The Philadelphia bench has allowed a locally filed medical malpractice case to proceed against a defendant in New York State. While the case (“Estate of David Albert vs. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center“) was filed and will be decided in Philadelphia, and may not be applicable under various states’ laws, it may have an impact on some aspects of telemedicine, which is increasingly being implemented by our clients around the country and many insurance carriers.
The case relates to a Pennsylvania resident treated at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and implies that, as the hospital had contact with the patient after he left New York (and returned to Pennsylvania for further treatment), Pennsylvania is a proper venue in which to bring a malpractice action against Sloan Kettering.
Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney Jason Pearlman of The Pearlman Law Firm, PLLC, told me: “Although it will undoubtedly be criticized by the healthcare industry, Judge Massiah-Jackson’s opinion in the Albert case is well-reasoned and potentially subject to broader application in medical malpractice cases. The specific jurisdiction analysis is consistent with court precedent and is illustrative of the modern reality that medical care is delivered in a broad range of ways and is not simply confined to the four walls of a physician’s office or hospital.” Locally, legal counsel should be consulted to determine if any current practices should be re-evaluated in light of this ruling.
Albert vs. Sloan Kettering is described in more detail in an article in The Legal Intelligencer. If you are unable to access the article or would like to parse its implications for healthcare organizations, contact David Glusman to discuss details.