Has an outside agency labor and delivery nurse caused your baby’s birth injury in the hospital? Another way to look at this question is can you sue an outside agency labor and delivery nurse and their agency for their role in causing your baby’s brain injury, along with the hospital’s labor and delivery nurse (this nurse is also responsible for your baby’s injury)? This is an important issue because it can come up from time to time in birth injury cases.
The main purpose of this Maryland birth injury article is to help you understand how birth injury attorneys bring in outside players who are also responsible for birth injuries in some cases. We have had some people comment that if the nurse who also is responsible, along with the hospital nurse, is an outside agency nurse, then we cannot sue that nurse and the outside agency. This article will help clear up some of this confusion.
HOW DO THESE ISSUES COME UP…
Most of the time during labor and delivery, the nurses will all wear the same colors and have on the same set of scrubs. In addition, they all may have the same insignia and identification badges. What this does for many families is make them assume that all the nurses in the labor and delivery room work for the hospital. In some cases, this is true. However, sometimes, one or more of the nurses in the room will work for an outside agency. This means that although it seems that the nurse is an “employee” of the hospital, this is not the case. The nurse is being paid by an outside nursing agency to render care in the hospital.
The agency nurse will do everything that the hospital employed nurse will do. For example, the agency nurse, depending om their training, will monitor the electronic fetal heart monitor. The nurse will help turn mom and provide other relief as needed.
HOW DO WE HOLD THE OUTSIDE AGENCY LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSE RESPONSIBLE?
Under Maryland law, there is a theory of vicarious liability called respondeat superior. What this essentially means is that the “master” will answer for the “servant.” In basic terms how this is used is that the employer will answer for the negligent acts of the employee if the employee was in the scope of his or her employment. There are elements that must be met for this theory of liability to work, but in its basic form, this is how it is used.
Birth injury attorneys use respondeat superior when outside agency nurses are also responsible for a baby’s brain injury at birth (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, cerebral palsy, etc…) and they are looking to hold the agency and the outside agency labor and delivery nurse responsible. This legal theory can be helpful when prosecuting these types of cases.
DO YOU HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
If this article, and supporting video was helpful to you and you have more questions pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I help families with birth injury questions all the time and I would be happy to speak with you further.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP