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What is my liability because of what a nurse said to a patient

Las Cruces, NM |

What is my potential liability if a contract RN allegedly made a comment to a patient about a referring MD. losing his privileges at the local hospitals. The upset patient went back to the MD and told him. We have been notified of this alleged comment

We are Physician and DNP owners of the surgery center where a patient was to have outpatient surgery. Allegedly the employed contract RN told a patient that his referring MD, who was not performing his surgery,that his Dr had lost his privileges at the hospitals in the town and so was not allowed to perform surgery and therefore another surgeon was performing the surgery.

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Attorney answers 6


Impossible to tell. Had the MD, in fact, lost his privileges?


Without damages, a lawsuit would likely be fruitless, but you can turn it over to your insurance company if there is a suit.


Most likely nothing comes of this but you may want to advise your liability carrier of the allegations.

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Who are you? The doctor? The hospital? A friend?


I would also let the nurse know that she should make her carrier aware of the statements since you said she is a contract RN. Great opportunity to do some teaching with your remaining staff.


Truth is usually a defense. Also because defamation is usually an intentional act it makes it harder to hold the principal (you) liable for the actions of the agent (contract nurse). May have also been outside the course and scope of her employment to make such statements. Very fact specific but I would be surprised if anything comes of the statement. Of course better to not risk a lawsuit so some teaching is probably warranted.

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