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McCumber Daniels Attorneys Submit Amicus Brief to Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to Overturn the Scampone Appeal

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – May 3, 2011- McCumber Daniels attorneys, Stuart O’Neal and Marc Penchansky, drafted and submitted an  Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the case of Scampone v. Highland Park Care Center, et al.    The issue before the Supreme Court was, “Whether the Superior Court erred in applying the corporate negligence theory, initially adopted by this Court in Thompson v. Nason Hospital, 591 A.2d 703 (Pa. 1991), to a skilled nursing facility and the healthcare company responsible for its operations.”   

In Thompson, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expanded the potential liability of hospitals by adopting the theory of corporate liability, which is based on the systematic or institutional negligence of the hospital itself rather than the conduct of individual employees or physicians. The basis for the expansion of liability was the hospital’s role as a comprehensive health care provider.  The Superior Court in Scampone recognized that the nursing home did not provide physicians for its residents.  Indeed, residents have a right to choose their own physician.  Nevertheless, the Court found the nursing facilities involvement to be sufficiently comprehensive to extend corporate liability to nursing facilities. Further, the Superior Court held that the health care management company hired to provide services to the nursing facility can also be subject to corporate liability despite the holding in Thompson that the duties are not delegable.  Further, management companies are not licensed to run a nursing facility nor do they typically provide daily care to the residents.  The holding in Scampone may have broad impact on the way nursing facilities do business including how they oversee the practice of medicine by their residents’ chosen physicians and how facilities define their relationship with their management companies. 

McCumber Daniels is participating in this appeal as counsel for the following amici curiae:  Pennsylvania Health Care Association, and its companion organization the Center for Assisted Living Management, the Pennsylvania Association for Non-Profit Homes for the Aging and the American Health Care Association.

For more information on this topic, please contact Marc Penchansky at mpenchansky@mccumberdaniels.com.
 

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