UMC – Banner Lacks Immunity
Arizona Court of Appeals recently held, in Harris v. Banner, that Banner University Medical Center is not allowed to use a University Employee’s state immunity to defeat a vicarious liability claim.
Harris involved a failure to serve a notice of claim on two doctors who worked at Banner University Medical Center. The doctors were dual employees of the University of Arizona and Banner. As University of Arizona employees these Doctors are effectively employees of a State entity. The Superior court dismissed the doctors from the case because Plaintiff failed to timely serve the statutorily required notice of claim. Banner argued that Arizona law also entitles them to dismissal. Banner’s argument was that since the employees’ liability was extinguished via their dismissal so was the Hospitals.
When Banner’s acquisition of University Medical Center, it created a question regarding how many of the legal benefits of operating a state University Hospital should be conferred to Banner, a non-governmental entity.
In Harris, the Court determined that Banner could not use the employees’ immunities to escape liability. The reasoning hinged on the fact that the doctors’ immunities were conferred by virtue of their employment with the state. Banner, a private employer, could not benefit from those immunities to shield itself from liability. The Harris family was allowed to continue their suit against Banner under the doctrine of vicarious liability.
This is a major victory for plaintiffs who are injured because of negligence that occurs at Banner UMC. If you or a loved one have been injured while at Banner UMC please contact the personal injury attorneys of Mesch Clark Rothschild to assist with your case.