Doe v. Guthrie Clinic, Ltd.

Plaintiff was being treated at a private medical facility, a nurse employed by the clinic committed an unauthorized disclosure of Plaintiff’s confidential health information. Plaintiff filed this action in federal court against Defendants, various affiliated entities that allegedly owned or otherwise controlled the clinic. The district court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss all eight of Plaintiff’s claims. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of all but one of Plaintiff’s causes of action, reserving decision on Plaintiff’s claim of breach of fiduciary duty. In a separate opinion, the Second Circuit found the nurse’s actions were not foreseeable to Defendants nor taken within the scope of her employment. The court, however, certified a question to the New York Court of Appeals regarding Defendants’ liability where respondeat superior liability is absent. The Court of Appeals answered that, under New York law, the common law right of action for breach of the fiduciary duty of confidentiality for the unauthorized disclosure of medical information may not run directly against medical corporations when the employee responsible for the breach acts outside the scope of her employment. View "Doe v. Guthrie Clinic, Ltd." on Justia Law