Georgia court reverses decision holding physician liable for physician assistant negligence

A Georgia appellate court has reversed a decision made by the state's General Assembly, which found a physician liable for a physician assistant's alleged negligence, JDSupra reported March 2. 

The appellate court decided to reverse the case due to the fact that the state's Physician Assistant Act does not state anything specifically on the liability of the supervising physician. The court only focused on the language of the PAA used in the plaintiff's lawsuit, according to the publication.

"The General Assembly knows how to impose liability by statute when it chooses to, and we will not read into the [Physician Assistant Act] language that the General Assembly did not include," the appellate court said, according to JDSupra. "Therefore, we conclude that the trial court erred in finding that the PAA creates vicarious liability for supervising physicians for the medical acts of their PAs and we reverse the denial of summary judgment to [the defendant physician]."

The physician and physician assistant were employees of Atlanta-based Northside Anesthesia Consultants. Both employees and Northside were named defendants in the medical malpractice suit.

The plaintiff in the case withdrew the negligence claim against the physician, but stated he was vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of the physician assistant for alleged failure to properly supervise the PA, according to the publication.

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