La Cava Jacobson & Goodis

Florida Law Weekly – Nov. 6, 2020

Lazzari v. Guzman – 3rd DCA

In this medical malpractice case, the Court held that a University was entitled to sovereign immunity for services rendered by its employee physician at a Public Health Trust teaching hospital where the University provided healthcare services. The Court explained that pursuant to terms of the University’s agreement with the hospital, the physician was the hospital’s agent at the time the physician treated the plaintiff. Therefore, the University was immune from suit because the physician treated the plaintiff while acting as the hospital’s statutory agent. Pursuant to Fla. Stat. 768.28(10)(f), a private medical school and its physicians are agents of the State when the institution is a “nonprofit independent college or university located and chartered in this state which owns or operates an accredited medical school…and…has agreed in an affiliation agreement or other contract to provide, or permit its employees or agents to provide patient services as agents of a teaching hospital and those employees or agents are acting within the scope of and pursuant to guidelines established in the affiliation agreement or other contact.”