Vicarious Liability

Practice Owners, including Principal Dentists, should take note of an increasingly litigious environment which businesses are operating in – especially with the exposure to Vicarious Liability.

Recently in the case of Breakingbury V Croad (2021) Dr Croad, who sold his Practice in 2012, was found liable after allegations of malpractice were made against him for malpractice following treatment provided to a patient by two self employed Dentists. Dr Croad had no indemnity cover in place and was forced to foot the bill for defence costs and compensation awards.

Not only should Principals, or Practice owners, take this case seriously but it is important Practices trading as limited companies consider their indemnity exposures.

What is Vicarious Liability?

Your dental practice could be held vicariously liable for treatment malpractice provided by someone who is not an actual employee, such as self-employed associates or even a temporary locum. Liability can still be applied if a former employee has subsequently retired from your practice. Similarly, should an associate leave the business for another country and cannot be located, the business or trading entity (a Ltd Company) may still be implicated, up to six years after the incident occurred.

Entity Cover

Appropriate malpractice insurance is required especially when trading as a limited company due to the fact that the entity can be named by complainants when reporting issues to regulators.

Entity insurance is designed to cover your practice, i.e. a limited company/trading entity, against claims or investigations that result from the actions of the employees who have provided treatment, practitioners or directors, but where the action is brought against the practice instead of the individuals responsible.

Interested in obtaining cover for your Business?

Call our specialist medical malpractice team at Lloyd & Whyte on 01823 761054.