New York High Court Decision Extends Provider’s Duty Of Care

A recent New York Court of Appeals decision (Davis v. South Nassau Communities Hospital) has expanded a provider’s duty of care to third persons, holding that “where a medical provider has administered to a patient medication that impairs or could impair the patient’s ability to safely operate an automobile, the medical provider has a duty to third parties to warn the patient of that danger.”

Despite the Court’s express desire to limit its holding, extending the duty of care to the public at large nonetheless represents a departure from precedent, and should prompt New York providers who administer or prescribe

medications to their patients to develop policies and procedures to ensure proper warnings are provided to their patients about potential side effects of those medications before the patients leave the providers’ premises.

For more information regarding the implications of this decision, please click here to read our Client Alert.

For more information, or assistance with developing policies and procedures to address this new risk, please contact the GW attorney with whom you regularly work.