Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Carter v. Hucks-Folliss case brief

Carter v. Hucks-Folliss case brief summary
505 S.E.2d 177 (1998)

Plaintiffs patient and relative sought review of an order from the Hoke County Superior Court (North Carolina) which granted defendant hospital's motion for summary judgment. The patient and relative brought a negligence action against the hospital.


As a consequence of the surgery performed by a doctor, the patient sustained serious, permanent and painful injuries to his person including quadra-paresis, scarring and other disfigurement. The patient and relative alleged that the hospital was negligent in granting clinical privileges of the doctor, in failing to ascertain whether the doctor was qualified to perform neurological surgery, and in failing to enforce the standards of the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).


  • On appeal, the court held that the hospital owed a duty of care to its patients to ascertain that a physician was qualified to perform surgery before granting that physician the privilege of conducting surgery in it. 
  • The court determined that the hospital agreed to be bond by the standards promulgated by JCAHO and that those standards provided in part that board certification was a factor to be considered when determining privileges. 
  • The court found evidence to support the finding that the hospital did not consider the doctor's lack of certification or his failure to pass the certification test on three occasions, in assessing his qualifications to practicing medicine in it.

The court reversed the order granting summary judgment in favor of the hospital and remanded to the trial court.

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