Clinic Not Liable for Sexual Assault Committed by One of Its Employees, Says Appeals Court

May 28, 2019 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


What's the news. The Michigan Court of Appeals found that a chiropractic facility and its owner were not vicariously liable for sexual assaults committed by an employee against patients treated at the clinic because the sexual assaults were not foreseeable. Eight plaintiffs in the case alleged that a chiropractor inappropriately touched them while purportedly providing treatment for displaced ribs. The patients did not initially complain to clinic staff about the misconduct; most did not know that the treatment was inappropriate. A prosecutor called the organization's legal counsel to say that the chiropractor had been arrested for sexual assault. The chiropractor was immediately suspended from seeing patients. While conducting its own investigation, the employee was sent to another facility to do paperwork. Upon completing the investigation, the clinic terminated the employee.

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