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Roessler v. Novak

Florida District Court of Appeal
858 So.2d 1158 (2003)


Roessler (plaintiff) was admitted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital (defendant), where his diagnostic scans were read by Dr. Lichtenstein. Roessler underwent surgery, and suffered severe complications. Roessler brought suit against Sarasota Memorial, alleging that Dr. Lichtenstein was negligent in misinterpreting Roessler’s scans. Roessler argued that Sarasota Memorial was vicariously liable because Dr. Lichtenstein was acting as the hospital’s agent. At the time of the incident, Dr. Lichtenstein was associated with SMH Radiology Associates, an association of radiologists. SMH Radiology had an independent contractor agreement with Sarasota Memorial, and provided all of the hospital’s radiological services. SMH Radiology and Dr. Lichtenstein both had offices solely within Sarasota Memorial. The trial court granted summary judgment for Sarasota Memorial after finding that Dr. Lichtenstein was an independent contractor, and not an agent or employee of the hospital.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Salcines, J.)

Concurrence (Altenbernd, C.J.)

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