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Lisa Wilson, et al. v. Richard Stone, M.D., et al., Case No. 3D13-2604 (3rdDCA)

In Wilson, the plaintiffs appealed a summary judgment entered in favor of the University of Miami on their claim for vicarious liability for negligent medical treatment provided to the plaintiffs’ decedent. In 2004, the plaintiffs filed suit alleging the University of Miami, several physicians and other entities were liable for failing to diagnose a cancerous lesion which resulted in the decedent passing away. The plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging the University of Miami was vicariously liable for the actions of its agents, apparent agents, servants and/or employees, but the only physician specifically identified in the complaint as being associated with the University was Dr. Pedro Velez. In 2012, the University moved for summary judgment arguing it was not responsible for the care or treatment provided by Dr. Velez. The Third District specifically noted that the plaintiffs did not then seek to amend their complaint, but instead responded asking the trial court to grant the University only a partial summary judgment as to the liability of Dr. Velez, and not any other physicians. The trial court denied the request ,and entered summary judgment in the University’s favor.

On appeal, the plaintiffs argued they were denied due process because they were not given an opportunity to present evidence of University’s vicarious liability for the negligence of other physicians prior to entry of the final summary judgment. The Third District noted that on a motion for summary judgment, the trial court considers only the issues raised in the pleadings. “Therefore, because the University of Miami’s vicarious liability for the negligence of other physicians was not sufficiently pled, there was no entitlement to additional summary judgment proceedings and no due process violation occurred.” The Third District therefore affirmed.

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