Texas Supreme Court Extends The Texas Medical Liability Act To Workplace Safety In Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. v. Palit

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. v. Palit that when a health care provider fails to provide proper safety and security for its’ employees the failure is governed by the Texas Medical Liability Act(TMLA). A psychiatric nurse was provided inadequate assistance and protection by her employer while trying to restrain a violent psychiatric patient and was injured. The nurse filed a negligence claim against her employer. The employer, Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., moved to dismiss the claim on the grounds that the nurse had failed to comply with the TMLA requirement for the filing of a medical malpractice claim. The Trial Court predictably denied the motion to dismiss since the employee was not a patient, the employer was not providing medical care to the employee, and there were no allegations of medical malpractice. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Texas Supreme Court reversed holding that the employee’s allegation of inadequate security and safety was a healthcare liability claim governed by the TMLA.

It appears that the Texas Supreme Court is going to consider any legal claim against any healthcare provider to be a medical malpractice claim governed by the protections of the Texas Medical Liability Act(TMLA).

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