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Fiduciary Duty and a Hospital/Patient Relationship: 5 Considerations

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In early February 2013, 12 people filed a New York breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against North Shore University Hospital and the Long Island Jewish Health System. The suit was filed in Queens Supreme Court. The plaintiffs allege that their personal, confidential information was stolen from the hospital. The end result was that several of the plaintiffs were victims of identity theft.

How difficult will it be to win a breach of fiduciary duty claim in New York? The following are important considerations:

  • Does a hospital have an inherent fiduciary relationship with its patients? 
  • Does the relationship between the hospital and the patients call for a greater level of trust than between two strangers doing business together?
  • Did the hospital place the best interest of the patients above its own self-interest?
  • Did the breach occur within the statute of limitations?
  • Is the only duty owed to the patients by the hospital one that was created by contract?

New York breach of fiduciary duty claims are complex and require the guidance of a knowledgeable professional. If the claim is too similar to a breach of contract action, it could be dismissed. Similarly, if the hospital did not engage in self-dealing, it may be difficult to succeed on the breach of fiduciary duty claim.

Privacy is a growing concern in today’s technologically-advanced society. This places an even heavier burden on fiduciaries to protect the interests of the parties to whom they owe a duty. To learn more about breach of fiduciary duty claims, contact an experienced New York business litigation lawyer today. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation.

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