In a 6-3 decision, the Texas Supreme Court has held that the Texas Medical Liability Act does not require a claimant to be a patient of a health care provider for his or her claims to fall under the act, as long as the other requirements of the act are met. In Texas West Oaks Hospital v. Williams, Justice Wainwright’s majority opinion provides that when the employee of a health care provider seeks damages against the provider for injuries arising out of inadequate training, supervision, risk mitigation, and safety in a private mental health facility, the employee must submit an expert report in order to maintain the claim. The majority held further that the Medical Liability Act does not conflict with the workers’ compensation law. In this case, the hospital that employed the claimant did not subscribe to workers’ compensation, so while the employee’s suit was not barred by the exclusive remedy, it was still subject to the TMLA as an action against a health care provider for negligence in the provision of “medical or health care, or safety or professional or administrative services directly related to health care.” TCPRC §74.001(a)(13).
The opinion is available on the SCOT’s website at http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/historical/2012/jun/100603.pdf