Generally, a medical malpractice claim can be brought against a licensed health care provider. This can include a person, corporation, facility or institution licensed by the state to provide health care or professional services, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his employment. A claim can be brought against physicians, dentists, nurses, therapists, technicians, hospitals, and pharmacists, among others. A physician commits medical malpractice if he fails to act in the same manner a reasonably prudent physician in the same field of medicine would act under the same circumstances. Nurses, therapists and other health care providers, and the hospitals or clinics they work for, can be held responsible for their failure to meet accepted standards of care in their particular field. In Massachusetts, a hospital can be held liable for the acts of physicians practicing there if the physicians are actual agents of the hospital.
There may be more than one cause of an injury. Massachusetts follows the doctrine of joint and several liability. This means that even when the negligent conduct of two or more parties contributes as causes of an injury, each party is liable for the entire judgment.
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