Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP

Goodell DeVries Obtains Summary Judgment in D.C. Consumer Protection Act Litigation

May 2018

Thomas V. Monahan, Jr. and Jhanelle A. Graham Caldwell of Goodell DeVries obtained summary judgment in favor of their client, a Washington, D.C. hospital, in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiff alleged that she was injured during a tonsillectomy that was performed, in part, by a resident physician under the supervision of an attending surgeon. Additionally, the plaintiff claimed that the hospital violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Act by deliberately failing to inform her that resident physicians would participate in her surgery because the hospital was concerned that patients, such as the plaintiff, would seek treatment elsewhere if they were fully informed of a resident’s role in their care. The hospital moved for summary judgment on the basis that there was no evidence of any financial motivation for the hospital’s alleged misrepresentation, which the plaintiff was required to prove under D.C. law. After a hearing, the D.C. Superior Court granted summary judgment for the defendant-hospital, finding that there was no nexus between the hospital’s consent forms and the entrepreneurial aspect of its healthcare practice.

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