Physician Employed as a "Physician Extender" by a State Psychiatric Facility Is Not Protected by Sovereign Immunity and Thus May Be Sued for Malpractice

McCloskey v. Kane, 604 S.E.2d 59 (Va. 2004)

Unless waived, the state is protected by the doctrine of sovereign immunity from malpractice claims. Employees of the state may be similarly protected. In Virginia, the greater the control of an employee's actions by the Commonwealth, the greater the likelihood of immunity. However, state­ employed physicians may not be entitled to this immunity because they must exercise their professional skill and judgment when treating patients and thus tend not to be subject to the control and direction of others. James v. Jane, 282 S.E.2d 864 (Va. 1980)...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 1