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Disruptive Physician Behaviour and Hospital Liability in Tort: Rosenhek v. Windsor Regional Hospital

In a January 2010 decision, Rosenhek v. Windsor Regional Hospital, 2010 ONCA 13 (“Rosenhek”), the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a trial decision awarding over 3 million dollars to a physician whose hospital privileges had been revoked ‘in bad faith’. The Court held that hospitals have a duty to exercise their power to revoke privileges with regard to the public interest and in good faith. Exercising this power in bad faith will ground a claim for the tort of misfeasance in a public office. In Dr. Rosenhek’s case, the Ontario Hospital Appeal Board (OH AB) found that the hospital revoked his privileges based on nothing more than alleged interpersonal problems, i.e. because he didn’t ‘fit in’. OHAB reinstated his privileges. Dr. Rosenhek then commenced a civil action for lost income. First the trial court, then the Court of Appeal, found that the hospital had acted in bad faith and awarded damages accordingly.


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