Lathrop v. HealthCare Partners Med. Group, 114 Cal. App. 4th 1412 (2004)

Terry Lathrop and her husband sued HealthCare Partners, among others, for their failure to diagnose her breast cancer. The jury apportioned 58% of the fault to HealthCare Partners, which argued that it was subject to the $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages that is set forth in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) since it is an employer that had been held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of its licensed physician employees. The Court of Appeal agreed, holding that since the parties had stipulated that the allegedly negligent physicians had all acted within the scope of their agency with HealthCare Partners, HealthCare Partners was vicariously (not directly) liable, based upon the negligence of its physician employees. Therefore, HealthCare Partners was subject to the non-economic damages cap of MICRA.