In lawsuit, U of Pittsburgh says 'We don't run hospitals'

Here's an interesting legal tactic for you: In a negligence case brought against the system, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is apparently asserting that it doesn't run hospitals, despite describing itself as an "integrated global health enterprise" in its own press releases. (See the company description on the bottom of the release.)

UPMC is on the hook for alleged negligence in the death of Rose Lee Diggs, an 89-year-old woman who left her room and died on the roof of a building on one of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside's campuses. The suit, which contends that hospital staff delayed in reporting Mrs. Diggs missing and tried to remove evidence from the scene, names both UPMC and UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as defendants.

However, attorneys for UPMC have asserted that even if there was wrongdoing in the case of Mrs. Diggs--though it, of course, says that there was none--that it wouldn't be responsible. Its attorneys have taken the position that each hospital and healthcare facility within its system are independent not-for-profit corporations which, in essence, are on their own when bad things happen. A rather unusual way of looking at things, no? Wonder if the judge will buy it.

To learn more about this case:
- read this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece

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