DDU adds vicarious liability indemnity for practice principal and corporate members


  Posted by: The Probe      21st June 2021

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) has announced that principal and corporate members can now access assistance with vicarious liability claims. This has been included from 1st June and means that existing members (including retired members) can now seek DDU assistance in relation to clinical negligence claims made against them in respect of care provided by a dental professional for whom it is alleged they are vicariously liable.

This additional indemnity is being provided automatically at no additional cost for current members and will also be included for prospective members who join after 1st June 2021. Existing members do not need to take any action to receive the new aspect of membership.

This new indemnity benefit applies to new claims notified after 1st June but can include claims arising from clinical treatment provided at any time in the past when a principal or corporate body was in benefit of DDU membership.

John Makin, head of the DDU said:

“Many DDU members have been concerned following the outcome of a recent county court judgement in which it was found that the dental practice owner could be held vicariously liable for the clinical practice of an associate working at their practice.

“At the DDU, we understand and share these concerns and as part of our commitment to support, guide and defend our members we are constantly looking to ensure our products and services meet members’ needs and keep pace with current developments. Consequently, we are delighted to be able to include indemnity for vicarious clinical negligence claims as a standard benefit of DDU membership.

“I should stress the need for all treating dentists to have their own indemnity in place – indeed it is a regulatory requirement that they do so. In almost all cases where a clinical negligence claim is pursued against a practice owner vicariously, we still expect the indemnity of the treating dentist to respond but this new ‘belt and braces’ indemnity for our dental principal and corporate members who employ or contract with other dentists will provide additional peace of mind.

“We will be writing to all of our principal dentists and corporate members with details of this important change in member benefits.” 

For further information on vicarious liability please visit: https://www.theddu.com/my-membership/member-guide

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