14 July 2009
Q. I have been a dental member ever since I was a student and I have just started work as an associate in a new practice that is owned by a dentist who belongs to a different defence organisation. He has told me that I need to join his defence organisation because my dental nurse will not have indemnity on those occasions when I am supervising her. Is that true?
No, it certainly isn't true. A dental member who is working in general or specialist dental practice could be held to be vicariously liable for the negligent acts and omissions of a dental nurse working under their direction and supervision, even if they are not the actual employer of the dental nurse.
Reflecting this, your membership already covers your potential vicarious liability for any dental nurse who is working under your direction and supervision. What makes our approach different from that of other defence organisations, however, is that we offer several additional categories of membership in which an employer/practice owner is able to indemnify up to five dental nurses or dental technicians employed by them, in respect of negligence claims, whether or not they are working with them or directing/supervising them at the time of an adverse incident. We believe that this flexible approach is fairer to practice owners, associates and dental nurses alike.
You can read more about vicarious liability in our indemnity FAQs.