Matthew Scheidt, 17, has been charged in a bizarre case where he successfully posed as a physician’s assistant for two weeks at a hospital. He was able to work in the ER, remove IV, and perform examinations at the Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
Under tort law, a person who holds himself out as a professional is held to that standard in any negligence case. Thus, the question for the jury would be whether a reasonable PA would have taken the actions alleged in the case. However, in this case, there is no evidence that Scheidt failed to meet the higher standard and no account of injuries.
If that remains the case the question becomes whether the patients could sue for the privacy violation and possible battery since they only consented to being touched by staff. Yet they did consent to these touchings — just by a different status of person.
There is also negligence. Center’s human resources department gave Scheidt a “new” identification badge when he asked for it. When the badge did not give him sufficient access, he was bold enough to return to HR repeatedly for another badge. Finally, someone became suspicious and called police. The problem with negligence remains the damages if the procedures were handled reasonably according to the standard of a professional PA.
His immediate concern is a third degree felony. In the meantime, he is being held in the Juvenile Detention Center and presumably is not being given any new ids.