DDU adds vicarious liability indemnity for practice principal and corporate members

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 1 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 1 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 judgment in which it was found 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 shortly with details of this important change in member benefits." 

You can find further information on vicarious liability in the DDU member guide.

This page was correct at publication on 14/06/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.