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Research Article
Issue Date: September 01, 1997
Published Online: April 15, 2014
Updated: June 13, 2018
An Overview of Professional Liability in Occupational Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Beth A. Ekelman Ranke, JD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Cleveland State University, Fenn Tower 609, Euclid Avenue at East 24th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
  • Matthew P. Moriarty, Esq, is Partner, Jacobson, Maynard, Tuschman, & Kalur, Cleveland, Ohio
Article Information
Practice
Research Article   |   September 01, 1997
An Overview of Professional Liability in Occupational Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 1997, Vol. 51, 671-680. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.51.8.671
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 1997, Vol. 51, 671-680. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.51.8.671
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Abstract

Occupational therapists occasionally are sued for professional malpractice; thus, they need to be aware of the law of malpractice, those areas of practice that present the greatest legal challenges, and strategies to reduce client injury and liability risks. This article provides an overview of the law of professional malpractice, explains the impact of various employment relationships on liability risks, reviews specific malpractice actions against occupational therapists, and provides suggestions on how to reduce the risk of injuring a client in therapy. By increasing one’s awareness of the legalities of professional malpractice and implementing certain strategies, therapists can improve quality of care and reduce their exposure to malpractice liability.