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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:NCED Mental Health, Inc. d/b/a NCED Mental Health Center brings this interlocutory appeal from an order denying its motion to dismiss Sandra Kidd’s suit for failure to file the expert report required by Section 74.351 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Kidd’s suit arises from alleged sexual assaults committed by a mental health technician while Kidd was a patient at NCED. HOLDING: NCED contends that the trial court erred by concluding that Kidd’s negligent hiring claim is not a health care liability claim. , Kidd’s negligent hiring claim alleges that NCED violated the standard of care related to the hiring and supervision of a mental health technician who provides health care to vulnerable and fragile patients, and that she was injured as a result of Ferman’s employment. According to Kidd, her vulnerability was a direct result of the medical treatment provided by NCED. It is not within the common knowledge of the general public to determine the ability of patients on certain medications to protect themselves from assaultive conduct or whether a potential target of an attack in a health care facility should be better protected and by what means. See Diversicare, 185 S.W.3d at 851. Thus, expert testimony would be required to prove NCED’s alleged breach of the standard of care. As such, this claim is inseparable from the rendition of health care. the claim for negligent hiring is a health care liability claim. NCED maintains that Kidd’s sexual assault claim is also a health care liability claim. Kidd claims NCED is liable for the sexual assaults because it failed to investigate Ferman’s background and take adequate safety measures to protect her from Ferman, whom she alleges is a convicted felon. A plaintiff cannot use artful pleading to avoid the Act’s requirements when the essence of the suit is a health care liability claim. A claim that NCED breached the standard of care for safety is a health care liability claim. NCED argues that Kidd’s cause of action for sexual exploitation is a health care liability claim. Kidd alleged that NCED failed t 1. prevent or stop the sexual exploitation by Ferman; 2. report the sexual assault to the District Attorney’s Office; 3. advise Kidd of NCED’s duty to report the allegations to the District Attorney and the Texas Department of Health; and 4. determine whether Kidd wished to remain anonymous. the sexual exploitation cause of action is a health care liability claim because it is based on a claimed departure from an accepted standard of professional or administrative services, that is, NCED’s duty to protect Kidd’s right to receive care in a safe setting and to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment, and its duty to report the sexual exploitation committed by Ferman. NCED challenges the trial court’s conclusion that Kidd’s premises liability cause of action is not a health care liability claim. Kidd directs the court to Bush v. Green Oaks Operator Inc., 39 S.W.3d 669 (Tex.App. � Dallas 2001, no pet.) and Zuniga v. Healthcare San Antonio Inc., 94 S.W.3d 778 (Tex.App. � San Antonio 2002, no pet.). the Supreme Court has disapproved both cases. The court concludes that Kidd’s allegations constitute health care liability claims because they are based on a claimed departure from the standards of care related to health care, safety and professional and administrative services directly related to health care. OPINION:Ann Crawford McClure, J.; McClure, Chew and Guaderrama, JJ.

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