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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33029
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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Is a hospital liable of negligence if the doctor was on

Customer Question

Is a hospital liable of negligence if the doctor was on staff at time the doctor was responsible for the gegligent act. It is my understanding that when a hospital advertises itself as a "comprehensive facility they are liable even if the doctor is not an employee. the patient assumes thru the ad that the doctor is part of the hospital staff. In this case the doctor was chief of orthopedics
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location. Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: r.i.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: II filed a complaint against the Souty County Hospital my self as the time limit was getting close. I am not an attorney , just a person that has been injured and no one would take my case because of my age, 69 years. I'm in the proccess of writing a summary motion in hopes of speeding up the process
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.

Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, merely advertising itself as a "comprehensive facility" does not, in and of itself, establish vicarious liability for the hospital. There are also some instances where the doctor will be treated as if he or she were a hospital employee because the plaintiff was led to believe that was the case

Hospitals are usually not liable for the medical malpractice of doctors because most doctors are independent contractors. However, some doctors are employees of hospitals. Whether a doctor is an employee of the hospital depends on the nature of his or her relationship with the hospital. The following are a few of the general characteristics that might suggest the doctor is an employee:

  • the hospital controls the doctor’s working hours and vacation time, or
  • the hospital sets the fees the doctor can charge.

If it is not clear, the doctor’s employment status is something that will be resolved in court. If the doctor is an employee or is treated as if he or she is an employee, the plaintiff can sue the hospital for medical malpractice, and must prove everything that is required to win a medical malpractice case.

Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Doesn't the doctor being chief of orthopedic surgery as listed in the tv, ads and the hospital website constitute an employer/ employee relationship ?
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for following up with me.

It should. You would need to show that the doctor had managerial authority on behalf of the hospital and was compensated by them.

In med mal cases, the usual strategy is to name everyone and let them fight it out between themselves as to liability.

So, do name the doctor and the hospital and anyone else connected to the case.