Hospitals are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees. However, much of the time, due to a variety of reasons, the doctor seeing you at the hospital is not actually a direct employee of the hospital. Many hospitals would like to make you believe that they are not responsible for the actions of non-employed doctors. Could it be true that hospitals are protected when a visiting doctor makes a life changing error?
The answer is no. First cited in New Jersey in the case, Arthur v. St. Peter’s Hospital, the doctrine of apparent employment establishes that hospitals are generally not liable for the acts of physicians who are not employees but rather independent contractors. However, because the hospital holds out a physician as its employee, the, “…plaintiff had a right to assume that the treatment was that was being received was being rendered through hospital employees and that any negligence associated with that treatment would render the hospital responsible.
If you have been subject harm due to the negligence of a visiting physician, do not let the hospital fool you into thinking you have no case. Please contact an attorney immediately to find out just who is responsible.