American Journal of Law & Medicine

Malpractice: vicarious liability under apparent agency - James v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital.

Malpractice: Vicarious Liability Under Apparent Agency--James v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital(1)--The Appellate Court of Illinois for the First District held that a hospital can not be held vicariously liable for the negligence of its physicians under an apparent agency theory, when the patient: (1) knows or should know that the physician is an independent contractor and (2) has not acted in reliance on the existence of an agency relationship between the hospital and the physician. The court found that where a plaintiff has signed a consent form which clearly stated that the physician is an independent contractor, she can not reasonably argue that she believes an agency relationship exists. The court found that this case was controlled by the test set forth by the Illinois Supreme Court in Gilbert v. Sycamore Municipal Hospital.(2) Using this test, the court clarifies the plaintiff's burden in proving the vicarious liability of a hospital. …

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