American Journal of Law & Medicine

Products liability: hospitals' exemption - McKenna v. Harrison Memorial Hospital.

Products Liability: Hospitals' Exemption--McKenna v. Harrison Memorial Hospital(1)--The Court of Appeals of Washington held that Harrison Memorial Hospital (HMH), which supplied a screw and rod device that was implanted in a patient's spine, was a provider of professional services that was exempt from liability under the Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA),(2) rather than a product seller that was subject to the WPLA.(3) Although the statute does not define a "provider of professional services," the court of appeals reasoned that, because the hospital acts only through its staff members, it follows that the hospital is acting within the particular staff person's professional practice when health care is provided to a patient.(4) Additionally, the court reasoned that the relationship between a hospital and a patient is relevant in determining whether a hospital is principally a provider of professional services or a seller of goods. …

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