Responsibility for the Acts of Others (Medicolegal Issues)
Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 2010, July, 23, 3
Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings
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Liability exposure in a health care liability claim is rarely a cut-and-dried matter. Office-based physicians are frequently taken aback when confronted with the fact that they, their medical group, or their professional association may be responsible for the conduct of another in their office or practice. Frequently, this confusion arises from the failure to appreciate and understand the concept of indirect or vicarious liability embodied in the legal theory of respondeat superior. The potential legal responsibility for the acts of others does not stop there though. This article discusses the basic theories and circumstances under which a health care entity or professional may be responsible for the acts of those employed by that entity or individual. Respondeat superior embodies the general rule that an employer is responsible for the negligent acts or omissions of its employees. Under respondeat superior an employer is liable for the negligent act or omission of any employee acting within the course and scope of his employment (1). This is a purely dependent or vicarious theory of liability, meaning a finding of liability is not based on any improper action by the employer. The fact that the employer may have acted reasonably in hiring, training, supervising, and retaining the employee is irrelevant and does not provide a basis on which the employer can avoid liability for the acts of employees (1). The underlying premise of respondeat superior is that the cost of torts committed in the conduct of a business enterprise should be borne by that enterprise as a cost of doing business (2).
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- Categoría: Salud y forma física
- Publicación: 01/07/2010
- Editorial: The Baylor University Medical Center
- Páginas impresas: 8 páginas
- Idioma: Inglés