Baptist V. Sampson

Topics: Appeal, Appellate court, Supreme Court of the United States Pages: 4 (1142 words) Published: May 29, 2013
Question: In Baptist v. Sampson, the Texas Supreme Court did not agree with the appellate court that holding hospitals liable for the negligence of ER doctors should be a non-delegable duty. Explain why you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court. Under what theory can a hospital be held liable for the conduct of emergency room physicians who are independent contractors? You should be able to answer question three in no more than 2-3 pages. You need to discuss the theory of liability, what the appellate court held, what the Supreme court held...and why you believe one or the other is correct. Background

On March 23, 1990, Rhea Sampson went to the emergency room to get treated for a bite on her arm by an unidentified creature at the Southeast Baptist Memorial Hospital. There were two doctors at Southeast Baptist Memorial Hospital, Dr. Howle and Dr. Zakula, who treated her bitten arm with pain medication as well as administered Benadryl. Within fourteen hours, Sampson had decided to seek additional treatment at another hospital due to her declining condition where she was admitted into the intensive care unit which they were able to determine that a brown recluse spider had bitten her and they were able to save her life (Phillips, 1997). Trial Court Ruling

Sampson decided to sue both Dr. Howle and Dr. Zakula for medical malpractice as well as sue the Baptist Memorial Hospital System, also known as the BMHS, where the Southeast Baptist Hospital is a member. Sampson sued “for negligence in failing to properly diagnose and treat her, failing to properly instruct medical personnel in the diagnosis and treatment of brown recluse spider bites, failing to maintain policies regarding review of diagnoses, and in credentialing Dr. Zakula as well as hold the Hospital vicariously liable for Dr. Zakula’s alleged negligence under an ostensible agency theory (Phillips, 1997).” During the discovery phase, Dr Howle was nonsuited by Sampson. Furthermore, the trial...


References: Wall, M. T. (n.d.) Ostensible Agency Liability in Texas. Retrieved from
http://www.thie.com/reducing_your.../ost_agency_handout.asp.
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