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Assessing the Significance of WuerthRespondeat SuperiorAccording to the Respondeat Superior, an employer (or master) is vicariously responsible for the wrongful acts or negligence displayed by its agents or employees while performing work he/she has been assigned. The original concepts of this theory state, “one may presume that the servant acted by his master’s authority” (The Three Conditions Required for Respondeat Superior, n.d.). Losito v. Kruse, 1940In the 1940’s case of Losito v. Kruse, the Ohio Supreme Court stated, it the Theory of Respondeat Superior, a plaintiff possesses the lawful right to proceed action against an employer (master), agents/ servants/ employees, or against both (The Three Conditions Required for Respondeat Superior, n.d.).
Respondeat Superior9Flagg v. Bedford, 1966 and Billings v. Falkenburg, 1986In this case, the court ruled that until an injured party has obtained their satisfaction, he/she has can lawfully file a malpractice suit against the person(s) primarily (or secondary response. An injured party may seek to recover from an employer if he/she can prove an employee’s acts (that occurred within the premise of their assigned duties) were responsible the damages or injuries caused, although the employee is not listed as a codefendant. The Agency of EstoppelThe principle of Agency of Estoppelstates an employer is not responsible for negligence caused by an independent contractor. However, certain circumstances do not apply. Primarily physiciansare to be held accountable for their practices and actions while within the hospital setting, however, nursing employees do not adhere to these same guidelines. Unlike most physicians, primarily nurses are not independent contractors but employees who are under the hospital’s direct supervision. They must uphold hospital standards and adhere to guidelines. Also, a nurse is a hospital employee who does not have a binding contract; therefore, he/she may be hired or terminated at any time. In rare circumstances, to state a claim medical negligence or malpractice which has occurred due to a physician’s acts a plaintiff must prove this first as the primary liability and then identify the hospital as secondary liable.The Court’s Final RulingAccording to the court it was determined, Wuerth could not be applied for two main reasons. Thecourt stated:
Respondeat Superior10Wuerth does not apply here for two reasons: first, the unique relationship of the attorney tortfeasor, Richard Wuerth, to his law firm is distinguishable from that held by a nurse employed by the hospital, and second, in precluding legal-malpractice claims directly against a law firm, Wuerth’s holding was expressly limited to its facts (p. 22). Due to this outcome, it was determined that the hospital employed the accused tortfeasors, therefore the plaintiffs was granted permission to proceed their vicarious liability claim to recover damages based on the guidelines of the Respondeat Superior Theory. Wuerthis unfitting to this case. Therefore, it was determined the trial court make a mistake when it previously
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Health care provider, Respondeat Superior, Toledo Hospital