Most seriously ill people end up in a hospital. When you are admitted to a hospital, you may be treated by many people from the doctor, who sees you in the ER, to the nurse or orderly, who pushes your wheelchair to the door when you leave. So


of these people are completely independent, like your own doctor or a private nurse. Some may supply services to patients under a contract with the hospital, like the anesthesiologist or radiologist. Some may be payroll employees of the hospital, like nurses and orderlies.

Is the hospital responsible for all of them? It depends on the relationship between each person and the hospital and the duty of the hospital to its patients. You have to be careful whom you sue, because your case can easily get off the rails, if you sue (or do not sue) the wrong people. From a legal point of view, there are several general categories of people, for whose actions the hospital may be liable, that we will discuss.

Hospital Employees

This includes all full-time physicians and payroll employees such as nurses, therapists, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, etc. Legally, they are agents of the hospital, and it is responsible for their actions under what is known as the doctrine of Respondeat Superior, a legal term meaning the boss is responsible for the lawful actions of his employees.

Doctors who are paid by writing my essay the hospital, which in turn bills you for their services, are considered hospital employees, even though they may maintain private offices outside the hospital. The test for a hospital employee is whether the doctor is paid by the hospital or by you, and the control which the hospital can exercise over her or him. Note that we said “can.” A hospital may let an ER doctor do exactly as he pleases, but if it has the power to tell her or him what to do, the ER doctor is a hospital employee. And, a hospital is 100% liable for the acts of its employees.