Washington Law Review


Since 1957 the courts in most states have moved rapidly toward imposing vicarious liability on a hospital for the torts of employee-physicians. In 1965 the Illinois Supreme Court held that a hospital could be liable for the malpractice of a nonemployee-physician. This comment attempts to describe these trends, to delineate the new rules the courts are applying and to determine the rationale for adopting these new rules. The comment assumes the patient has established that the physician committed malpractice; the only issue addressed is whether the patient can recover from the hospital for his or her injuries. The scope is further limited to the liability of a private hospital; thus governmental immunity, peculiar to state or federally owned hospitals, is not discussed.

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