Washington Law Review


Susan Ward


This Comment first explains the theory of corporate negligence as adopted in Washington and describes the role of a hospital's quality review committees in fulfilling the hospital's corporate duty. It then reviews present law on the use of committee records in litigation. Next, this Comment considers the conflict between the goals of protecting medical staff committee records and permitting recovery in corporate negligence actions. It concludes that medical staff committee records should be protected from discovery in hospital corporate negligence actions and that the evidentiary use of hospital quality review committee records should be prohibited as well. Because this extended protection will create proof problems for hospital corporate negligence plaintiffs, this Comment proposes that the court adopt an in camera review proceeding to permit such plaintiffs access to hospital records of former patients of the physician whose alleged negligence caused the plaintiff's injury.

First Page