The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position during pre-trial litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in a medical malpractice case present such issues to the court.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Plaintiffs cannot make an argument for ostensible agency in this case. Mejia states that….a patient is presumed to have looked to the hospital for care unless he or she was treated by his or her personal physician, …. (Mejia, supra, 99 Cal.App.4th at 1455, emphasis added.) Ms. White was treated by her own obstetrician – Dr. Cindy Brown – during her hospitalization at UMH in March 2005.
Further, Dr. Brown is not an employee of UMH, although she did, and still does, have staff privileges at UMH. Physicians with staff privileges are not employees or agents of the hospital. Dr. Brown does not have an office in UMH. Dr. Brown’s office is located at 2601 East Main Street in Ventura, California. Dr. Brown’s practice was not established by UMH and is not considered an outpatient clinic of UMH. Dr. Brown’s office/practice is called the Moss Medical Clinic. Dr Brown’s employees were not employees of UMH, and were not paid by UMH. UMH did not bill for Dr. Brown’s services; UMH only billed for services provided by UMH at UMH.
Based on the foregoing, plaintiff’s cannot establish a claim for ostensible agency, as none of the factors to make such a finding are present in this case. As such, defendant UMH’s motion for summary judgment should be granted.
It has been demonstrated by the arguments presented herein that plaintiffs cannot prove the essential elements of breach of duty or causation. Accordingly, defendant’s motion for summary judgment should be granted, and plaintiffs’ complaint against UMH should be dismissed in its entirety.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.