Jackson v. Power

Research the case of Jackson v. Power, and provide arguments for and against questions provided. The complete case can be found at the following link: https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/2604122/jackson-v-power/ It is important to clarify the exact issue that we have been asked to resolve. Jackson has conceded, for purposes of this appeal, that Dr. Power was not an employee of FMH [the hospital], but an independent contractor employed by respondent Emergency Room, Inc. (ERI), and that ERI and FMH are separate legal entities. Traditional rules of respondeat superior are, therefore, inapposite. Jackson also makes no claim that FMH was itself negligent in its selection, retention, or supervision of Dr. Power. Consequently, we have no occasion to consider the doctrine of corporate negligence. Jackson asks us to resolve only whether a hospital should be vicariously liable, as a matter of public policy, for the negligence or malpractice of an independent contractor/physician, committed while treating a patient in the hospital’s emergency room, under theories of (1) enterprise liability; (2) apparent authority; or (3) non-delegable duty. The court struggles to apply the concepts of enterprise liability, ostensible or apparent agency, agency by estoppel, and nondelegable duty to what is essentially a simple question: Who should bear the burden of the negligence that cost a 16-year-old both his kidneys? Phrased another way, the question could be stated as: Is it fair to conclude that a hospital should bear some responsibility for the quality of care that is rendered within its walls, regardless of what the unseen contractual relationships may be? Rather than attempt to conform the facts to awkward principles, the court analogized to a case involving Alaska Airlines. Just as the airline had a duty to provide safe transport to its passengers regardless of behind-the-scenes maintenance contracts with other firms, so too does the hospital have a duty to provide safe medical care to its emergency patients. Questions: 1. Does this make good public policy? 2. For example, if a hospital contracts with an organization such as ERI to provide emergency department physicians, and if the contract includes a provision to the effect that the hospital has no control over the physicians and that ERI alone may choose, credential, schedule, and supervise the services of those physicians, is it fair to hold the hospital liable? 3. Is such a “no control” provision valid? 4. Should it determine the outcome of the case?

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