Smith Haughey Successfully Defends Hospital

Carol Carlson and Jon Vander Ploeg obtained a significant Court of Appeals victory for a hospital on the issue of whether the hospital was liable for an independent contractor anesthesiologist who allegedly harmed a patient during a procedure. Plaintiff alleged she had a reasonable belief the anesthesiologist was an agent of the hospital, but careful questioning at her deposition led to her acknowledgement that she had no memory of meeting the anesthesiologist before her procedure. This admission, along with language in the consent she signed (putting her on notice that some physicians at the hospital were independent contractors) convinced the trial judge and the Court of Appeals the hospital deserved dismissal.