Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Johnson v. Misericordia Community Hospital case brief

Johnson v. Misericordia Community Hospital case brief summary
294 N.W.2d 501 (Ct. App. 1980)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendants appealed from the Circuit Court for Milwaukee County (Wisconsin), from a judgment for plaintiff in an action alleging defendants were negligent in granting a physician specialized surgical privileges.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff underwent surgery at defendant hospital for removal of a pin fragment from his hip. During the course of the surgery, plaintiff's femoral artery and nerve were severed, leading to permanent paralysis. After suing defendants for negligence, plaintiff settled with the physician. A jury found that defendant hospital was negligent for the granting of orthopedic privileges to the physician and apportioned 80 percent of the causal negligence to defendant hospital.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed the jury's finding of corporate negligence on the part of defendant hospital and its award of damages to plaintiff. 
  • Defendant hospital had a duty to exercise reasonable care in the selection of its medical staff and in granting specialized surgical privileges. 
  • Defendant hospital failed to exercise ordinary care in failing to scrutinize the physician's credentials before his application for permission to use hospital facilities was approved.
CONCLUSION
Affirmed the jury's finding that defendants were liable for corporate negligence, since defendants failed to exercise ordinary care in scrutinizing the physician's credentials before granting his application for permission to use hospital facilities.


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