Beeck v. Tucson General Hospital

In Beeck v. Tucson General Hospital, 18 Ariz. App. 165, 500 P.2d 1153 (1972), the Court held that a doctor could be an employee of a hospital and that the hospital was therefore subject to respondeat superior liability. In Beeck, the court explicitly rejected the notion that "the physician's vocation is viewed in some cases as requiring such high skill and learning that the layman is deemed incapable of directing him in the practice of his calling." 18 Ariz. App. at 167, 500 P.2d at 1155. Instead, it quoted from Bing v. Thunig, 2 N.Y.2d 656, 143 N.E.2d 3, 8, 163 N.Y.S.2d 3 (N.Y. 1951), that hospitals "regularly employ on a salary basis a large staff of physicians, nurses and interns, as well as administrative and manual workers, and they charge patients for medical care and treatment." 18 Ariz. App. at 169, 500 P.2d at 1157. In a statement that is very analogous to this case, the court quoted a Colorado case as follows: "'If we were to rule that respondeat superior does not apply because the hospital is not licensed as a Nurse, then it would seem to follow that an airline should not be liable for the negligence of its pilot because the airline is not licensed to fly an aircraft.'" Id.