Michigan Hospitals Liability for Independent Contractor Physicians Negligence

Generally speaking, a hospital is not vicariously liable for the negligence of a physician who is an independent contractor and merely uses the hospital's facilities to render treatment to his patients. See Anno: Hospital-Liability-Neglect of Doctor, 69 ALR2d 305, 315-316. However, if the individual looked to the hospital to provide him with medical treatment and there has been a representation by the hospital that medical treatment would be afforded by physicians working therein, an agency by estoppel can be found. See Howard v. Park, 37 Mich App 496; 195 NW2d 39 (1972), lv den 387 Mich. 782 (1972). See also Schagrin v. Wilmington Medical Center, Inc, 304 A2d 61 (Del Super Ct, 1973). To establish an ostensible agency, a plaintiff must show: (1) that the person dealing with the agent did so with belief in the agent's authority and this belief was a reasonable one; (2) that some act or neglect on the part of the principal sought to be charged generated that belief; (3) that the person relying on the agent's authority was not negligent. Chapa v. St Mary's Hospital of Saginaw, 192 Mich App 29, 33-34; 480 NW2d 590 (1991).