Apparent Agency Judgment in Favor of Hospital Final
Medical Litigation Alert
In Steele v. Provena Hospitals, the jury returned a $1.5 million verdict against the emergency room physician and the hospital on an apparent agency theory. The mother of the adult patient directed the ambulance to the hospital and once there, the patient signed a consent which advised her that most of the physicians she would see were not hospital employees and agents. The patient also disclaimed any reliance on an agency or employment relationship between the doctors and the hospital in that form. The appellate court agreed that the sole evidence was the patient’s signed form in which she disclaimed reliance, and the mother’s testimony regarding reliance was not probative because the patient was an adult. It reversed the $1.5 million adverse verdict and ordered that judgment be entered in favor of the hospital. The Illinois Supreme Court has denied plaintiff leave to appeal. Steele v. Provena Hospitals, 2013 IL App (3d) 110374.
This is an update to a Representative Matter published in the December 17, 2013 issue of the Medical Litigation Newsletter.