Jane suddenly suffers severe lower extremity trauma during a soccer tournament. Ben awakes with unrelenting chest pain and pressure. Mary, driving home from work, is hit head-on suffering multiple fractures and wounds. Jake develops flu symptoms one early evening. Many different situations can lead to a hospital or medical facility visit. Often, the patient may choose the particular hospital or clinic. Rarely, however, do they have any choice in the doctor rendering care.
This is because patients usually have no prior relationship with hospital or clinic medical professionals. In such situations, patients often never see or meet the medical professionals making decisions regarding their care. Due to this, patients often believe that they are being treated by the facility’s employees and that the facility will be responsible for the care they receive.
However, by carefully drafting service contracts, medical facilities have tried to benefit from staffing highly trained medical professionals without being responsible for the quality of their care. This left patients with potentially inadequate resources to make them whole when injured by medical negligence. The question of whether medical facilities should be held responsible for medical professionals who act as part of their medical team began being raised in Connecticut’s trial courts.
For years, most trial courts answered this question “yes.” Those facilities had held certain professionals out as their own were liable for the actions of their “apparent agents” regardless of phantom agreements that stated otherwise. However, some courts took the hospital’s side, and people injured by medical negligence were forced to accept inadequate results.