Case Brief Ermoian V. Desert Hospital

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CASE BRIEF Case Name: Ermoian v. Desert Hospital Citation: 152 Cal. App. 4th 475 Facts: * Desert Hospital provides CPSP to women who are uninsured * Contracted with a corporation controlled by Dr. Gubin, who employed Dr. Ogata * Jackie Shahan went to the hospital’s emergency room for cramping * She was refused entry into the clinic because she was pregnant, even though she would enter throughout her pregnancy * On May 15, Shahan’s baby was born with brain abnormalities that left her mentally retarded and unable to care for herself * Her conditions could not have been prevented, treated, or cured in utero. * Sued, claiming that they did not inform her mother of the abnormalities Procedure: The court ruled in favor of the defendant. Issue: Did the physicians working at the clinic have apparent authority to act for the hospital? Decision: Yes, the state court decided that they were apparent agents, so ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Rule: Apparent agency can be implied when a principal by his acts has led others to believe that he has conferred authority upon an agent. Reasoning: Liability for an act of apparent agency rests on the doctrine of estoppel. A person must believe in an agent’s authority. The physicians were part of the hospital because they held out the clinic and personnel in that manner. The clinic used the same name as the hospital. The hospital, and those associated with it, created the appearance to Shahan that the hospital was the provider of the obstetrical

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