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Court rejects claim that radiologists were apparent or ostensible agents of hospital

In Purcell v. Sturgis Hospital, a panel of the Court of Appeals overturned a default judgment against the hospital and dismissed the injury victim's malpractice claim.  It held that Purcell could not argue that the radiologists appeared to be agents of the Hospital, making the hospital responsible for their negligence in treating him.  The opinion of the Court did not identify when the alleged malpractice occurred, but relied upon a number of "consent" forms executed by Purcell or his mother over the following weeks to hold that he could not reasonably have believed that the radiologists were agents of the hospital.  Purcell had offered Radiology reports which implied that the radiology physicians were a department of the hospital, however, the appellate judges dismissed this evidence as immaterial to the issue of apparent agency.  Since Purcell could not point to an explicit conversation that identified the radiologists as agents of the hospital, he was not allowed to argue to the jury that he believed them to be a part of the hospital.

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