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Volume32013verdict23continuedonpage24EveryphysicianvowstoabidebytheHippocraticOath.Inherentintheconceptodonoharmisprovidingthebestcarepossibletoyourpatients.Tephysicianswearstotakemeasurestotreattheillandtoavoidthecorruptionandtemptationoothers.ImnoHippocratesbutImsureprotandoutsideinfuenceperpetratedtheneedorsuchasolemnvow.TisbringsmetomypointtheunderlyingprinciplesotheHippocraticOathconfictwiththeprinciplesoMejiav.CommunityHospitalofSanBernardino199899Cal.App.4th1448whichacttoimposeliabilityonhospitalsonanostensibleagencytheory.TeHippocraticOathrequiresphysicianstotreattheirpatientstothebestotheirabilityandwithfullautonomywhileMejiaimposesliabilityonhospitalsthathavenocontroloveraphysicianscareandtreatment.SowhyshouldhospitalsbeostensiblyliableorthecareandtreatmentprovidedbyphysicianstheydontcontrolItsaactthathospitalsasentitiescantpracticemedicineorexertcontroloverthephysiciansthatchoosetopracticeattheiracilities.BusinessProfessionsCodesection2032.YetMejiarattledthedeenseworld15yearsagobyactingtoimposeliabilityonhospitalsorthenegligentactsotheirindependentcontractorphysiciansviathetheoryoostensibleagency.SincethenMejiahascreatedastrangetrichotomybetweenpatientphysicianandhospitalwhichhospitalsjustcantseemtoshake.Mejiahoweverdoesntimposeabsoluteautomaticliabilityonhospitals.TisarticlewilladdressandclariysomepotentialdeensestoaMejiaargumentatsummaryjudgmentandperhapsbeyond.TeLawoftheLandMejiastandsorthepropositionthathospitalsarepotentiallyliableorthenegligentactsoindependentcontractorphysiciansthroughthetheoryoostensibleagency.Mejia99Cal.App.4th1448CaliorniaCodeofCivilProcedure2300.oproveanostensibleagencyrelationshipplaintimustsatisybothotheollowingelements1conductbythehospitalthatwouldcauseareasonablepersontobelievetherewasanagencyrelationshipand2relianceonthatapparentagencyrelationshipbytheplainti.Ermoianv.DesertHospitaletal.2007152Cal.App.4th475506Mejia99Cal.App.4that1457.Athirdpseudoelementassetorthintheostensibleagencyjuryinstructionsrequiresthattheplaintiwasharmedbecausehereasonablyreliedonhisbelie.JuryCouncilofCaliforniaCivilJuryInstructions2013CACINo.3709.Whenahospitalholdsitseloutasaproviderocareitcreatesapresumptionintheeyesothelawthatthephysiciansinsideareitsagents.Mejia99Cal.App.4that1454.TissatisestherstelementoMejiaandplacestheburdenonthehospitaltodemonstratethatcontrarynoticehasbeensatisactorilyprovided.Ibid.Astothesecondelementcourtstraditionallyrequireddetrimentalreliance.N.TrustCo.v.St.FrancisHospital1998522N.E.2d699704.Howeverthegrowingtrendistorequireonlythatplaintisreliancewasreasonable.Mejia99Cal.App.4that1457.Additionallyaplaintiisnotrequiredtoprove1anactualbeliethattheirphysicianwasemployedbythehospitalor2thatshechangedherpositionorotherwisereliedtoherdetrimentbaseduponherbeliethatthephysicianwasanagentothehospital.Ermoian152Cal.App.4that505.Furtherrelianceispresumedabsentevidencethatplaintikneworshouldhaveknownthatthephysicianwasnotthehospitalsagent.Mejia99Cal.App.4that1454.Astothelastelementharmcanbeeasilyprovenbypointingtoplaintisallegedinjurywhichisthesubjectmatterothelawsuit.InsumCaliornialawassumesthatthephysicianappearstobeanagentothehospitalabsentnoticetothepatienttothecontrary.Mejia99Cal.App.4that1459.EvenmoredisconcertingisthatthegrowingtrendintheUnitedStatesappearstoalignwithMejiacourtsareincreasinglyholdinghospitalsliableorthenegligentactsotheirindependentcontractorphysiciansthroughthetheoryoostensibleagency.SeegenerallyBurlessv.WestVirginiaUniversityHospitalsInc.2004215W.Va.765Parkerv.Freilich2002803A.2d738.InlightoMejiaandthecasesthatolloweditsynthesizedbelowNavigatingDefensestoanOstensibleAgencyTeoryUnderMejiaChristineT.LeCarrollKellyTrotterFranzenMcKenna