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California law holds a hospital liable for the acts of a physician if he is an actual agent of the hospital or when a patient is led to believe the physician is an agent. When a hospital holds out a physician as an employee, a patient may reasonably assume that the physician is an employee of the hospital without making an inquiry on the subject.
In general, public entities are immune from liability; however, they may be held liable for acts of their employees. The government entity has a duty to defend and indemnify its employees. Likewise, a public entity is liable for any injury proximately caused by an act of an independent contractor of the public entity to the same extent that the public entity would be subject to liability if it were a private person. A public entity is immune from liability for punitive or exemplary damages. However, under certain conditions, the public entity, other than the state, is authorized to pay punitive or exemplary damages on behalf of the employee. Public entities may insure themselves against all tort liability.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified medical malpractice lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local medical malpractice attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.