2016 (Civil Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 18

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Civil Law Instructions; 2016 Labor Law Questions:   12345678910111213141516171819 and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


Dr. Jack, a surgeon, holds clinic at the St. Vincent’s Hospital and pays rent to the hospital. The fees of Dr. Jack are paid directly to him by the patient or through the cashier ofthe hospital. The hospital publicly displays in the lobby the names and specializations of the doctors associated or accredited by it, including that of Dr. Jack. Marta engaged the services of Dr. Jack because of recurring stomach pain. It was diagnosed that she is suffering from cancer and had to be operated on. Before the operation, she was asked to sign a “consent for hospital care,” which reads:

“Permission is hereby given to the medical, nursing and laboratory staff of the St. Vincent’s Hospital to perform such procedures and to administer such medications and treatments as may be deemed necessary or advisable by the physicians o f this hospital for and during the confinement.”

After the surgery, the attending nurses reported that two (2) sponges were missing. Later, Marta died due to complications brought about by the sponges that were left in her stomach. The husband ofMarta sued the hospital and Dr. Jack for damages arising from negligence in the medical procedure. The hospital raised the defense that Dr. Jack is not its employee as it did not hire Dr. Jack nor pay him any salary or compensation. It has absolutely no control over the medical services and treatment being provided by Dr. Jack. Dr. Jack even signed an agreement that he holds the hospital free and harmless from any liability arising from his medical practice in the hospital.

Is St. Vincent’s Hospital liable for the negligence of Dr. Jack? Explain your answer. (5%)

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