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ostensible agency liability

Refers to certain powers granted to an agent that the public has come to expect the agent to possess even if a principal has not actually granted such powers. In a medical professional liability context, the ostensible agency liability doctrine is often used to hold hospitals liable for the acts of independent contractor physicians who work in emergency and operating rooms. There are two reasons for this approach. First, a hospital environment creates a likelihood that patients will look to the institution rather than the individual physicians for care. Second, in many situations, a hospital presents a physician as its employee.


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