Kenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2020 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at, call or visit

(732) 572-0500

Monday, November 3, 2008

Estate of Cordero, et al. v. Christ Hospital

On appeal from a grant of summary judgment in favor of the
defendant hospital, plaintiffs contend the evidence was adequate
to permit a jury to find the hospital liable for an
anesthesiologist's negligence under a theory of "apparent
authority." There is apparent authority when "a hospital by its
actions, has held out" a doctor as its agent and "a patient has
accepted treatment from that physician in the reasonable belief
that it is being rendered in behalf of the hospital." Basil v.
Wolf, 193 N.J. 38, 67 (2007) (quoting and approving Arthur v.
St. Peters Hosp., 169 N.J. Super. 575, 581 (Law. Div. 1979)).
Based on the absence of evidence that the hospital "actively
held out" or "misled" the patient "into believing" that the
anesthesiologist was its agent, or that patient was misled, the
trial court dismissed plaintiffs' claim.
The court held that when a hospital provides a doctor for a
patient and the totality of the circumstances created by the
hospital's action and inaction would lead a patient to
reasonably believe the doctor's care is rendered in behalf of
the hospital, the hospital has held out that doctor as its
agent. We also hold that when a hospital patient accepts a
doctor's care under such circumstances, the patient's acceptance
in the reasonable belief the doctor is rendering treatment in
behalf of the hospital may be presumed unless rebutted. Appellate Divison Docket A-1289-07T1