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Jackson v. Power
Alaska Supreme Court
743 P.2d 1376 (1987)
In 1981, 16-year-old Brett Jackson (plaintiff) fell from a cliff and was admitted to the emergency room at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital (the hospital) (defendant). The hospital had a general-acute-care license, which required it to provide patients with competent treatment and always have an emergency physician available. The hospital was also accredited with the Joint Committee on the Accreditation of Hospitals, which required it to develop an emergency-care plan and adopt quality-control mechanisms. The hospital’s bylaws established an emergency room committee to formulate policies and supervise care. Jackson was treated by the physician staffing the emergency room, John Power (defendant). Power was an independent contractor of the hospital. Power negligently treated Jackson, which caused Jackson to lose both his kidneys. Jackson, along with his mother, filed a negligence action in Alaska trial court against Power and the hospital. Jackson claimed that the hospital was vicariously liable for Power’s negligence based on an enterprise-liability theory, an apparent-authority theory, and a nondelegable-duty theory. Jackson then moved for partial summary judgment against the hospital on his vicarious-liability argument. The trial court determined that the enterprise-liability theory was inapplicable and that summary judgment was not appropriate on the other two theories because there were genuine issues of material fact. Jackson appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Burke, J.)
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