You are on page 1of 3

Johnson v. Misericordia Community Hospital 99 Wis. 2d 708, 301 N.W.2d 156 (1981) I. Procedure. a. Who are the parties?

The plaintiff is Mr. Johnson. The defendants are Dr. Salinsky and Miscericordia Community Hospital. b. Who brought the action? Mr. Johnson brought forth the action due to negligent surgery in July of 1975. c. In what court did the case originate? The case originated at Milwaukee, Wisconsin trialcourt. d. Who won at the trial-court level? Mr. Johnson won at the trial court level. e. What is the appellate history of the case? The case was appealed and the court of appeals affirmed the verdict from there the case was appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. II. Facts. a. What are the relevant facts as recited by this court? i. In July 1975 Mr. Johnson received a permanent paralytic condition of his right thigh muscles with resultant atrophy and weakness and loss of function. ii. On March 5, 1973 Dr. Salinsky applied for orthopedic privileges on the medical staff. iii. In his application, Salinsky stated that he was on the active medical staff of there hospitals. iv. He stated his privileges at other hospitals have never been suspended. v. Dr. Salinsky failed to answer any questions about his malpractice carrier vi. Salinsky authorized Misericordia to contact his malpractice carries, past and present. vii. He also authorized Misericordia to contact all the hospitals that he had previously been associated with. viii. Salinsky requested privileges only for those surgical procedures in which he was qualified by certification. ix. Mrs. Jane Becos, Misericordias medial staff coordinator appointed April of 1973. x. Testifying from the hospital records, noted that Salinskys appointment to the medical staff was recommended by then hospital administrator David A. Scott on June 22 1973. xi. Salinskys appointment and requested orthopedic privileges, according to the hospital records, were not marked approved until August 8, 1973 xii. The approval of his appointment was endorsed by Salinsky himself. xiii. Salinsky was elevated to the position Chief of Staff. xiv. Mrs. Bekos stated that an examination of the Misericordia records reflected that at no time was an investigation made by anyone of any of the statements recited in his application. xv. The two Milwaukee hospitals briefly stated that the hospitals governing body, i.e., the board of directors or board of trustees, has the ultimate responsibility in granting or denying staff privileges. xvi. Mrs. Bekos testified she was attempted to justify her failure to investigate Salinskys application because she believed he had been a member of medical staff prior to her employment. xvii. The credentials committee conducts an investigation of the applying physicians or surgeons education, training, health, ethics and experience through contacts with his peers in the specialty in which he is seeking privileges, as well as the references listed in his application to determine the veracity of his statements and to solicit comments dealing with the applicants credentials.

xviii. Once the credentials committee conducts the investigation is done, the governing body, has the final appointing authority. xix. The record demonstrates that had an investigation been conducted, Misericordia would have found, contrary to Dr. Salinskys representations, that he had in fact experienced denial and restriction of his privileges, as well as never having been granted privileges at the very same hospitals he listed in his application. xx. The jury found that the hospital was negligent in granting orthopedic surgical privileges to Dr. Salinsky and thus apportioned eighty percent of the causal negligence to Misericordia. xxi. Damages awarded in the sum of $315,000 for past and future personal injuries, and $90,000 for past and future impairment of earning capacity. b. Are there any facts that you would like to know but that are not revealed in the opinion? i. Who hired Dr. Salinsky at other hospitals? ii. Why was Dr. Salinsky never been investigated for what he put on his application? III. Issues. a. What are the precise issues being litigated, as stated by the court? i. Duty of due care in the selection and granting of privileges of physicians. ii. Negligence when it came to granting privileges. b. Do you agree with the way the court has framed those issues? I agree with how the court framed the issues because of the hospitals gross negligence when it came to the hiring process of Dr. Salinsky. IV. Holding. a. What is the courts precise holding (decision)? The jury found that the hospital was negligent in granting orthopedic surgical privileges to Dr. Salinsky and thus apportioned eighty percent of the causal negligence to Misericordia. Damages were awarded in the sum of $315,000 for past and future personal injuries and $90,000 for past and future impairment of earning capacity. b. What is its rationale for that decision? The rational was the hospital has a duty to verify the application statements.. c. Do you agree with that rationale? I agree because of vicarious liability. Implications. What does the case mean for healthcare today? The case means today that it is ever more important to verify the credentials or the applicant and to verify all background and past work experiences. To check for sanctions or other bad marks on the doctors medical license. b. What were its implications when the decision was announced? i. There could be a change in policy when it comes to hiring ii. Possible auditing of all current employees to ensure there are properly credentialed iii. Check other physicians licensure iv. Internal auditing system c. How should healthcare administrators prepare to deal with these implications? i. Have proper training when hiring people ii. To verify what is said on the application iii. Have an external provider audit the hiring practices
V. a.

iv. Be sure to check the license and credential status of their current and future employees. d. What would be different today if the case had been decided differently? i. If this particular case had been decided differently then, we would not have as many policies put

within healthcare organizations.