Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Summary 2014 WY 3

Summary of Decision January 7, 2014

District Judge Sharpe delivered the opinion for the Court. Reversed and remanded.


Docket Number: S-13-0040

URL: http://www.courts.state.wy.us/Opinions.aspx

Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County the Honorable Dan R. Price II, Judge

Representing Appellant: Billie LM Addleman; and Kara L. Ellsbury of Hirst Applegate, LLP, Cheyenne, WY. Argument by Mr. Addleman.

Representing Appellee: R. Daniel Fleck and Larissa A. McCalla of The Spence Law Firm, LLC, Jackson, WY; and Jeremy D. Michaels of Michaels & Michaels, PC, Gillette, WY. Argument by Mr. Michaels.

Date of Decision: January 7, 2014

Facts: Campbell County Memorial Hospital (“the hospital”) appeals from a district court order denying its motion for partial summary judgment in a medical malpractice action. The district court determined that a government hospital could be vicariously liable for acts of non-employees or independent contractors under the doctrine of ostensible agency. The district court based its ruling on this Court’s decision in Sharsmith v. Hill, 764 P.2d 667 (Wyo. 1988). On appeal, the hospital contends the district court erred in its interpretation of Sharsmith. The hospital asserts Sharsmith did not create an implied waiver of sovereign immunity under the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act.

Issues: Appellant Campbell County Memorial Hospital presents the following issue for our consideration: Whether a governmental entity is liable for the negligence of a non-employee under the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act.

Appellee Jamie Pfeifle restates the issues as follows: A. Whether the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act applies to Campbell County Memorial Hospital because the hospital obtained liability insurance to cover these circumstances; B. Whether the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act’s remedy provisions apply only to tort claims brought under specific provisions of the Act and do not in any way limit contract-based claims or remedies; C. Whether Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Amanda Phillips fits the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act’s definition of public employee; and D. Whether Campbell County Memorial Hospital is liable for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Amanda Phillips’ negligence because the hospital created the appearance that Phillips was the hospital’s employee.

Holdings: We reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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