A hospital could not be held liable for a doctor’s malpractice under a respondeat superior/ostensible agency theory where the Conditions of Admission to the hospital which the patient signed many times in non-emergency situations clearly disclosed that all doctors who treated patients at the hospital acted as independent contractors and not as the hospital’s agents or employees.  A joint $1 million 998 offer by plaintiffs who were husband and wife was valid and effective to shift costs and allow recovery of prejudgment interest though it was joint and though it was conditioned on the truth of the defendant’s discovery response stating that he was insured for only $1 million for his medical malpractice.  The jury’s award far exceeded the $1 million, so apportionment was not a problem, and a 998 can properly be made conditional on the truth of a defendant’s representations about the amount of his insurance coverage.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1 (Lui, J.; Johnson, J., dissenting & concurring); October 4, 2016; 2016 WL 5765470