Medicolegal

1912 Journal of the American Medical Association  
A boy hud been run over and injured in the public street by a minor son of the defendant, xvhile using the bitter's automobile for lus own pleasure or convenience, although it was stipulated on the trial that this was purely accidental, and without fault on the part of the defendant's son, who took one of the plaintiffs in the automobile to the hospital xvhere the injured boy hud been tuken, informed the physicinn of xvhat had occurred, and xvhile al, the, hospital requested the physician to
more » ... the physician to give the injured boy every attention to save bis life. The son did not attempt to contract on behalf of bis father; nor did the plaintiffs communicate with the defendant at any time before the completion of the services. When tbe injured boy was about to be discharged from the hospital, the hospital superintendent, ¡u an Interview xvith (he defendant, told him that the boy's mother was poor and would probably never be able to pay for tbe hospital charges, und requested the defendant to do something toward paying the bill, whereupon the defendant, paid the hospital bill, Iniorming the superintendent that he xvas not responsible. The second day after that he received a bill from the plaintiffs for their services. He had heard that they were attending the injured boy ut the hospital, but did not knoxv they were making a cliiini against him until be received their bill, which he refused to pay. The plaintiffs had a verdict (hiding that the son had general permission from his father to run and operate his father's automobile, and (hat the services in question were performed ut the request of the son. The law relating to the agency of servants to bind the employer to pay for physicians or nurses in attendance on persons injured by the negligence of such servants will be found, the court says, in Adams vs. Southern Railway Co., 16 Am. & Eng. Hy. ('¡is. (N. S.) pp. :i(i!i to .'170, where the cases are collected. Also in I liinsconi vs. Railway Go" S3 Minn. 110; r>.| X. \v. I!, o-i i; 20 I.. R. A. (¡im. Thé employment must have been of such a nature that this act of the servant is reasonably within its scope, as in tbe case of a general superintendent of u railway company, general manager or agent, and by some authorities a railroad conductor, These eases go largely on the corporate character of the employer, the usual practice pursued, and the great, exigency which arises in railroad disasters and (he dangerous character of the business. A mere chauffeur or automobile driver in n town where the employer is known and can be readily reached by telephone, or by oilier speedy and certain means of communication, xvouhl nol ordinarily possess such authority. Neither would an infant son using his father's automobile under like circumstances. Besides, the stipulation that the injuries here xvere the resull of mere accident, for which ihe boy in charge of the automobile xvus not to blame, eut away the ground wölk of such implied agency, even if otherwise within the reasonable scope of employment, by reason of an implied authority to save the employer from damages caused by negligence of ihe employee, The conclusion of the trial court that the boy had in law implied authority to employ physicians at the expense of bis father xvas incorrect. Admissibility of Testimony as to Statements of Patient as to Past Condition i.I'miicement piaster Co. rs. Westman i Wyo.), /,;..' Poo. it. mi) The Supreme Court ol Wyoming says that in this personal injury eise against, Ihe c.puny one of the physicians xvho attended and treated the plaintiff for his injury was called as a xvilucss on behalf of the plaintiff and gave his opinion ¡is to the extent and permanency of the injury, and also as I o Ihe necessity for the performance of a surgical operation xvhich had been performed on the plaintiff's head as a part of such treatment, lie was permitted to testify, over the objection of the defendant, to statements made to him by the plaintiff in relation to his condition, sensations and feelings in tbe past, which ruling xvas assigned us error. The rule seems to be quite xvell settled that such Statements of the party injured, narrative of past conditions or Buffering, made by the ordinary witness are Inadmissible in evidence; but a physician may testify to a statement or narrative given by u patient in relation to his condition, symptoms, sensations and feelings, both past and present, xvhen such statements xvere received during and xvere necessary to un examination xvith a view to treatment, or when they are necessary to enable him to give his opinion us an expert witness. This evidence xvas admissible for the purpose of affording the jury the means of determining the weight to be given to the opinion of the physician, but not ns evidence (ending to prove the. actual condition of the plaintiff at the time of xvhich he spoke, and the jury should have been so cautioned. For the purpose indicated, there xvus no error in admití ing the testimony.
doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270080424029 fatcat:524iddb53jbxfpgsalzfzyjtgq