California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

516. Duty of Hospital to Screen Medical Staff

A hospital is negligent if it does not use reasonable care to select and periodically evaluate its medical staff so that its patients are provided adequate medical care.

New September 2003

Directions for Use

Always read CACI No. 514, Duty of Hospital, in conjunction with this instruction.

Sources and Authority

  • “[W]e hold a hospital is accountable for negligently screening the competency of its medical staff to insure the adequacy of medical care rendered to patients at its facility.” (Elam v. College Park Hospital (1982) 132 Cal.App.3d 332, 346 [183 Cal.Rptr. 156].)
  • “[A] hospital generally owes a duty to screen the competency of its medical staff and to evaluate the quality of medical treatment rendered on its premises. Thus, a hospital could be found liable for injury to a patient caused by the hospital’s negligent failure ‘to insure the competence of its medical staff through careful selection and review,’ thereby creating an unreasonable risk of harm to the patient.” (Walker v. Sonora Regional Medical Center (2012) 202 Cal.App.4th 948, 959–960 [135 Cal.Rptr.3d 876], internal citation omitted.)
  • “The hospital has ‘a direct and independent responsibility to its patients of insuring the competency of its medical staff and the quality of medical care provided . . . .’ [Citation.] Hospitals must be able to establish high standards of professional work and to maintain those standards through careful selection and review of staff. And they are required to do so by both state and federal law. [Citations.]” (Rhee v. El Camino Hospital Dist. (1988) 201 Cal.App.3d 477, 489 [247 Cal.Rptr. 244].)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, §§ 986–989

California Tort Guide (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) §§ 9.55–9.62

3 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 31, Liability of Physicians and Other Medical Practitioners, § 31.81 (Matthew Bender)

25 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 295, Hospitals, § 295.13 (Matthew Bender)