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Abernathy v. Sisters of St. Mary's
A patient at a hospital run by a charitable organization sued for negligence, and the hospital claimed charitable immunity from liability.
- RuleNongovernmental charitable institutions are liable for their own negligence and the negligence of their employees
Charitable immunity fosters neglect and irresponsibility, where liability promotes care and caution. Two principal arguments have been raised in support of charitable immunity:
1. Implied Waiver Theory - persons who accept the benefits of a charity implicitly agree that they will not sue the charity for torts
2. Trust Fund Theory - Funds given to charities for charitable purposes cannot be used to pay judgments
Friends of the court; interested non-parties who file briefs in support of some aspect of a case
Clarke v. Oregon Health Sciences University
Hospital staff members negligently deprived an infant of oxygen after he underwent heart surgery, and the child suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a result; the child's guardian sued, and issues arose as to whether the plaintiff's exclusive remedy was against the hospital and whether statutory damage cap applied.
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