Part I of this Article explains why existing malpractice law has failed to make patients safer. Part II then reviews the history of proposals for enterprise liability and the reasons those proposals were not adopted. Part III outlines my contention that hospital enterprise liability would revive the deterrent power of medical malpractice law. It also defends my claim that enterprise liability would align tort law with efforts of modem patient safety experts to reduce errors by focusing on system-wide improvement, rather than individual blame. Finally, it explains how this reform would advance the recommendations of health reformers who want to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care by making health care systems more accountable for these outcomes. They, too, place great emphasis on hospital level accountability. Part IV then explores the many benefits that enterprise liability is likely to confer which are not related to patient safety. Part V reviews several possible weaknesses of enterprise liability. In the Conclusion, I argue that the strengths of exclusive hospital enterprise liability substantially outweigh those weaknesses.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.