Flagiello Vs Pennsylvania

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1. Type of court & the significance of that court rending the opinion:
a. Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
b. Flagiello lost at the state trial court level and has appealed to the state supreme court. The state supreme courts are entrusted with analyzing the legal standard that was applied at the intermediate appellate court level. Thus, the role of state supreme court is effectively to implement rules of procedure and govern the practice of law in the state.
2. Facts of the Case:
a. While being treated for an unrelated illness at the Pennsylvania Hospital a patient named Mary Flagiello fell and broker her ankle.
b. Flagiello claimed that her injury was due to the negligence of two hospital employees
c. Flagiello and her husband want compensation …show more content…

It is our conclusion that there is today no factual justification for immunity in a case such as this, and that the principles of law, logic and intrinsic justice demand that the mantle of humanity must be withdrawn.” (Parker v. Port Huron Hospital, Michigan)

f. “In 1910, two-thirds of the hospital space was made up of charity patients and 60%of the income was from charity. In 1963, the fees from paying patients constituted 90.92% of the income.” (Gable v. Sisters of St. Francis, Pennsylvania)

g. Justice Paxson said that the charitable immunity rule is “hoary with antiquity and prevails alike in this country and in England.” (Fire Insurance Patrol v. Boyd, Pennsylvania)

h. “Judge Rutledge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia revealed, in perhaps the most searing, analytical, and penetrating opinion on the subject up to that time, that the charity immunity doctrine was built on a foundation of sand.” (Georgetown College v. Hughes, Federal)

i. “Reviewed all of the arguments in favor of the immunity, and demolished them so completely as to change the whole course of the law. It has been followed by a deluge of decisions holding that there is no immunity at all, and that a charity is liable for its torts to the same extent as any other defendant.” (Prosser on Torts, 3d Ed., 1964,p …show more content…

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that although the doctrine of stare decisis plays an important role, standing precedent can be abandoned to allow for evolving societal standards of behavior or expectations.
i. “The principle of stare decisis does not demand that we must follow precedents, which shipwreck justice.”
b. Court stated that whatever the law may have been regarding charitable institutions in the past, it does not meet the conditions of today.
i. “Hospitals today are growing into mighty edifices in brick, stone, glass and marble. Many of them maintain large staffs, they use the best equipment that science can devise, they utilize the most modern methods in devoting themselves to the noblest purpose of man, that of helping’s one’s stricken brother. But they do all this on a business basis, submitting invoices for services rendered.”
c. Court stated that “if a hospital functions as a business institution, by charging and receiving money for what it offers, it must be a business establishment also in meeting obligations it incurs in running that establishment.”
i. “One of those obligations is that it must exercise a proper degree of care for its patients, and, to the extent that it fails in that care, it should be liable in damages as any other commercial firm would be

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