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Professional liability considerations.

Waugh DK Jr.
Occupational safety and health symposia 1977. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 78-169, 1978 Jun; :301-308
Professional liability considerations of the industrial physician were assessed in relation to the physician's responsibility to do physical examinations to determine a person's suitability for employment. The 1964 case of Hoover versus Williamson was reviewed for historical precedent of the court's decision that the doctor/patient relationship was nonexistant between a prospective or actual employee and the examining occupational physician. Liability against the physician was incurred when the doctor failed to exercise due care regarding services necessary to the employee's bodily safety or health. The legal duties of a company physician toward discovering conditions requiring medical treatment and informing the patient were outlined in Lotspeich versus Chance Vought Aircraft (1963) and in Riste versus General Electric Company (1955). Cases relating to issues of job related physical examinations for promotion purposes included Armstrong versus Morgan (1976) and Beadling versus Sirotta (1964). The four cases were used to illustrate how professional liability decisions were made in the courts. The issue of physician negligence was the focus for such decisions, and the primary criterion for negligence involved the breaching of a duty owed to some individual resulting in injury or damage in some form.
Worker-health; Occupational-medicine; Occupational-health-services; Industrial-health-programs; Physical-examination; Health-care-facilities
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Occupational safety and health symposia 1977
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division