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Apparent Agency

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Apparent Agency

Brien Roche

Apparent agency means just what the term says.  That is, someone appears to be the agent of another.  What appears to be however is not always so.  

Apparent Agency and Estoppel

Sometimes apparent agency is referred to as agency by estoppel.  An estoppel is a statement or act by one person which is relied upon by another with some good cause which results in some damage to that other person.  For instance, a local hospital holds out its emergency room to the public as being “staffed by its highly skilled doctors and nurses”.  That would suggest that the doctors and nurses in the ER are in fact employees of the hospital.  In many ERs they are not.  In many ERs there is a sign posted that says that the doctors and nurses in the ER are not the employees of the hospital.  Instead they are employees of an independent contractor who has a contract with the hospital.

Advertising

The advertisement would seem to create an apparent agency.  That is, the hospital is telling the public that its employees staff the ER.  People come to the Emergency Room based upon that statement.  The hospital has a good name.  People in need of service rely upon that.  However the service provided is not up to local standards.  As a result the patient is injured.  That is an example of an apparent agency.  

In figuring out whether an apparent agency exists, the court needs to look at all of the factors.  These factors bear on the nature of the relation between the principal and the apparent agent.

Factors To Look At

There are several factors that may be looked at:

  • Who referred the plaintiff to this apparent agent?  Was it the principal?
  • The physical proximity between the agent and the principal?
  • What type of documentation has been signed between the plaintiff and the agent?
  • What is the demeanor of the employees of the apparent agent?  That is, do they act, conduct themselves or wear clothing that would suggest that they are associated with the principal?
  • Is there any notice provided as to what the nature of the relationship is?
  • What is the condition of the plaintiff to be able to discern the nature of the relationship when the service is provided?
  • What records does the agent maintain of this relationship with the plaintiff?
  • Are there contracts or other documents that define the relationship between the principal and the agent?
  • What amount of the agent’s time is spent working with or for this principal?
  • Whose equipment is used to provide service to this plaintiff?
  • Does the agent have any employees and if so, who do they think is their principal?
  • Who does the agent report to?  In particular, do they report to the principal?
  • How are the employees of the agent paid and who pays them?
  • Does the agent adhere to any standards or rules that are put out by the principal?
  • What level of control is exercised by the principal over the agent?

These are all factors that a court would look at in judging whether an apparent agency exists.

Call or contact us for a free consult. For more info see the Wikipedia pages. See also the pages on this site.

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Apparent Agency

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Apparent Agency

Brien Roche

Apparent agency means just what the term says.  That is, someone appears to be the agent of another.  What appears to be however is not always so.  

Apparent Agency and Estoppel

Sometimes apparent agency is referred to as agency by estoppel.  An estoppel is a statement or act by one person which is relied upon by another with some good cause which results in some damage to that other person.  For instance, a local hospital holds out its emergency room to the public as being “staffed by its highly skilled doctors and nurses”.  That would suggest that the doctors and nurses in the ER are in fact employees of the hospital.  In many ERs they are not.  In many ERs there is a sign posted that says that the doctors and nurses in the ER are not the employees of the hospital.  Instead they are employees of an independent contractor who has a contract with the hospital.

Advertising

The advertisement would seem to create an apparent agency.  That is, the hospital is telling the public that its employees staff the ER.  People come to the Emergency Room based upon that statement.  The hospital has a good name.  People in need of service rely upon that.  However the service provided is not up to local standards.  As a result the patient is injured.  That is an example of an apparent agency.  

In figuring out whether an apparent agency exists, the court needs to look at all of the factors.  These factors bear on the nature of the relation between the principal and the apparent agent.

Factors To Look At

There are several factors that may be looked at:

  • Who referred the plaintiff to this apparent agent?  Was it the principal?
  • The physical proximity between the agent and the principal?
  • What type of documentation has been signed between the plaintiff and the agent?
  • What is the demeanor of the employees of the apparent agent?  That is, do they act, conduct themselves or wear clothing that would suggest that they are associated with the principal?
  • Is there any notice provided as to what the nature of the relationship is?
  • What is the condition of the plaintiff to be able to discern the nature of the relationship when the service is provided?
  • What records does the agent maintain of this relationship with the plaintiff?
  • Are there contracts or other documents that define the relationship between the principal and the agent?
  • What amount of the agent’s time is spent working with or for this principal?
  • Whose equipment is used to provide service to this plaintiff?
  • Does the agent have any employees and if so, who do they think is their principal?
  • Who does the agent report to?  In particular, do they report to the principal?
  • How are the employees of the agent paid and who pays them?
  • Does the agent adhere to any standards or rules that are put out by the principal?
  • What level of control is exercised by the principal over the agent?

These are all factors that a court would look at in judging whether an apparent agency exists.

Call or contact us for a free consult. For more info see the Wikipedia pages. See also the pages on this site.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation