BHM443- Legal Aspects of Health Care: Module 4- Case
Corporations, by legal charter, are not a single entity and do not have a central owner; however, this does not keep corporations from being liable for criminal actions or criminal liability. Corporate criminal liability in law determines to what extent a corporation, basically a fictitious entity, can be held liable for acts and omissions of actual people that the corporation employs. In 1909, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a corporation “could be held criminally liable for the acts, omissions, or failures of an agent acting within the scope of his employment” (Carrasco & Dupee, 1999). Corporations themselves cannot do actions and so criminal liability falls to the employees of the corporation and two elements comprise criminal violations by corporate employees; intent and the guilty act. Carrasco and Dupee (1999), state, “For a corporation to be liable, the employee committing the illicit act must be acting within the scope of her employment”. This requirement is generally met if the employee has actual or apparent authority to engage in the particular act in question and the corporation can give either direct authority or authority through perceived authority (Carrasco & Dupee, 1999). Under federal law, a corporation is criminally responsible for the actions of any of its employees taken within the scope of their employment for the benefit of the corporation. It makes no difference whether the employees’ conduct violates corporate policy or contravenes explicit instructions not to engage in the conduct (Hasnas, 2006). Under this presumption and law of corporate criminal responsibility “there is nothing a corporation can do to ensure that it is not guilty of a criminal offense. Corporate managers know that no matter how good their firm’s internal controls, they cannot guarantee that there will be no intentional or inadvertent violations of law by its employees” (Hasnas, 2006). If an employee is...
Bibliography: Barron 's. (2000). Insurance Dictionary. Retrieved May 16, 2009, from Ask: http://www.answers.com/topic/apparent-agency-authority
Carrasco, C., & Dupee, M. (1999). Corporate Criminal Liability. The American Criminal Law Review , 36 (3), 445-473.
Harrold vs. Fairbanks Hospital, CAUSE NO. 49D10-9909-CT-1315 (Marion Superior Court October 2007).
Hasnas, J. (2006). Rethinking Vicarious Criminal Liability: Corporate Culpability for White-Collar Crime. Retrieved May 16, 2009, from The Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org/research/legalissues/wm1195.cfm
Lawyers USA. (2006, July 23). Illinois Supreme Court rules hospital vicariously liable based on theory of apparent authority. St. Charles County Business Record , p. 1.
O 'Hear, M. (2009). Seventh Circuit Week in Review: Corporate Criminal Liability, Reconsideration of Suppression Rulings, and More. Retrieved May 16, 2009, from Marquette University Law School: http://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2009/04/11/seventh-circuit-week-in-review-corporate-criminal-liability-reconsideration-of-suppression-rulings-and-more/
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