Community Services and Long-Term Care: Issues of Negligence and Liability. Basic Scenario #3


Client Mrs. Smith identifies her neighbor Mrs. Jones as someone who can help her with personal care. Mrs. Jones is not an agency employee. The case manager writes Jones into the care plan and assigns her specific personal care tasks.

The liability depends on the relationship of Helper Jones to the channeling agency and/or Client Smith.

  1. The agency is liable for its representatives’ acts carried out within the scope of its direction whether these representatives are paid by the agency or not.
  2. If the helper is an agent of the client, there is no liability to the agency which only acts as a broker, i.e., one who does no more than bring the client and the helper together to strike their own bargain.
  3. If the helper is a volunteer she assumes the risk for herself.
  4. If Mrs. Jones is a guest in Mrs. Smith’s house and not a volunteer worker, some liabilities may attach to Mrs. Smith.

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