Doctors are sometimes are wary of working with midwives due to concerns about being held vicariously liable for their actions. Insurance companies help maintain this fear by associating extra fees and costs for those who work with midwives. This fear is unfounded, however, since the law of vicarious liability is well developed, and when two autonomous professionals are working independently, they cannot be held to be vicariously liable for the other professional.
However, to emphasize this common law point, many state statutes, in their midwifery laws, also provide a statutory basis for no vicariously liability. Here are some examples:
South Dakota: SD Bill — no VL
Wisconsin: WI – No VL statute
Massachusettes: MA Bill – Sec 277 – No VL
North Carolina: NC — No VL
Colorado: CO- VL clause
The fewer supervisory burdens that docs and hospitals and insurance companies place on the physician-midwife consultation and referral relationship, the more defensible the physician’s legal position will be. See this example of a case where the doctors and hospital won on summary judgment by arguing that there were no vicarious liability issues, http://elephantcircle.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Gilbert-v.-WHC-decision-1.pdf