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Medical Malpractice

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A medical expert testifying about causation in support of the party bearing the burden of proof in a medical malpractice case must be able to express an opinion “to a reasonable medical probability,” which means more likely than not.  If the defendant tries to prove that something other than its alleged negligence caused plaintiff's injury, it bears the burden of… Read More

Under Civ. Code 3333.2(c)(2), noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice case are limited to $250,000 unless the defendant provided services that exceeded "the scope of services for which the provider is licensed and which are not within any restriction imposed by the licensing agency or licensed hospital."  This decision holds that section 3333.2 applies to a physician's assistant who has… Read More

Torts, Medical Malpractice, Abandonment of Patient, Reliance on Other's Good Conduct, 1, 1 The trial court did not err in this medical malpractice case in not giving CACI 509, dealing with a doctor's abandonment of the patient.  For the instruction to be applicable, the doctor must accept the patient into his care and then refuse to treat the patient without… Read More

An indigent prisoner filed this medical malpractice case, claiming that the defendant doctor had failed to tighten a screw in the artificial elbow he implanted in plaintiff's right arm, with the result that the screw came loose, causing serious injury to plaintiff's arm.  The trial court denied plaintiff's motion for appointment of a lawyer and a medical expert.  This opinion… Read More

Under CCP 340.5, the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice claim expires at the earlier of three years from the date of injury or one year from the date of discovery.  Injury from the failure to diagnose a latent, progressive condition occurs “when the undiagnosed condition develops into a more serious condition,” and that more serious condition is made… Read More

Civil Code section 3333.2 which limits the recovery of noneconomic damages to $250,000 against health professionals in "professional negligence" cases does not apply to claims against such professionals for battery--at least when the battery is the performance of a surgery or other medical procedure to which the patient did not give his consent.  Here, the patient consented to removal of… Read More

A medical malpractice plaintiff provides adequate notice of a potential medical malpractice claim, as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 364, by mailing a notice of intent to file an action to a physician’s address of record with the Medical Board of California. Read More

Plaintiff's medical malpractice suit was untimely, having been filed more than a year after discovery of the malpractice; formal CCP 364 pre-suit notice from her attorney did not extend the limitations period since plaintiff had already sent her own letter which operated as a pre-suit notice despite not being intended as such.  Read More

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