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Medical Malpractice

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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

Defendant hospital was entitled to summary judgment after plaintiff’s expert declaration stated only that husband "could have survived" had defendant treated him in accord with the standard of care—but stopped short of saying that survival was more likely than not but for the hospital’s acts, which is the standard for showing causation in a medical malpractice wrongful death action.   Read More

To reduce a damage award in a medical malpractice case, the defendant may introduce evidence of collateral source payments to plaintiff for medical care including Obamacare and private medical insurance benefits that has already received or likely will receive in the future. Read More

In case involving knee injury that resulted from implantation of medical device, the jury’s award of $5 million in noneconomic damages was excessive and was the result of prejudice caused by misconduct of plaintiff’s counsel in belittling and mocking defendant's witnesses and counsel as well as the trial court itself.  Read More

The one-year limitations period on medical malpractice begins to run when the plaintiff first becomes aware that a preexisting disease or condition has developed into a more serious one, and since the evidence conflicted on this point, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant.  Read More

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