(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of this medical malpractice case and its proceedings.)
The following four blog entries follow-up the previous two entries from July. These entries address the same issues, but do so from the defense side. By comparing the entries readers should get a good perspective as to how the parties present such issues to the court.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTION #1 MUST BE USED BECAUSE THERE IS NO CACI INSTRUCTION THAT INFORMS THE JURY OF THE PLAINTIFF’S BURDEN IN ESTABLISHING CAUSATION
The other CACI instructions (CACI 400, as modified by CACI 500, and CACI 200) instruct the jury that the plaintiff must establish causation, but they do not instruct the jury as to what satisfies causation here. Plaintiffs incorrectly assert that establishing the burden of proof for the overarching action is equivalent to explaining the standard for causation.
Further, plaintiffs’ assertion that the phrase reasonable medical probability would be unduly confusing to the jury is without merit. Medical probability is not legalese; it is simply using the additional word medical to demonstrate that the probability must be judged by a medical professional rather than a layman. Any jury instruction contrary to Special Instruction #1 would provide the jury with a clear understanding of an incorrect burden of proof.
Based on the foregoing, Defendant respectfully submits that the jury would be misinformed on the standard of causation in a medical malpractice action if it is not given Special Instruction #1. Defendant thus requests that the court allow the same to be read to the jury, or in the alternative, that CACI 430 be amended to include the words to a reasonable medical probability . There is no justice to be gained by neglecting to inform the jury as to the requirements for proving causation in a medical malpractice action.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.