The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this birth injury/medical malpractice case and its proceedings.)
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
On May 25, 1999, plaintiff Tina Brown presented to co-defendant XYZ Hospital for the anticipated delivery of her child. Prior to and during, her delivery, Tina Brown was treated and cared for by co-defendant James Lee, M.D. Tina Brown was not Dr. White’s patient, nor had he ever treated her before.
Approximately twenty minutes after the Cesarean-section delivery of minor plaintiff Amy Brown, Dr. White, a neonatologist, was called and told to emergently examine Amy Brown. Amy Brown was not Dr. White’s patient, nor had he ever treated her before. When Dr. White first examined Amy Brown, she was cyanotic, and her chest was not rising well during respiration. At that time, Dr. White determined that her endotracheal tube might be obstructed. As such, Dr. White re-intubated Amy Brown with a new and larger endotracheal tube.
Subsequently, upon determining that Amy Brown’s condition was not improving adequately, Dr. White determined by a matter of elimination that in all probability her ventilator was malfunctioning. Consequently, Dr. White replaced the ventilator with another ventilator.
Amy Brown was provided oxygen via an oxygen bag mask while the change was underway, and at no point was hypoxic. Dr. White continued to care for Amy Brown throughout her admission to XYZ Hospital until she was transferred to Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Plaintiffs cannot prove the essential elements of a breach of the standard of care or causation against the moving defendant. Accordingly, they cannot prove medical negligence against defendant. As stated in the Declaration of Dr. White, the care and treatment rendered by him conformed, at all times, with the applicable standard of practice. Further, as elaborated below, defendant did not cause, or contribute to, plaintiff’s alleged injuries and damages. Additionally, under California’s Good Samaritan Law, Dr. White cannot be liable for plaintiffs’ damages as a result of his emergency care of plaintiff Amy Brown. Accordingly, defendant Stuart White, M.D. is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. (See Part 4 of 9.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.