(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death/elder abuse case and its proceedings.)
Plaintiffs Cannot Establish Negligence Against Universal: The Treatment Rendered to Mr. Ryan in the Emergency Room at Universal Medical Center Was Within the Standard of Care
With regard to Dr. Greene and the care rendered in the emergency room, the standard of care for a medical professional is indicated as follows:
An emergency room physician is negligent if he fails to use the level of skill, knowledge, and care in diagnosis and treatment that other reasonably careful emergency room physicians would use in the same or similar circumstances. This level of skill, knowledge, and care is sometimes referred to as the standard of care. (CACI No. 501.)
The standard of care is determined by expert testimony. (Ibid.) In this case, in order to establish that Dr. Greene and Universal staff were negligent, plaintiffs must demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that treatment rendered to Mr. Ryan in the emergency room by Dr. Greene and the Universal staff fell below the standard of care, specifically with respect to the resuscitation efforts in the emergency room. It should be remembered that a doctor is not necessarily negligent just because his efforts are unsuccessful or he makes an error that was reasonable under the circumstances. A medical practitioner is negligent only if he was not as skillful, knowledgeable, or careful as other reasonable medical practitioners would have been in similar circumstances. (CACI No. 505.)
In other words, the mere fact that the staff at Universal, and Dr. Greene, were not able to resuscitate Mr. Ryan in the emergency room does not establish that St Joseph’s or Dr. Greene were negligent in the emergency room treatment rendered. The question becomes whether the treatment given in the emergency room was reasonable, given all the circumstances of this case. (Dincau v. Tamayose (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 780, 800, Ries v. Reinard (1941) 47 Cal.App.2d 1 16, 119, Sanchez v. Rodriguez (1964) 226 Cal.App.2d 439, 449.) (See Part 9 of 10.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.