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 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 medical malpractice/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
UNCONTRADICTED EXPERT TESTIMONY ESTABLISHES THAT THE CARE AND TREATMENT RENDERED BY DR. LEE WAS WITHIN THE STANDARD OF CARE AND DID NOT CAUSE PLAINTIFF’S ALLEGED INJURIES
The Accepted Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Actions Must Be Established By Qualified Experts.
In a medical malpractice action based on professional negligence, a plaint must establish the duty of the professional to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as other members of the profession commonly possess and exercise; a breach of that duty; a proximate causal connection between the negligent conduct and the resulting injury; and actual loss or damage resulting from the professional’s negligence. Turpin v. Sortini (1982) 31 Cal.3d 220, 229-230. When the defendant is accused of failing to adhere to accepted standards of practice, such standards may be established only by qualified expert testimony. Stephenson v. Kaiser Foundation Hospital (1961) 203 Cal.App.2d 631, 635.
Specifically, the inherent nature of a medical malpractice action, along with the applicable standards of care, involve subject matter that is beyond the competency of laymen to address and therefore, must be addressed by a qualified expert. Landeros v. Flood (1976) 17 Cal.3d 399, 410.
When the matter at issue is within the knowledge of experts only, as in the instant case, and is not a matter of common knowledge, expert testimony is conclusive and cannot be disregarded. Huber, Hunt & Nichols, Inc. v. Moore (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 278, 313. (See Part 7 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.