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 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 Permanente, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
Whether a witness qualifies as an expert in a given field, and thus whether that witness’s testimony as an expert will be admitted into evidence at trial, are fundamental issues for this Court to decide. The Court’s exercise of its discretion to allow or exclude expert testimony will not be disturbed on appeal absent manifest abuse of discretion. Huffman v. Lindquist (1985) 37 Cal.2d 465, 476-478; Putensen v. Clay, supra, 12 Cal.App.3d at 1081. For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Further, in Mann v. Cracchiolo (1985) 38 Cal.3d 18, the court emphasized the need for the expert to have a connection to the “field of the defendant.” In the Mann case, the California Supreme Court’s ruling reflects a careful analysis of the proposed expert witness’s qualifications and cites specific evidence of the expert’s qualifications to render expert testimony in the fields of medical malpractice at issue in that litigation. Id. At 38-40. Having analyzed the proposed expert witness’s qualifications, the Court concluded:
“…the determinative issue in each case must be whether the witness has sufficient skill or experience in the field so that his testimony would be likely to assist the jury ion the search for truth, and no hard and fast rule can be laid down which would be applicable in every circumstance.” Id at 38.
Based upon the above-cited authority, it is clear that under California law, only an expert with knowledge, skill, expertise, training, education, as well as occupational experience in connection with the field of chiropractics may offer expert testimony against Defendants in this matter. (See Part 7 of 9.)
For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.