It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this trip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.
(Please also 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.)
No Admissible Evidence
Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment is based on the second amended complaint and a declaration. However, none of the documents is properly authenticated, on personal knowledge, or otherwise.
A motion for summary judgment/adjudication must be supported by evidence establishing the moving party’s right to the relief sought. Such evidence shall consist of affidavits, declarations, admissions, answers to interrogatories, depositions, and matters of which judicial notice shall or may be taken. CCP § 437c(b). For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Where a motion is based upon deposition testimony excerpts, the procedure is to attach copies of relevant pages of deposition transcripts to the moving party’s declarations. The declarations, made on personal knowledge, serve to identify and authenticate the testimony. Sacks v. FSR Brokerage, Inc. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 950.
Written documents, likewise, must be authenticated by declarations or other evidence establishing that the writing is what it purports to be. Evid. Code § 250, § 1401(a); O’Laskey v. Sortino (1990) 224 Cal.App.3d 241; Local Rule 9.21(e).
The same rules of evidence applicable to oral testimony at trial apply to the declarations submitted on a motion for summary judgment. Matters which would be excluded at trial are equally objectionable in such declarations. Rochlis v. Walt Disney Co. (1993) 19 CA4th 201 Declarations attempting to authenticate documents must contain foundational facts demonstrating the declarant’s personal knowledge of the documents, and documents which are hearsay, shall be excluded. Kenniston v. American Nat’l Ins. Co. (1973) 31 CA3d 803
None of Defendant’s proposed exhibits are so authenticated. The declaration of Dr. Howard Howard does not contain any foundational facts which demonstrate the “declarant’s [his] personal knowledge” of the supporting exhibits. (See Part 4 of 5.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.