Sacramento Physicians Seek To Exclude Critical Evidence In Malpractice Lawsuit, Part 2 of 2

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death case and its proceedings.)

A. The Conversation that Occurred Between Dr. Gamble and Dr. Lee Is Relevant to Dr. Gamble’s Qualifications and Expertise and the Prejudicial Affect that Plaintiffs Counsel Predicts Does Not Meet the Requirements of Evidence Code section 352

Plaintiff complains that mentioning the conversation and the partnership between the doctors creates a risk that the jury will perceive the testimony as equal in caliber simply because of the affiliation. This is a weak disguise for plaintiffs true concern that the jury will find out that Dr. Gamble sought out Dr. Lee’s assistance before drawing his own conclusions about this case. Dr. Gamble testified at his deposition that this conversation occurred about the same time as he signed his declaration to oppose the summary judgment motion. The very fact that he sought out assistance during this critical time is probative of his credibility as an expert witness and of the opinions proffered in the many drafts of his declaration produced at his deposition.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Even if we were to entertain Plaintiffs contention that the jury may conclude that partners are equal, this is not a source of undue prejudice to the Plaintiff because it would adversely affect the Defendants as well. Most evidence is “prejudicial” to the party against whom it is offered, but that is not enough to preclude it under Evidence Code section 352. Further, the probative value of any such evidence far exceeds any small prejudicial affect it may have.

The jury is entitled to know about facts or incidents that bear upon the credibility and qualifications of expert witnesses because jurors are vested with the responsibility of determining how much weight is given to an expert’s testimony. A jury is not bound to accept expert opinions and may reject them if, in their judgment, the expert’s reasoning is unsound. See Kastner v. Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Auth. (1965) 63 Cal.2d 52, 58. Here, the jury is entitled to take into account Dr. Gamble approaching Dr. Lee because it potentially impacts the weight that should be given to Dr. Gamble’s testimony.


For all the foregoing reasons, the Defense is entitled to make reference to both the fact that Dr. Gamble approached Dr. Lee and the fact that they work together. Plaintiff is not entitled to use the conversation to threaten Defendants that they must find a new expert and then turn around and claim that the conversation should not be disclosed.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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