Damages At Issue In San Jose Medical Malpractice Suit, Part 1 of 7

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.)

Trial Brief of Defendant Paul Stuart, M.D., Re: MICRA Cap (Civil Code Section 3333.2)


This lawsuit involves alleged successive instances of medical malpractice by the defendant medical providers. Plaintiff claims he sustained two injuries: a laceration to the posterior bifurcation of [his] abdominal aorta and injury to the left common iliac vein.

Under the MICRA cap, plaintiff is entitled to recover no more than $250,000 in noneconomic damages with defendants’ potential fault liability apportioned between the original/subsequent treaters.



Civil Code section 3333.2 provides:

(a) In any action for injury against a health care provider based on professional negligence, the plaintiff shall be entitled to recover noneconomic losses to compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement and other nonpecuniary damage; (b) In no action shall the amount of damages for noneconomic losses exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000);

(c) For the purpose of this section … (2) Professional negligence “means a negligent act or omission to act by a health care provider in the rendering of professional services, which act or omission is the proximate cause of a person’s injury … (italics added).”

The “statute … is unambiguous on its face. Its plain language unequivocably manifests a desire to place a $250,000 cap on awards for noneconomic damages in all medical malpractice litigation…” (Yates v. Pollock (1987) 194 Cal.App.3d 195, 199, rev. den. 11/12/87.) (See Part 2 of 7.)

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

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