Doctor’s Care Below Standard In Sacramento Birth Injury case, Part 3 of 4

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

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

Plaintiff Denise Easterby was injured while at a dentist’s office when a dental assistant stepped on a wire connected to a sensor in plaintiff’s mouth. She received pain management and physical therapy for pain in various areas of her body for several months, to little success. Thereafter, plaintiff was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed her with nerve compression, herniated disks and compressed spinal nerves. He performed successful surgery to resolve the conditions.The orthopedist, Dr. John Brown, was retained as an expert by plaintiffs and was deposed by the defense approximately seven months before trial. At deposition, Dr. Brown testified that he had not formed any opinions on the subject of causation as they related to the initial dental accident. Id. at 775. When asked whether he had an opinion as to what caused the plaintiff to require back surgery (whether it was a pre-existing condition or the result of the dental accident), the doctor said that he didn’t know what caused it. Id.

Thereafter, three months before trial, plaintiffs sent the defense correspondence indicating that Dr. Brown now intended to express as to causation at trial. Id. at 775-776. The defense did not seek to depose the doctor after receipt of the letter. Id. at 776.

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

A week before trial, the defense filed a motion in limine to, essentially, preclude Dr. Brown from testifying relative to causation, just as the plaintiffs have done here. Id. However, in Easterby, the plaintiffs did not oppose the motion. Nevertheless, the doctor’s testimony on causation was allowed at trial and he testified that he believed to a medical degree of probability that the dental incident was the cause of her eventual surgery, not a previous automobile accident. Id. at 777.

The next day of trial, the defense moved to strike all of Dr. Brown’s testimony on causation, citing Kennemur and the previously filed in limine motion. The trial court granted the motion and ordered the jury to disregard the doctor’s testimony relative to causation. Id. Based on this ruling, defendants moved for nonsuit, which was granted. The appeal followed. (See Part 4 of 4.)

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

Contact Information