Family Seeks Damages Award After Sacramento Hospital Malpractice, Part 4 of 8

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.

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, U.C. 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 medical malpractice case and its proceedings.)


In this case, plaintiffs have asserted causes of action for medical negligence, wrongful life and wrongful birth.

The affirmative defenses that will be raised (as asserted in the answer to the first amended complaint) are the first affirmative defense (failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against defendants), the sixth affirmative defense regarding the applicability of the MICRA provisions pursuant California Civil Code Sections 3333.1 and 3333.2, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 667.7; the eighth affirmative defense (California Civil Code Section 1714.8.)


Counsel have stipulated that plaintiff Nicholas Smith cannot recover general damages or assert a claim for loss of earnings or earning capacity. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The evidentiary issues that will be raised at trial are whether or not the defendants complied with the standard of care and whether or not the defendants care and treatment was a proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries as well as issues pertaining to the plaintiffs’ alleged damages.


While plaintiffs are alleging a cause of action for wrongful life and wrongful birth, plaintiffs’ action is in fact one for medical negligence. Turpin v. Sortini (1982) 31 Cal.3d 220, 229.

Courts have observed that, as in any medical malpractice action, the plaintiff must establish: (1) the duty of the professional to use such skill, knowledge and care ordinarily possessed and used by members of his profession in the same community under similar circumstances; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a proximate causal connection between the negligent conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) actual loss or damage resulting from the professional negligence. Gami v. Mullikin Medical Center (1983) 18 Cal.App.4th 870, 877. California case law doles not hold a doctor liable for any untoward result which may occur in the course of his medical practice. The standard of care demands only that the doctor have the degree of learning and skill ordinarily possessed by practitioners of the same medical community and that he exercise ordinary care and judgment in applying such learning and skill to the treatment of his patient. Huffman v. Lindouist (1951) 37 Cal.2d 465. (See Part 5 of 8.)

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

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