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.
(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.)
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, Regional Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, or O’Connor Hospital.
Only an expert can determine what relationship Plaintiff’s mental health problems have to his CRPS/RSD, and/or whether they are related to or caused by pre-existing mental health issues. Defendant understands that Plaintiff may attempt to present Plaintiff’s severe mental health problems at trial as side effects of his CRPS/RSD, and as a component of his damages. As such, a mental examination of Mr. Smith is necessary to Defendant’s defense. For more information you are welcome to contact San Jose personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Defendant therefore requests a court order allowing plaintiff to undergo a psychiatric examination by David Black, M.D., a psychiatrist, in San Jose, California. Defense counsel understands that the examination will involve a discussion between Plaintiff and Dr. Rappaport regarding Plaintiff’s relevant personal, medical and mental health history and his ongoing mental health problems and medical and psychological stressors.
Code of Civil Procedure sections 2032.310 and 2032.320, provides that a party may move for a mental examination of a party for good cause shown. Good cause exists where a plaintiff puts her mental state at issue, by, for example, “asserting a causal link between her mental distress and defendants’ conduct.” (Vinson v. Superior Court (1987) 43 Cal.3d 833, 840.) Moreover, such an examination is appropriate where a Plaintiff’s mental health is currently at issue. (Doyle v. Superior Court (1996) 50 Cal. App. 4th 1878, 1886.) Such an examination is also appropriate where great mental pain and suffering is alleged to have been caused by the physical injury. (Reuter v. Superior Court (Tag Enterprises) (1979) 93 Cal.App.3d 332, 340.) (See Part 4 of 4.)
For more information you are welcome to contact San Jose personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.