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, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital. For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
While there is no general rule for what qualifies an individual under section 720(a) to render an expert opinion in a medical malpractice case, the Supreme Court explained that the expert must have a general foundation for his testimony, basic education, training, occupational experience as well as practical knowledge of what is customarily done by the health care provider under similar circumstances:
The proof of that standard is made by the testimony of a physician qualified to speak as an expert and having in addition, what Wigmore has classified as occupational experience – the kind which is obtained casually and incidentally, yet steadily and adequately, in the course of some occupation or livelihood.
He/she must have had basic education and professional training as a general foundation for the testimony, but it is a practical knowledge of what is usually and customarily done by physicians under circumstances similar to those which confronted the defendant charged with malpractice that is of controlling importance in determining competency of the expert to testify to the degree of care against which the treatment given is to be measured. Sinz v. Owens (1949) 33 Cal.2d 749, 753; Huffman v. Lindquist (1985) 37 Cal.2d 465, 478. (See Part 5 of 9.)
For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.