Medical Malpractice Suit Filed Against Sacramento Physicians For Birth Injuries, Part 4 of 5

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice 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.)

Civil Code Section 3333.1 does not abrogate the collateral source rule as to any benefits which a medical malpractice plaintiff has received. Rather, the Legislature was precise in delineating which collateral sources were to be included in this exception to the collateral source rule; not all payments made by the state or federal governments were included. See Brown v. Stewart (1982) 129 Cal.App.3d 331.

The plain language of Civil Code Section 3333.1 provides that evidence may only be received of benefits which claimant has received. See Fein v. Permanente Medical Group (1985) 38 Cal.3d 137; Brown v. Stewart (1982) 129 Cal.App.3d 331; Robinson v. Pediatric Affiliates Medical Group (1979) 98 Cal.App.3d 907. Civil Code Section 3333.1 reasonably does not allow for the introduction of evidence concerning potential benefits to which plaintiff may be entitled, or which plaintiff may be eligible.

The uncertainty of an individual actually receiving future promised benefits was recognized by the Legislature as too speculative to include within Civil Code Section 3333.1.

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

Further, it is noteworthy that the benefits in question are significantly different from those specified in Civil Code Section 3333.1. Unlike those statutorily expressed, the disputed benefits are not legally enforceable obligations or long-standing and ingrained government payment programs (e.g., social security and workers compensation).


The effect of excluding from the collateral source doctrine public services available to the disabled, and thus admitting the evidence in this arbitration, would be to shift the financial burden from the tortfeasor to the taxpaying public. Just as the classic plaintiff under the collateral source rule should not suffer for his prudence, precaution and foresight in guarding against loss, so too should the taxpaying public not be further burdened with the expense of caring for the disabled where the cause of such disability is a solvent tortfeasor’s conduct. Such a rule would penalize the taxpaying public for exercising compassion and would provide a financial incentive for the public to diminish such social legislation. (See Part 5 of 5.)

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

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