(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the proceedings.)
The Espinosa court also held that having demonstrated the substantial factors in causing plaintiff’s brain damage, It was not necessary that plaintiff prove any particular apportionment as was required by the trial court. (Espinosa, supra. 31 Cal.App.4th.at p. 1321.)
The underlying facts of the Espinosa case are similar to the present action. Both involve indivisible injuries which were alleged to have been caused by the defendants in relation to the events surrounding the birth of the Plaintiff. Both involve experts who will not apportion the degree of damage between these points in the medical time line.
By asserting that the Plaintiffs’ expert must quantify and give percentages of injury at each stage, the hospital is misstating the law and trying to manufacture a causation issue which does not exist.
The Judicial Council Task Force on Jury Instructions has published jury instructions on the issue of causation which incorporate Espinosa, Instruction 340 provides as follows:
A substantial factor is a factor that a reasonable person would consider to be a cause of the harm but is more than a trivial factor in causing it. (Jud. Council Task Force on Jury Inst. No. 340, at p. 93.)
If there is more than cause, the Judicial Council provides the following instruction:
A person’s negligence may combine with another factor to cause harm. If you find that [name of defendant]’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm, then [name of defendant] is responsible for [name of plaintiff]’s harm. [Name of defendant] cannot avoid responsibility just because some other person, condition, or event was also a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm. (Jud. Council Task Force on Jury Inst. No. 341 at p. 93.) (See Part 4 of 4.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.