Wrongful Death Action Filed After Malpractice At Sacramento Hospital, Part 6 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position during pre-trial litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in a medical malpractice case 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 personal injury case and its proceedings.)


A hospital such as UMH owes its patients a duty of reasonable care. In a wrongful death action that is based on medical malpractice, the evidence must be sufficient to allow the jury to infer that in the absence of defendant’s negligence, there was a reasonable probability that the plaintiff would have obtained a better result. (Espinoza v. Little Company of Mary (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 1304, 1315.) The measure of such duty is the degree of care and skill ordinarily used by hospitals generally in the community, according to what the undertaking to treat the particular patient requires in each instance. (Contreras v. St. Luke’s Hospital (1978) 78 Cal.3d 919,927.)

The declaration of Sandy Singer, RN, establishes that she has sufficient credentials to qualify as an expert witnesses with regard to the care and treatment provided to plaintiff Joan White and plaintiffs decedents by UMH’s nursing staff. She has opined, based upon a review of the relevant documents, that UMH did not breach its duty of care to plaintiff and plaintiffs decedents as the staff properly followed doctors’ orders, properly monitored, observed and reported the condition of Joan White and the twins to the doctors and cared for Ms.. White and the twins appropriately. Nurse Singer has also stated that it is a physician function, rather than a nursing function, to order treatment for patients.

Defendant has presented uncontroverted evidence that it did not breach its duty of care to plaintiff or the twins. Plaintiffs therefore cannot prove their case of professional negligence and accordingly, defendant’s motion for summary judgment should be granted. (See Part 7 of 9.)

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

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