Sacramento Family Seeks New Trial In Medical Malpractice Case, Part 1 of 10

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this birth injury case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this medical malpractice case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs Emma and Sabrina Smith’s Points and Authorities in Support Motion for New Trial

As the Court is well aware, this is a medical malpractice case involving Dr. Hill’s diagnosis and care of Emma Smith. The defendant in this litigation was the Universal Hospital Medical Center through their physician, Anne Hill. The case was tried before a jury of twelve and a verdict was returned on April 28, 2008. The verdict was 9 to 3 on negligence in favor of defendant, after the jury inquired about CACI 506. Judgment was entered on May 24,2008, and was served upon Plaintiff on May 31, 2010. On June 15, 2010, Plaintiff timely filed her Notice of Intention to Move for New Trial and her Points and Authorities in Support of New Trial.

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

Plaintiff contends that she was prevented from having a fair trial because of irregularities in the proceeding and errors of law, and that the evidence was insufficient to justify the verdict. Specifically, the evidence did not support the giving of CACI 506, and once given, it was error not to give CACI 533 (modified), Plaintiff’s requested special jury instructions on the theory of informed consent.

The CACI 506 jury instruction, alone and coupled with the lack of informed consent instructions, prevented Plaintiff from receiving a fair trial on her negligence claim because it confused the jury and effectively removed the issue of standard of care from their consideration. Accordingly, plaintiff was denied an opportunity to prove the standard of care was violated by Dr. Hill.

In light of the jury’s question concerning CACI 506 coming within one hour of that verdict, it is probable that the instruction materially affected the substantive rights of the aggrieved party, Emma Smith. Had the proper instructions been given, the jury could have found that 1) the failure to diagnose of Emma Smith’s dopa resistant dystonia (“DRD”) was below the standard of care, and/or 2) Defendant was negligent in failing to inform Emma Smith of the option of a therapeutic trial of L-dopa. [C.C.P. sec. 657.] (See Part 2 of 10.)

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

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