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 case and its proceedings.)
It is also 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, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
As such, with trial likely to occur in the next six to nine months, defendants have been severely prejudiced by plaintiffs’ inappropriate conduct including the following: (1) defendants have been unable to ascertain plaintiffs’ specific contentions/allegations; (2) defendants have been unable to identify subsequent treating doctors so that they may subpoena such records, keeping in mind that it will take an additional 30-45 days to obtain these records once subpoenas are issued; and (3) while defendants can retain, at least, some experts, they will be unable to obtain complete expert opinions until the experts are allowed to review all records. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Code of Civil Procedure §36 provides, in pertinent part, the following:
(b) A civil action to recover damages for wrongful death or personal injury shall be entitled to preference upon the motion of any party to the action who is under the age of 14 years unless the court finds that the party does not have a substantial interest in the case as a whole. A civil action subject to subdivision (a) shall be given preference over a case subject to this subdivision.
g) Upon the granting of a motion for preference pursuant to subdivision (b), a party in an action based upon a health provider’s alleged professional negligence, as defined in section 364, shall receive a trial date not sooner that six months and not later than nine months from the date that the motion is granted.
Responding defendants submit that, under these circumstances, it is not appropriate to grant trial preference in this case given plaintiffs’ course of conduct. However, in recognition of the mandatory nature of this provision, it is requested that the trial date be set for nine months from the date of this hearing.
Based on the foregoing, and provided that the Court is inclined to grant this Motion, it is respectfully requested that the Court set the trial date in late March or early April 2002, in order to allow defendants a full opportunity to conduct discovery and properly prepare this matter for trial.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.