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 worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical negligence case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
THE CARE RENDERED BY DEFENDANT IN NO WAY CAUSED OR CONTRIBUTED TO THE INJURIES COMPLAINED OF BY PLAINTIFF
In addition to proving that the defendant fell below the standard of care, to prevail in a medical negligence claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s malpractice caused injury to the plaintiff. Bolen v. Woo (1979) 96 Cal.App.3d 944, 953. The standard for establishing causation in a medical malpractice action was set forth in Jones v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation (1985) 163 Cal.App.3d 396. In Jones, the court held that causation must be proven by reasonable medical probability based upon competent expert testimony. The court noted that a mere possibility is insufficient to establish a prima facie case and distinguished a reasonable medical probability from a medical possibility:
There can be many possible causes, indeed an indefinite number of circumstances which can produce an injury or death. A possible cause only becomes probable when in the absence of other reasonable causal connections, it becomes more likely than not that the injury was a result of its action.” Id. at 402-403. For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
In the instant action, plaintiff alleges that defendants committed professional malpractice in that they performed procedures “in a negligent manner and below the standard of care,” and that despite plaintiff’s history of diabetes and gradually worsening condition of his cut, defendants, including Richard Brown, M.D., “conservatively treated and/or failed to properly diagnose and treat [plaintiff’s] medical condition,” resulting in severe and painful gangrene to his right foot.
Plaintiff further alleges that as a result of the aforementioned negligence, he sustained the loss of his lower right leg, and continues to suffer great mental and physical pain and suffering. However, because defendant Dr. Brown’s care and treatment of plaintiff, including his recommendation of a right lower leg amputation, was proper and correct, plaintiff cannot produce any competent medical testimony to substantiate those allegations.
As Dr. King states in her Declaration, Dr..Brown’s care and treatment of plaintiff, including his recommendation of a right lower leg amputation, was proper and correct and, therefore, at no time did Dr. Brown fall below the standard of care in the community where he practices. Dr. King, therefore, concludes that defendant Richard Brown, M.D., did not cause, or contribute to, plaintiff’s injuries and damages. Accordingly, if plaintiff cannot provide expert support to substantiate his allegation that defendant caused plaintiff injuries, his action must fail.
The care and treatment rendered by defendant Richard Brown, M.D., to plaintiff Travis Lee, at all times complied with the applicable standard of care. Moreover, his treatment care in no way caused, or contributed to, any of plaintiff’s alleged injuries or damages. For these reasons, it is respectfully submitted that summary judgment be entered in favor of defendant and against plaintiff.
For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.