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.
In this case, the attached declaration of Darla King, M.D. provides competent expert testimony as to the applicable standard of care. Dr. King is a very qualified, Board Certified vascular surgeon. The expert testimony of Dr. King should be taken as conclusive as to the issues in this lawsuit. Importantly, an expert’s own declaration is sufficient to show the absence of triable issues for purposes of summary judgment, and the motion shall not be denied on the grounds of credibility if the party is otherwise entitled to summary judgment. Learner v. Superior Court (1970) 70 Cal.App.3d 656, 660, 130 Cal.Rptr. 51, 54. For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Here, the only material issues raised are whether or not Dr. Brown fell below the standard of care and, if so, whether this resulted in injury. However, the undisputed facts demonstrate that Dr. Brown’s care and treatment of plaintiff, including his recommendation of a right below-the-knee 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, nor did he cause or contribute to plaintiff’s injuries. In fact, as the declaration of Dr. King illustrates, Dr. Brown’s care and treatment of plaintiff was both correct and within the standard of care required of a reasonable vascular surgeon practicing in the professional community.
Because of Dr. King’s special knowledge and practice in the area of vascular surgery, and because of his training and experience, Dr. King is eminently qualified to relate the community standard of care. Due to the fact of this expertise, plaintiff’s allegation that Dr. Brown’s care and treatment fell below the standard of care is clearly erroneous.
PLAINTIFF MUST PRESENT AFFIDAVITS OR DECLARATIONS OF COMPETENT EXPERTS TO AVOID THE GRANTING OF THIS MOTION
In a medical malpractice action, the plaintiff must present expert testimony to establish the necessary elements of his or her case; that is, that the defendant’s act or omission fell below the applicable standard of practice, and that this substandard care caused the plaintiff injury. Folk v. Kilt (1975) 53 Cal.App.3d at 176 [126 Cal.Rptr. 172]. Accordingly, plaintiff must come forward with admissible evidence, by a competent qualified physician, that the care and treatment rendered by the moving defendant fell below the applicable standard of care and actually caused plaintiff’s injuries and damages. Ibid. Absent such evidence, there is no triable issue as to any material fact. (See Part 8 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.