Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this medical malpractice/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
The court in Johnson v. Superior Court, supra, confirmed the Kelly court’s holding and rationale. It held: [A]n expert’s opinion rendered without a reasoned explanation of why the underlying facts lead to the ultimate conclusion has no evidentiary value because an expert opinion is worth no more than the reasons and facts on which it is based. [Ciation.] (Johnson v. Superior Court, supra, (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 297, 308.)
As in Kelly and Johnson, supra, Dr. Lee submits the declaration of Dr. White in support of his motion for summary judgment. Dr. White concludes Dr. Lee’s conduct was within the standard of care. However, Dr. White’s declaration consists solely of legal conclusions, is unsupported by adequate factual underpinnings, and is therefore deficient. Dr. White’s declaration fails to address Dr. Lee’s affirmative duty, as a vascular surgeon, to inspect, discover and repair all the sources of bleeding.
Dr. White acknowledges Plaintiff had a laceration of the bifurcation of the abdominal aorta and an anterior wall laceration; however, he ignores the fact that Dr. Lee failed to identify these lacerations during the surgery on June 24th. Dr. White offers no explanation as to when, if not on the 16th or the 24th, these injuries occurred. Further, Dr. White offers no explanation as to how these injuries occurred or who, if not Dr. Lee, caused them. Or, if Dr. Smith, Dr. Green or Dr. Stuart caused the injuries, then why did Dr. Lee fail to discover them? Moreover, Dr. White fails to discuss how the procedures employed by Dr. Lee, including but not limited to the placement of the arterial and femoral lines, could not have caused plaintiff’s injury, he simply concludes it did not.
When strictly construed, the production of evidence is insufficient to allow Dr. Lee to meet his prima facie burden of proof. Dr. Lee has failed to meet this initial showing that no triable issue of material fact exists. (See Part 8 of 11.)
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