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/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this 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.
DR. STRONG IS NOT QUALIFIED TO RENDER EXPERT OPINION TESTIMONY AS TO THE STANDARD OF CARE APPLICABLE TO DEFENDANTS
To prevail against Defendants in this professional negligence action, Plaintiff has the burden of proving that Defendants’ care and treatment fell below the standard of care, and further, that Defendants’ conduct, if below the standard of care, caused or substantially contributed to Plaintiff’s alleged injuries. The prevailing standard of care applicable to defendants can be introduced only through the use of qualified expert testimony. Flowers v. Torrance Memorial Medical Center, 8 cal.4th 992 (1994); Munro v. Regents of the University of California, (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 977, 983-984; and Jones v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. (1985) 63 Cal.App.3d 396, 402. For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
The requisite standard of care is determined by the applicable standard of care that exists in a particular professional community. Barton v. Owen (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 484. Thus, a health care provider is only required to exercise that reasonable degree of skill, knowledge, and care ordinarily possessed and exercised by members of the medical profession under similar circumstances Mann v. Cracchiolo, (1985) 38 Cal.3d 18, at 36.
In Landeros v. Flood, (1976) 17 Cal.3d 399, the court determined that the standard of care against which the acts of healthcare providers are measured is a matter within the knowledge of experts. Id., at page 410. When the community standard has been breached can only be proven by expert testimony. Jambazian v. Borden, (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 836, at 844, citing Landeros, supra, at page 410. The rationale for requiring expert testimony in professional negligence actions was succinctly stated by the court in Barton, supra: In most instances, there is a need for expert testimony on the subject of just what constitutes medical negligence, because the average judge or juror does not possess the necessary level of knowledge about medical malpractice to decide on its own whether the doctor was negligent. Barton, supra, at 493. (See Part 3 of 9.)
For more information you are welcome to contact San Francisco personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.