(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death case and its proceedings.)
It is also worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice 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, Sutter, or any skilled nursing facility.
Defendants Did Not Breach The Standard of Care
Whether the standard of care in the community has been breached presents the basic issue in a malpractice action and can only be proved by opinion testimony unless the medical question is within the common knowledge of laypersons. Jambazian v. Borden (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 836, 844; Landeros v. Flood (1976) 17 Cal.3d 399, 410; see BAJI 6.00.1. In the absence of any evidence that Defendant breached the standard of care, Defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Dr. Smith’s care and treatment of Mr. Brown complied with the standard of care. It was not unreasonable for Dr. Smith to allow the patient to leave the emergency room. The patient was oriented to person, place, and time. His vital signs were normal and he showed no signs of medical distress. Therefore, the patient should not be detained when he refused an examination and wanted to leave the hospital. Moreover, Mr. Brown was not in custody pursuant to § 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Either the police or a psychiatrist can issue such a hold. In following, only a police officer or a psychiatrist can release a patient who is under such a hold.
In the event a patient is held pursuant to § 5150, a form is filled out by the police officer or psychiatrist, which then becomes part of the patient’s chart. The form indicates that the patient is a danger to themselves and others.
This form is not included in Mr. Brown’s chart in the emergency room. Therefore, Mr. Brown should not be detained and since he was oriented to person, place and time it was appropriate for Dr. Smith to discharge this patient. (See Part 5 of 5.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.