Posted On: September 30, 2010

Medical Negligence By Doctors And Hospital Result In Man's Wrongful Death, Part 5 of 5

(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 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.

Defendant's Purported Negligence Was Not The Proximate Cause of Plaintiffs' Alleged Injuries

Plaintiff must prove a proximate causal connection between the . Bromme v. Pravitt (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 1487, 1499; Banerian v. O'Malley (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 604, 611-612. Based on competent expert testimony, causation must be proven within a reasonable medical probability. As discussed by the Court in Bromme, there is a distinction between a reasonable medical probability and medical possibility. Bromme at 1499. There may be many possible circumstances, which can produce an injury or death. However, Plaintiffs must establish that Defendants' negligence was the substantial factor in the injury or death. Id. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

In medical malpractice cases, the evidence must be sufficient to allow the jury to infer that, in the absence of defendant's negligence, there was reasonable medical probability that the plaintiffs would have obtained a better result. Morganroth v. Pacific Medical Center (1976) 54 Cal.App.3d 521, 533. Where the facts are undisputed and only one conclusion can be drawn, it is a question of law. See Hooks v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (1980) 107 Cal.App.3d 435, 448 (court held that, while proximate cause is ordinarily a question of fact, when the facts are undisputed and only one conclusion can be drawn, it is a question of law).

Plaintiff’s injuries as set forth in the Complaint were not a result of any alleged negligence by Dr. Hal Smith. As discussed above, Dr. Hal Smith complied with the standard of care regarding Mr. Brown. As such, nothing Dr. Hal Smith did or failed to do caused the alleged injuries of Plaintiff.

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Posted On: September 27, 2010

Wrongful Death And Malpractice Action Filed On Behalf Of Sacramento Psychiatric Patient, Part 4 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this 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 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 , 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.

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Posted On: September 25, 2010

Sacramento Physicians Commit Malpractice By Discharging Patient Who Thereafter Died, Part 3 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this 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.

ARGUMENT

SUMMARY JUDGMENT LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment shall be granted if the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §437c; Union Bank v. Superior Court (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 573, 579. A Defendant is entitled to summary judgment if they show one or more elements of the Plaintiff's case cannot be established or that they have a complete defense to the cause of action. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(o)(2); Alszeh v. Home Box Office (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 1456, 1460. Once the Defendant meet their initial burden, the Plaintiff must demonstrate, by submitting admissible evidence of specific facts that a triable issue of material fact exists. Id. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

PLAINTIFF'S CLAIM FOR MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE LACKS MERIT

Elements Required for Actionable Negligence

In any , the Plaintiff must establish: (1) the duty of the professional to use such skill, prudence and diligence as other members of his profession commonly possess and exercise; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a proximate causal connection between the negligent conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) actual loss or damage resulting from the professional's negligence. Elcome v. Chin (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 310, 317. The Defendant does not need to disprove every element of Plaintiff's cause of action. Rather, the Defendant only need to present evidence that one or more of the elements of the cause of action for negligence cannot be established. Union Bank v. Los Angeles County Superior Court (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 573, 583.

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Posted On: September 23, 2010

Patient From Sacramento Dies Due To Doctors' Malpractice, Part 2 of 5

(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 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.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

The Emergency Medical Service Report of April 18, 2006, noted that Plaintiff David Brown
("patient") was ticketed by police at the airport while on his way to Los Angeles. The paramedics arrived while Mr. Brown was in the custody of airport police and he was belligerent, uncooperative, and possibly intoxicated. It appears that Mr. Brown did not have a medical complaint. However, the police just wanted to check [the] patient before arrest. Therefore, Mr. Brown was taken to the emergency room at RMC. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

On April 18, 2006, while the patient was in the , he was noted to be combative, uncooperative, and abusive. He was first seen by the emergency room physician, Dr. Owen Hill at approximately 1900 hours. Dr. Hal Smith noted ethanol intoxication as an impression, but the patient was allowed to leave the emergency department pursuant to his request because he refused a physical examination.

After being in the emergency room for approximately one hour, the patient left against medical advice, but refused to sign the form indicating that he was leaving against medical advice. Dr. Smith noted that the patient was awake, alert, fully oriented and ambulatory at the time of discharge. Mr. Brown was not booked by the police and was transferred to his residence.

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Posted On: September 21, 2010

Sacramento Family Sues Hospital For Medical Malpractice, Part 1 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this 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.

Defendant Owen Hill, M.D.'s Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Judgment; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support

Pursuant to Section 437c of the California Code of Civil Procedure, this summary judgment motion is brought on the grounds that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that Defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

This motion is based on this Notice of Motion, the Memorandum of Points and Authorities, the Separate Statement of Undisputed Facts, all documents on file herein, and upon such other argument or evidence as may be presented to the Court at or prior to the hearing on this motion.

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

INTRODUCTION

On April 14, 2008, Plaintiff David Brown filed a Complaint against Defendant Owen Hill, M.D., along with co-defendant Regional Medical Center ("RMC"). The complaint purports a cause of action for against both defendants regarding his emergency room presentation at the hospital on April 18, 2006. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that "Defendants' actions were a violation of [S]ection 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code." Plaintiff further contends that Defendants failed to "give a complete diagnosis, to inform Plaintiff of his condition and to treat Plaintiff while defendants had Plaintiff in their care and custody."

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Posted On: September 17, 2010

Mother Of Deceased Sacramento Woman Files Malpractice Suit Against Hospital, Part 3 of 3

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, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Sutter, or any skilled nursing facility.

(Please also 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.)

Should [defendant/physicians] be ... designated, a full inquiry into their present opinions would be entirely appropriate. But ... the inquiry is not appropriate until and unless there is ... a[n] [expert] designation.

As we have seen, C.C.P. section 2034 is expressly applicable to the expert opinion of parties to a lawsuit. We see no reason to disrupt the carefully crafted legislative scheme for the regulation of discovery of the identity, qualifications and opinions of expert witnesses. The trial court order that the physician defendants testify at deposition about their present opinion of the medical propriety of their acts, even though they have not been designated as expert witnesses, would have that effect. It is for that reason that we direct that it be set aside. [Id. at pages 1455-1457].

Likewise, Province v. Center of Women's Health (1994) 20 Cal.App 4th 1673, involved a matter where a (by her mother/guardian ad litem) alleged defendants committed medical malpractice during her birth/delivery. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

At trial, the Province defendant doctors elicited expert testimony from a pathologist who had examined the umbilical cord of plaintiff shortly after birth.

Continue reading " Mother Of Deceased Sacramento Woman Files Malpractice Suit Against Hospital, Part 3 of 3 " »

Posted On: September 15, 2010

Physician Malpractice Causes Wrongful Death At Sacramento Hospital, Part 2 of 3

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this 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.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this case and its proceedings.)

California Courts have agreed with this proposition. The factual circumstances in County of L.A. v. Superior Ct. [Martinez](1990) 224 Cal.App. 3d 1446 are similar to the facts herein. In County, plaintiff (mother of child) alleged that defendant physicians had committed malpractice in attending to plaintiff's delivery of her child and as a result the child suffered severe brain damage.

During discovery, County defendant doctors refused to answer expert questions during depositions arguing that expert testimony was premature since the time in which to serve expert designations under §2034 had not yet run. Plaintiffs Motion to Compel testimony was granted; and defendant doctors appealed. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

The Appellate Court reversed the Trial Court's Motion to compel and held that defendant doctors not be required to provide expert opinion at subject depositions. In making its decision, the Court stated in pertinent part:

Continue reading " Physician Malpractice Causes Wrongful Death At Sacramento Hospital, Part 2 of 3 " »

Posted On: September 13, 2010

Sacramento Hospital Malpractice Lawsuit Involves Battle Of Experts, Part 1 of 3

It is 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.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Kim Smith’s Motion in Limine: To Preclude Expert Testimony of Defendant Medical Doctor as an Expert

Plaintiff hereby moves this Court for the following Motion in Limine and Order to preclude Defendants, their counsel, or witnesses from directly or indirectly attempting to introduce into evidence, opening statement or closing argument, the following matters:

TO PRECLUDE EXPERT TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT MEDICAL DOCTOR AS AN EXPERT

This is a where physician defendant breached the standard of care. As a result of defendant's negligence there has been severe injury.

Defendant served a designation of expert witnesses, per Code of Civil Procedure §2034. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

DEFENDANT DID NOT DESIGNATE HIMSELF AS AN EXPERT NOR HAS A DEFENDANT BEEN DEPOSED AS AN EXPERT WITNESS.

C.C.P. §2034(1) states that:

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Posted On: September 10, 2010

Malpractice Action Filed On Behalf Of Sacramento Woman Who Bled To Death In Hospital, Part 3 of 3

It is 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.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this case and its proceedings.)

LIABILITY

Plaintiff contends that with respect to the care of Kim Smith. Dr.Hall was the captain of the ship regarding the surgery. Fields v. Yusuf (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1381, 51 Cal. Rptr. 3d 277 holds the captain of the ship doctrine imposes liability on a surgeon under the doctrine of respondeat superior for the acts of those under the surgeons special supervision and control during the operation.

Dr. Lee breached the standard of care as he was performing the actual part of procedure that led to Ms. Smith's demise. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

Additionally, plaintiff was under sole care of defendant(s) at the time of the incident and Drs. Hall and Lee have liability on res ipsa theory.

Dr. White negligently failed to medicate and "worked up" decedent's underlying infection, leading to full device system infection, which was the underlying cause of the need for surgery. True copies of the curriculum vitae of John Black, M..D. and Ray Brown, M.D., and a copy of the declaration of Dr. Black regarding Dr. Lee are available.

Continue reading " Malpractice Action Filed On Behalf Of Sacramento Woman Who Bled To Death In Hospital, Part 3 of 3 " »

Posted On: September 7, 2010

Sacramento Doctors' Mistakes Cause Patient To Bleed To Death In Hospital, Part 2 of 3

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, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Sutter, or any skilled nursing facility.

(Please also 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.)

The decision was made to open up decedent's chest. There was absolutely no blood in the pericardium. The right chest was filled with blood. Large bore catheters were placed including one on the atrium. Rapid blood and fluid infusion was implemented. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

On exploration, Dr. Hall found shearing of the right subclavian vein, innominate vein and complete shredding of the superior vena cava. The AICD lead (i.e. the V-lead) was found to have a large swath of superior vena cava and parietal pleura. The azygos vein had been sheared and retracted deep into the chest and was bleeding swiftly. Needless to say, .

In the circumstances of this case, the applicable standard of care required the surgeons (i.e. Hall and Gamic) to stop the procedure when there were drops in blood pressure while "tugging on the lead." It is common for defibrillator lead, which have coils attached, to become overgrown with tissue in the vessels. This is why one must proceed with caution when trying to cut or lase the leads free of the vessels. Subject defendant physicians should have halted the procedure to assess the problem and explore alternatives, e.g. use of fluoroscopy to explore the area to determine the cause and extent to the problem, use of trans-esophogeal echo to evaluate, etc. The fact the blood pressure was dropping upon "tugging" of the lead and rebounding when traction on the lead was released is evidence the lead was firmly attached to the vessel, and the blood pressure drop was either a reflex from pulling on the myocardium or from blood loss. Either one of these situations would require halting the procedure to evaluate the situation and assess proper action.

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Posted On: September 3, 2010

Sacramento Woman Dies In Hospital Due To Surgeon's Errors, Part 1 of 3

It is 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.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this case and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF'S TRIAL BRIEF

INTRODUCTION

This is a .

Decedent, Kim Smith (DOB: XX/XX/63; DOD: XX/XX/08), developed pregnancy-related cardiomyopathy in 2003 and was fitted with a AICD (Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator). She had five children - 3 minors aged 4, 10 and 13.

On November 8, 2008, decedent had surgery at Memorial Hospital for replacement of the defibrillator (by surgeon, Phillip White). She had infection following this surgery and was readmitted December 20-22, 2008. Discharge diagnosis was left chest cellulitis at site of AICD with a culture positive for pseudomonas aeruginosa. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

Decedent was scheduled for pacemaker and lead extraction secondary to the infection at Memorial Hospital by David Hall (surgeon) on January 19, 2009. This is a percutaneous laser lead extraction. Stephen Lee, an interventional radiologist, was the assistant surgeon. Dr. Lee operated the laser lead extractor during the procedure.

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