Posted On: October 31, 2010 by

Sacramento Family Sues For Medical Malpractice, Part 3 of 5

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, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

(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.)

The purpose of Civil Code § 3333.1(a) has generally been viewed as an attempt to eliminate the so-called double recovery obtained by plaintiffs who have their medical expenses paid by their own health insurance and still obtain damages for such expenses from defendant tortfeasors. Barme v. Wood (1984) 37 Cal.3d 174, fn.5. Subsection (a) overrides the collateral source rule to a considerable extent in medical malpractice cases, allowing a health care provider to introduce evidence of benefits payable to the plaintiff from the following collateral sources: private health, sickness, accident, or disability insurance, state disability insurance (SDI), workers' compensation, Social Security survivor's insurance, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

When a defendant chooses to introduce such collateral source evidence under Section 3333.1(a), the plaintiff may introduce evidence of the amounts she has paid, in insurance premiums for example, to secure those collateral source benefits. For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.

The collateral source provision is one of the provisions of MICRA, which was intended to reduce the cost of medical malpractice insurance.

In upholding the constitutionality of Section 3333.1(a) against due process and equal protection challenges, the Supreme Court in Fein v. Permanente Medical Group, ruled that the plaintiff did not have a vested right in a particular measure of damages, and that the abolition of the collateral source rule is rationally related to the legitimate state goal of reducing medical malpractice insurance costs. Fein v. Permanente Medical Group, supra, 38 Cal.3d at 166. (See Part 4 of 5.)

For more information you are welcome to contact , Moseley Collins.