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Under what circumstances will a non-settling medical malpractice defendant found liable at trial pay only a token amount to plaintiff as a result of other defendants’ pretrial settlement?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The case of Rashidi v. Moser (filed 9/23/13) 2013 DJDAR 12903 provides such circumstances. And the circumstances are not terribly unusual. What causes a virtual victory here for to a losing defendant is the confluence of the following statutes: California Civil Code section 3333.3 (MICRA), section 1431 (Prop 51), and Code of Civil Procedure section […]

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Must medical provider prove charges were “reasonable and necessary” in seeking lien on portion of award for medical expenses patient received from third party?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, answers, “yes.” Sounds pretty straight-forward. But more may be involved here than meets the eye. To place this question in context, when a party without medical coverage is injured in an automobile accident, that party might say to the treating hospital, “Just bill the liability insurance […]

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Is the full amount billed for medical care admissible at personal injury trial to prove past medical, future medical or general damages?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The recent appellate opinion in Corenbaum v. Lampkin (filed 4/30/13) 2013 DJDAR 5591 answers “no” on all counts. The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three, determined that only the actual amount paid for past medical care (here, as is typical, the discount rate paid by the medical insurer) is relevant and admissible. […]

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Tort damages concerning domestic pets are not limited by market value.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

“[A]nimals are special, sentient beings, because unlike other forms of property, animals feel pain, suffer and die.” With words like these, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division One, rejected defendants argument, an argument accepted by the trial courts, that the measure of damages are limited to the market value of the injured […]

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Collateral source rule in California: injured plaintiffs barred recovery of value of medical services in excess of bargained rate paid by insurance

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The California Supreme has filed its opinion after months of speculation in the legal community about the reach of the collateral source rule. In Howell v. Hamilton Meats (filed August 18, 2010), the court held an injured plaintiff whose medical expenses are paid through private insurance may recover as economic damages no more that the […]

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Tort Claim Is Actionable As Plaintiff May Recover Damages for Reasonable Treatment of Pet Even If Animal Has No Market Value

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Recently, the issue of awardability of claimed medical damages against tortfeasors has been a hot appellate topic. The California Supreme Court currently has under submission the case of Howell v. Hamilton Meats concerning medical expenses incurred yet paid to the provider in a lesser sum due to downwardly negotiated collateral medical insurance benefits. (See March […]

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Plaintiff’s Future Medical Damage Award For Tortious Transmission Of Herpes Must Be Based On Substantial Evidence, But Punitive Damages Award Was Not Excessive

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

After receiving a $6.75 million Riverside County Superior Court jury verdict against him for tortiously transmitting genital herpes to his ex-girlfriend, Aussie hair care products founder Thomas Redmond appealed. In Behr v. Redmond (filed March 2, 2011, certified for publication on March 14, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 3795, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, […]

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The Risky Business of Judges and Counsel, Both Trial and Appellate, Predicting How the Supreme Court Will Decide An Undecided Issue, Such as Award for Reasonable Value of Negotiated Medical Services

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In my last posting, I discussed the recently published appellate court opinion in Cabrera. Part of the rationale of that opinion was that the court was following “current” California published case law. My question is how should judges and attorneys handle legal authority that may appear shaky based upon currently pending cases before higher authority? […]

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Appellate Panel Finds Collateral Source Rule Does Not Bar Reduction of Jury-Awarded Past Medical Expenses That Were Reasonable and Necessary but Negotiated Down by Plaintiff’s Private Insurance

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

During 2010, the California Supreme Court granted review in the Court of Appeal cases of Howell v. Hamilton Meats (4th District), Yanez v. SOMA Environmental Engineering (1st District) and King v. Willmett (3rd District). In a nutshell, those three opinions can be summarized as saying that the award of an injured plaintiff’s medical provider’s full […]

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