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Summary Judgment Granted in Medical Malpractice Case

March 15, 2012

The San Bernardino Superior Court granted summary judgment in a suit filed against a hospital and doctors. The case was handled by Michael B. Lawler, Nancy N. Potter and Mary C. Trinh.

An elderly man with many medical conditions was admitted to Rancho Specialty Hospital. Murchison & Cumming’s client was his attending physician. After about two weeks in the hospital, the patient slipped while going to the restroom and suffered a broken hip. About three weeks later, he died of his other conditions. His children sued the hospital and doctors, alleging that better fall precautions should have been in place, and that the broken hip led to his death.

The Murchison attorneys filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on two grounds: that the physician did not breach the applicable standard of care with respect to the orders he gave for fall precautions, and that the cause of death was not the broken hip. In response to the plaintiff’s opposition, the Murchison attorneys dealt with substantial expert testimony with respect to standard of care and causation. The court agreed with Murchison's position as to the qualification and authoritativeness of the expert testimony, and granted the summary judgment motion in favor of the doctor.