Published Opinion Further Defines the Differentiation Between “Professional Negligence” and “General Negligence” Claims

In the case of Nava v. Saddleback Memorial Medical Center et al., (2016) 4 Cal. App. 5th 285, Haight successfully represented Saddleback Memorial Medical Center (SMMC) at the trial and appellate court levels. Plaintiff set forth several scenarios where he claimed to be dropped by either hospital personnel or paramedics during transport for medical care. After Summary Judgment was granted in favor of SMMC based upon the one year statute of limitations for “Professional Negligence,” plaintiff appealed and claimed that the injuries he sustained in the hospital setting were the result of unskilled and/or unlicensed personnel and therefore “General Negligence” which affords a two year statute of limitations. However, the Appellate Court’s decision was consistent with the most recent decision in Flores v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (2016) 63 Cal. App. 4th 75, and went even further to state that the prior tests set forth in previous case law no longer provided further insight and were superseded by the “law of the land” set forth in Flores. The evaluation to be used by Courts on future matters is whether the act or omission that lead to the plaintiff’s injuries was “integrally related” to the medical treatment provided by the healthcare provider.

September 23, 2016