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California court overturns medical malpractice ruling

Malpractice can sometimes mean that a physician did not meet a sufficient standard of care. Physicians are bound by standardized practices and procedures that must be followed in every case in order to provide the best outcomes for a patient. Recently, a California man with cerebral palsy sued his physicians for medical malpractice and won, but the case was overturned in the appeals court and returned to the trial court to reconsider the amount of the damages awarded.

A man sued a county health service provider for damages related to brain injuries suffered during birth. The health service provider countered that the injuries to the man were already present in utero, and the brain injuries could not have been avoided. Thirteen additional health service providers were also sued by the man and his family. 

Initially, the plaintiff won the case and was awarded $9.5 million. The appeals court overturned the judgment and sent the case back to trial, noting a mistake in the original ruling that did not account for medical benefits that would be provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition to medical malpractice resulting in costs for future medical care, the plaintiff was seeking judgments for his mother's emotional distress.

The case will continue in the California court system until a final ruling is made. In the meantime, the family will be caring for the disabled plaintiff. Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can have lasting effects for families. Affected individuals and families have the right to seek the guidance of an attorney to sort out any malpractice claims. 

Source:, "Appeals court overturns ruling in medical malpractice case against Contra Costa County Health Services", Nicholas Gueguen, May 19, 2017

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