CACI 3929 Subsequent Medical Treatment or Aid

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

3929 Subsequent Medical Treatment or Aid

If you decide that [name of defendant] is legally responsible for [name of plaintiff]’s harm, [he/she/nonbinary pronoun/it] is also responsible for any additional harm resulting from the acts of others in providing medical treatment or other aid that [name of plaintiff]’s injury reasonably required, even if those acts were negligently performed.

Directions for Use

Under Proposition 51 (Civ. Code § 1431.2), the original tortfeasor is entitled to have the jury allocate fault to any subsequent tortfeasors with regard to the subsequent aggravation of the injury. Each is responsible only for a comparative share of the noneconomic damages attributable to the aggravated injury. (Henry v. Superior Court (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 440, 455 [72 Cal.Rptr.3d 808]; see also Marina Emergency Medical Group v. Superior Court (2000) 84 Cal.App.4th 435 [100 Cal.Rptr.2d 866].)

Sources and Authority

“It has long been the rule that a tortfeasor responsible for the original accident is also liable for injuries or death occurring during the course of medical treatment to treat injuries suffered in that accident. In Ash v. Mortensen (1944) 24 Cal.2d 654 [150 P.2d 876], the Supreme Court stated: ‘It is settled that where one who has suffered personal injuries by reason of the tortious act of another exercises due care in securing the services of a doctor and his injuries are aggravated by the negligence of such doctor, the law regards the act of the original wrongdoer as a proximate cause of the damages flowing from the subsequent negligent medical treatment and holds him liable therefor.’ ” (Anaya v. Superior Court (2000) 78 Cal.App.4th 971, 974 [93 Cal.Rptr.2d 228].)

“Obviously, if the original tortfeasor is liable for injuries or death suffered during the course of the treatment of injuries suffered in the accident, the original tortfeasor is liable for injuries or death suffered during transportation of the victim to a medical facility for treatment of the injuries resulting from the accident.” (Anaya, supra, 78 Cal.App.4th at p. 975.)

“To the extent damages for [plaintiff]’s injured shoulder can in fact be divided by causation into distinct component parts—the original injury that resulted from the fall at the [defendants]’ property and the aggravation of that injury caused by [plaintiff]’s negligent treatment by … physicians—liability for each indivisible component part should be considered separately. The [defendants], if they were negligent, are solely responsible for the initial injury; liability for the indivisible enhanced or aggravated injury, however, is properly apportioned between the [defendants] and the … physicians in accordance with the rules of comparative fault and section 1431.2.” (Henry, supra, 160 Cal.App.4th at p. 455.)

“While it is true the original tortfeasor is liable for additional harm (even death) resulting from the negligent care and treatment of the original injury by physicians and hospitals, such liability is not limited to negligently caused additional harm or that caused by malpractice.” (Hastie v. Handeland (1969) 274 Cal.App.2d 599, 604–605 [79 Cal.Rptr. 268], internal citations and footnote omitted.)

This rule applies to the first doctor who treats a patient who subsequently is treated by other doctors. (Maxwell v. Powers (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 1596, 1607–1608 [28 Cal.Rptr.2d 62].)

Restatement Second of Torts section 457, states: “If the negligent actor is liable for another’s bodily injury, he is also subject to liability for any additional bodily harm resulting from normal efforts of third persons in rendering aid which the other’s injury reasonably requires, irrespective of whether such acts are done in a proper or a negligent manner.”

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 1855
Flahavan et al., California Practice Guide: Personal Injury, Ch. 4-C, Effective Settlement Negotiations, ¶¶ 4:175-4:177 (The Rutter Group)
California Tort Damages (Cont.Ed.Bar) Bodily Injury, § 1.85
5 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 74, Resolving Multiparty Tort Litigation, § 74.04[3], [4] (Matthew Bender)
25 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 300, Contribution and Indemnity, § 300.63[2] (Matthew Bender)
33 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 380, Negligence, § 380.74[3][a] (Matthew Bender)
11 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 115, Indemnity and Contribution, § 115.61 (Matthew Bender)