Ybarra: Appellant: Ybarra: Defendant: Respondent: ... and made arrangements for an appendectomy to be performed by defendant Dr. Spangard at a hospital owned and managed by defendant Dr. 121; 1 L.R.A.N.S. Ybarra v. Spangard Supreme Court of CA - 1944 Facts: P consulted D about appendicitis and made arrangements for surgery. It is rather a good reason for re-examination of the statement of legal theories which supposedly compel such a shocking result. Here, again, there is a misconception which, if carried to the extreme for which defendants contend, would unreasonably limit the application of the res ipsa loquitur rule. This is an action for damages for personal injuries alleged to have been inflicted on plaintiff by defendants during the course of a surgical operation. After the operation, Ybarra woke up with pain in his arm, which implied that somehow during the operation someone did something to … Contacting Justia or any attorney through this site, via web form, email, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship. But we do not believe that either the number or relationship of the defendants alone determines whether the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies. The decisions in this state make it clear that such circumstances raise the inference of negligence, and call upon the defendant to explain the unusual result. We have here no problem of negligence in treatment, but of distinct injury to a healthy part of the body not the subject of treatment, nor within the area covered by the operation. In the last-named case, where an unconscious patient in a hospital received injuries from a fall, the court declared that without the doctrine the maxim that for every wrong there is a remedy would be rendered nugatory, "by denying one, patently entitled to damages, satisfaction merely because he is ignorant of facts peculiarly within the knowledge of the party who should, in all justice, pay them.". On October 28, 1939, plaintiff consulted defendant Dr. Tilley, who diagnosed his ailment as appendicitis, and made arrangements for an appendectomy to be performed by defendant Dr. Spangard at a hospital owned and managed by defendant Dr. The general nature of the action and the relation of the several defendants thereto are set out in the opinion of the Supreme Court on the previous appeal (Ybarra v. Spangard, 25 Cal. Swift (defendant). A jury found for defendants and plaintiff appeals from the ensuing judgment in their favor. Plaintiff entered the hospital, was given a hypodermic injection, slept, and later was awakened by Doctors Tilley and Spangard and wheeled into the operating room by a nurse whom he believed to be defendant Gisler, an employee of Dr. 1072]; Carpenter, 10 So.Cal.L.Rev. 2d 488] the operation, pulling his body to the head of the operating table and, according to plaintiff's testimony, laying him back against two hard objects at the top of his shoulders, about an inch below his neck. A patient who was unconscious during a procedure should not be held accountable for distinguishing among the defendants to at least reach a jury. Merch. How do you say Ybarra? All rights reserved. Al. But we think this juncture has not yet been reached, and that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is properly applicable to the case before us. Supreme Court Of California In Bank. If the doctrine is to continue to serve a useful purpose, we should not forget that "the particular force and justice of the rule, regarded as a presumption throwing upon the party charged the duty of producing evidence, consists in the circumstance that the chief evidence of the true cause, whether culpable or innocent, is practically accessible to him but inaccessible to the injured person." For the purposes of this opinion it is sufficient to notice that the action is one against the several nurses and doctors who were in attendance upon the plaintiff while he was … Ybarra v. Spangard is a case study which deals with a specific situation when doctor’s mistake has lead to patient’s injury. Nurse Gislor was responsible for taking him into the operating room, and Dr. Reser was responsible for the anesthesia and for laying Ybarra's body against two hard objects behind his shoulders. Co., Inc., 485 N.W.2d 170, 176 (Neb. Without the aid of the doctrine a patient who received permanent injuries of a serious character, obviously the result of someone's negligence, would be entirely unable to recover unless the doctors and nurses in attendance voluntarily chose to disclose the identity of the negligent person and the facts establishing liability. Finally, it has been suggested that the hospital cases may properly be considered exceptional, and that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur "should apply with equal force in cases wherein medical and nursing staffs take the place of machinery and may, through carelessness or lack of skill, inflict, or permit the infliction of, injury upon a patient who is thereafter in no position to say how he received his injuries." 723 [283 P. 833]; Armstrong v. Wallace, 8 Cal.App2d 429 [47 P.2d 740]; Meyer v. McNutt Hospital, 173 Cal. Case name: Joseph Roman Ybarra v Lawrence C. Spangard et. YBARRA V. SPANGARD. Ybarra (plaintiff) consulted Dr. Tilley (defendant) about stomach pains. "where a plaintiff receives unusual injuries while unconscious and in the course of medical treatment, all those defendants who had any control over his body or the instrumentalities which might have caused the injuries may properly be called upon to meet the inference of negligence by giving an … For example, in the present case it appears that Doctors Smith, Spangard and Tilley were physicians or surgeans commonly placed in the legal category of independent contractors; and Dr. Reser, the anesthetist, and defendant Thompson, the special nurse, were employees of Dr. 2d 82 [64 P.2d 409]; Armstrong v. Wallace, 8 Cal. A hospital today conducts a highly integrated system of activities, with many persons contributing their efforts. In some accidents, the mere fact that the injury occurred suggests that it was caused by negligence. (Maki v. Murray Hospital, 91 Mont. Swift. 10. of Supreme Court of California opinions. Nurse Gislor was responsible for taking him into the operating room, and Dr. Reser was responsible for the anesthesia and for laying Ybarra's body against two hard objects behind his shoulders. 187, 196. When a P receives unusual injuries while unconscious and in the course of medical treatment, all those Ds who had any control over his body or the instrumentalities which might have caused the injuries may properly be called upon to meet the inference of negligence by giving an explanation of their conduct. 2d 492] failure in this regard. Prepared by Roger Martin ( http://people.qualcomm.com/rmartin/ ) 2. 2d 453 [150 P.2d 436].) McDougald v. Perry. Ybarra v. Spangard. 295.) Plaintiff appealed. 1258]).  An examination of the recent cases, particularly in this state, discloses that the test of actual exclusive control of an instrumentality has not been strictly followed, but exceptions have been recognized where the purpose of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur would otherwise be defeated. Disclaimer: Justia Annotations is a forum for attorneys to summarize, comment on, and analyze case law published on our site. The pain did not cease, but spread down to the lower part of his arm, and after his release from the hospital the condition grew worse. If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, you may wish to change that link by … 1944); Anderson v. Serv. Viewed from this aspect, it is difficult to see how the doctrine can, with any justification, be so restricted in its statement as to become inapplicable to a patient who submits himself to the care and custody of doctors and nurses, is rendered unconscious, and receives some injury from instrumentalities used in his treatment. loquitur creates a presumption of negligence); Ybarra v. Spangard, 154 P.2d 687, 688-89 (Cal. Rev. Dec. 27, 1944) Brief Fact Summary. Ybarra v. Spangard 25 Cal.2d 154 P.2d 687 (1944) Ybarra was in the hospital for an appendectomy performed by Spangard. Dec. 27, 1944) Brief Fact Summary. Justia makes no guarantees or warranties that the annotations are accurate or reflect the current state of law, and no annotation is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. The condition that the injury must not have been due to the plaintiff's voluntary action is of course fully satisfied under the evidence produced herein; and the same is true of the condition that the accident must be one which ordinarily does not occur unless someone was negligent. Ybarra v. Spangard, (1944); pg. Additionally, Dr. Spangard enlisted the help of numerous others hospital staff employees. Ybarra v. Spanguard Facts:Ybarra (plaintiff) had Dr. Tilley (defendant) consult her no her stomach pains which were diagnosed as appendicitis and as a result an appendectomy was performed. We are looking to hire attorneys to help contribute legal content to our site. Their main defense may be briefly stated in two propositions: (1) that where there are several defendants, and there is a division of responsibility in the use of an instrumentality causing the injury, and the injury might have resulted from the separate act of either one of two or more persons, the rule of res ipsa loquitur cannot be invoked against any one of them; and (2) that where there are several instrumentalities, and no showing is made as to which caused the injury or as to the particular defendant in control of it, the doctrine cannot apply. We merely hold that where a plaintiff receives unusual injuries while unconscious and in the course of medical treatment, all those defendants who had any control over his body or the instrumentalities which might have caused the injuries may properly be called upon to meet the inference of negligence by giving an explanation of their conduct. In a personal injury action, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) entered judgments of nonsuit as to all Defendants in an action for damages for personal injuries. The control, at one time or another, of one or more of the various agencies or instrumentalities which might have harmed the plaintiff was in the hands of every defendant or of his employees or temporary servants. In the opinion of Dr. Clark, plaintiff's condition was due to trauma or injury by pressure or strain, applied between his right shoulder and neck. 251 [7 P.2d 228]; Whetstine v. Moravec, 228 Iowa 352 [291 N.W. 2d 486 (Cal. One of the most interesting aspects of Ybarra vs. Spangard from a legal perspective is reasoning used by the court in finding that "a patient injured while unconscious on an operating table in a hospital could hold all or any of the persons who had any connection with the operation even though he could not select the particular acts by the particular person which led to his disability" (Louisell & Williams, 1960). (See Maki v. Murray Hospital, 91 Mont. Ybarra v. Spangard  was a leading case in California discussing the exclusive control element of res ipsa loquitur. Marion P. Betty and Wycoff Westover for Appellant. (See Ales v. Ryan, 8 Cal. Dec. 27, 1944. This is in part due to the tendency, in some decisions, to lay undue emphasis on the limitations of the doctrine, and to give too little attention to its basic underlying purpose. (Prosser, Torts, p. (Ales v. Ryan, 8 Cal. [2b] It may appear at the trial that, consistent with the principles outlined above, one or more defendants will be found liable and others absolved, but this should not preclude the application of the rule of res ipsa loquitur.  Every defendant in whose custody the plaintiff was placed for any period was bound to exercise ordinary care to see that no unnecessary harm came to him and each would be liable for [25 Cal. Marion P. Betty and Wycoff Westover for Appellant. 1258], this court had occasion to consider the application of the doctrine to cases where injury was received by a medical patient while unconscious under the influence of anesthesia. 201.) In this connection, it should be noted that while the assisting physicians and nurses may be employed by the hospital, or engaged by the patient, they normally become the temporary servants or agents of the surgeon in charge while the operation is in progress, and liability may be imposed upon him for their negligent acts under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Defendant Dr. Reser, the anesthetist, also an employee of Dr. App. JOSEPH ROMAN YBARRA, Appellant, v. LAWRENCE C. SPANGARD et al., Respondents. P consulted D about appendicitis and made arrangements for surgery. The other aspect of the case which defendants so strongly emphasize is that plaintiff has not identified the instrumentality any more than he has the particular guilty defendant. Prepared by Roger Martin (http://people.qualcomm.com/rmartin/)2. The number or relationship of the Ds alone does not determine whether the doctrine applies. 2d 260, 268 [127 P.2d 670].) 1258]). Swift. The result has been that a simple, understandable rule of circumstantial evidence, with a sound background of common sense and human experience, has occasionally been transformed into a rigid legal formula, which [25 Cal. BACKGROUND. 425]; see Shain, Res Ipsa Loquitur, 17 So.Cal.L. GIBSON, C. J. 251 [7 P.2d 228, 231]; see, also, Whetstine v. Moravec, 228 Iowa 352 [291 N.W. Ybarra v. Spangard, a leading legal decision in California discussing the exclusive control element of res ipsa loquitur. JOSEPH ROMAN YBARRA, Appellant, v. LAWRENCE C. SPANGARD et al., Respondents. It got worse until part of his shoulder was paralyzed and atrophied. The plaintiff had no previous injury or pain in the sholder area. Thus, the test has become one of right of control rather than actual control. In Bank. 156 [159 P. 436]; Vergeldt v. Hartzell, 1 F.2d 633; Maki v. Murray Hospital, 91 Mont. 7. We are satisfied, however, that these objections are not well taken in the circumstances of this case. 2d 82 [64 P.2d 409]; Brown v. Shortlidge, 98 Cal. He was unable to rotate or lift his arm, and developed paralysis and atrophy of the muscles around the shoulder. 268, briefed 10/30/94. What happens to people who no longer seek care, or the stigma of mental health patients. 2d 490] arbitrarily precludes its application in many cases where it is most important that it should be applied. Attorneys Wanted. Ybarra v. Spangard, 93 Cal.App.2d 43, 208 P.2d 445 (1949) (" Ybarra II"). Shenk, J., Curtis, J., Edmonds, J., Carter, J., and Schauer, J., concurred. 2 - Res Ipsa provides an injured plaintiff w/a common sense inference of negligence where direct proof of negligence is wanting. 425, 432]; Ross v. Double Shoals Cotton Mills, 140 N.C. 115 [52 S.E. Pl Arg He never had any pain or injury to his right arm or shoulder prior to the operation. Ybarra v. Spangard , (1944); pg. 268, briefed 10/30/94. [L. A. 251 [7 P.2d 228].) 6. Co., 51 Cal. After diagnosing Ybarra with appendicitis, Dr. Tilley set up an appendectomy for him that would be performed by Dr. Spangard at a hospital owned and managed by Dr. Π is not required to eliminate w/certainty all other possible causes or inferences. Written and curated by real attorneys at Quimbee. If this were the state of the law of negligence, the courts, to avoid gross injustice, would be forced to invoke the principles of absolute liability, irrespective of negligence, in actions by persons suffering injuries [25 Cal. 2d 82 [64 P.2d 409]; Brown v. Shortlidge, 98 Cal.App 352 [277 P. Dec. 27, 1944.]. There may be, e.g., preparation for surgery by nurses [25 Cal. Swift. This is a typical application of res ipsa loquitur to a situation in which it is impossible to find out who was responsible for an accident or how the events unfolded. This, we think, places upon them the burden of initial explanation. A perfect example of the liability of medical professionals can be shown in the case of Ybarra v. Spangard, 25 Cal.2d 486, 154 P.2d 687 (Cal.1944). No. $0.99; $0.99; Publisher Description. When there is an injury to a part of the body that was not the subject of the intended medical procedure, all of the doctors and other health care providers involved in the procedure may be subject to an inference of res ipsa loquitur. 714 [12 P.2d 933]; Godfrey v. Brown, 220 Cal. Plaintiff appealed. 2d 486, 487-488 [154 P.2d 687, 162 A.L.R. Moreover, this court departed from the single instrumentality theory in the colliding vehicle cases, where two defendants were involved, each in control of a separate vehicle. , res ipsa loquitur highly integrated system of activities, with many persons contributing their efforts Brown... 102 Cal 291 N.W also an employee of Dr unseen costs to rule... 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