Landeros v. Flood

551 P.2d 389 (1976)

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Landeros v. Flood

California Supreme Court
551 P.2d 389 (1976)

DC

Facts

On April 26, 1970, an 11-month-old child (plaintiff) was taken by her mother to San Jose Hospital (defendant) and examined by Dr. Flood (defendant). The child had a spiral fracture on her right tibia and fibula that appeared to be caused by a twisting force. The child also had a number of other injuries on other parts of her body at various stages of healing. The child’s mother did not have an explanation for her fracture. The child demonstrated fear when approached by medical staff, and her symptoms were consistent with battered-child syndrome. Flood did not order any X-rays, and the child returned home with her mother. On July 1, 1971, the child was taken to a different hospital and evaluated by a different physician. This time, the child had a traumatic blow to her eye, puncture wounds, bite marks, and burns on her hand. Battered-child syndrome was diagnosed immediately, the child was taken into protective custody and placed in foster care, and the child’s mother and the mother’s common-law husband were later convicted of criminal child abuse. The child subsequently brought a medical-malpractice action against Dr. Flood and San Jose Hospital. The trial court dismissed the child’s complaint, and the child appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)

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