Schreiber v. Estate of Kiser

22 Cal. 4th 31, 91 Cal. Rptr. 2d 293, 989 P.2d 720 (1999)

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Schreiber v. Estate of Kiser

California Supreme Court
22 Cal. 4th 31, 91 Cal. Rptr. 2d 293, 989 P.2d 720 (1999)

Facts

Dawn Schreiber (plaintiff) was in an automobile accident with Donald Wayne Kiser, who subsequently died. Schreiber sued Kiser’s estate and the City of Huntington Beach. In accordance with Code of Civil Procedure § 2034(a)(2), requiring the submission of an expert-witness declaration, Schreiber designated expert witnesses, but she did not submit expert-witness declarations for her treating physicians, who the trial court precluded from giving their opinions about the cause of Schreiber’s injuries. The jury returned a defense verdict, specifically finding Kiser’s negligence did not cause Schreiber’s damages. Schreiber appealed, and the appellate court affirmed, concluding that once a treating physician offers opinion testimony about causation, this exceeds the treating physician’s role of giving percipient testimony and becomes a retained expert witness within the meaning of § 2034(a)(2). Schreiber’s petition for rehearing was denied, so Schreiber petitioned for further review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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