California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

508. Duty to Refer to a Specialist

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508.Duty to Refer to a Specialist
If a reasonably careful [insert type of medical practitioner] in the same
situation would have referred [name of patient]toa[insert type of
medical specialist], then [name of defendant] was negligent if [he/she] did
not do so.
However, if [name of defendant] treated [name of patient] with as much
skill and care as a reasonable [insert type of medical specialist] would
have, then [name of defendant] was not negligent.
New September 2003
Sources and Authority
• Physicians who elect to treat a patient even though the patient should have been
referred to a specialist will be held to the standard of care of that specialist. If
the physician meets the higher standard of care, he or she is not negligent.
(Simone v. Sabo (1951) 37 Cal.2d 253, 257 [231 P.2d 19].)
• If the evidence establishes that the failure of a nurse to consult the attending
physician under the circumstances presented in the case is not in accord with
the standard of care of the nursing profession, this instruction may be
applicable. (Fraijo v. Hartland Hospital (1979) 99 Cal.App.3d 331, 344 [160
Cal.Rptr. 246].)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, §§ 933, 934
California Tort Guide (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) § 9.6
3 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 30, General Principles of Liability of
Professionals, § 30.12, Ch. 31, Liability of Physicians and Other Medical
Practitioners, § 31.13 (Matthew Bender)
17 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 209, Dentists, § 209.11
(Matthew Bender)
36 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 415, Physicians: Medical
Malpractice, § 415.11 (Matthew Bender)
17 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 175, Physicians and Surgeons, §§ 175.20
(Matthew Bender)
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