Ybarra v. Spangard
Ybarra v. Spangard
Citation:154 P.2d 687 (Cal. 1944)
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
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Ybarra visited with Dr. Tilley regarding pains he was experiencing in his abdomen. Dr. Tilley diagnosed Ybarra with appendicitis and arranged for an appendectomy to be performed on Ybarra by Dr. Spangard at a facility owned by Dr. Swift. Before his surgery, Ybarra was adjusted in the operating table by Dr. Reser. After the procedure, Ybarra was treated by a nurse.
Immediately following the operation, Ybarra felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder and arm. Ybarra was treated for his pain, but in the following weeks his pain worsened. Eventually, Ybarra’s arm became paralyzed.
Ybarra filed a negligence suit against all of the healthcare workers that were responsible for his care during the appendectomy. Basing his claim on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor, Ybarra stated that one or more of the healthcare professionals responsible for his care must have been responsible for his injuries, as the named defendants had exclusive control over Ybarra and the instruments that may have caused his injuries. The district court dismissed the claim on the grounds that Ybarra did not state a specific cause of his injury, and Ybarra appealed.
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