San Diego Law Review


Russell A. Gold

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In the 1992 decision of Central Pathology Service Medical Clinic, Inc. v. Superior Court the California Supreme Court held that every plaintiff injured by a health care provider must comply with section 452.13 of the California Civil Procedure Code, provided the injuries are directly related to the provision of professional services. Section 452.13 requires a pretrial determination of whether a punitive damage claim has a substantial probability of prevailing. This statute also applies to intentional torts, in which the plaintiff is injured by treatment to which the plaintiff did not consent. This Casenote analyzes whether additional procedural obstacles are warranted for victims of the intentional torts of health care providers, whether any potential decrease in damage awards may create a disincentive for attorneys to take on these cases, and whether the court's holding broadens other statutes concerning the professional negligence of health care providers.