You are a legal assistant at a law firm in California. A new client, Gemini Saturn, came to the law firm a week ago with a possible medical malpractice case. Two years and 10 months ago, Gemini had undergone surgery on her knee for ongoing knee pain. The surgery initially seemed to be a success. However, about 6 months after the surgery, she started feeling pain throughout her leg that gradually became more and more difficult for her to endure. She consulted a physician about the pains, but he could not determine the cause or relieve the pain. Eight months ago, a new doctor discovered that that the severe leg pain was the result of her knee surgery, and that the surgeon had made a severe mistake during the operation. Initially, Gemini did not consider to pursuing a medical malpractice claim, but as her symptoms worsened, she decided to consult your law firm.
The lead attorney, Aries Neptune, asks you to do some initial research to investigate the possible medical malpractice claim. He tells you to look at the California state code and find the elements of a claim for medical malpractice, as well as the statute of limitations for medical malpractice – California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5. He thinks the statute of limitations is 3 years for filing a medical malpractice claim, but would like you to confirm, in order to advise the client on whether her action can be filed within the statute of limitations. The lead attorney also tells you that he is fairly certain that there is a requirement that the plaintiff give the respondent 90-days’ notice of intent to sue before filing the claim, and that could pose a problem for filing the client’s claim within the statute of limitations. He asks you to look up a case, Russell v. Stanford, decided in the California Supreme Court in 1997, because he thinks the case will help address this issue.
Then, he asks you to write a letter to the client, summarizing your findings regarding: 1) the elements of medical malpractice; 2) the statute of limitations; and 3) whether the 90-day requirement for notice to sue will prevent the client from being able to file the lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Note: While specific dates for a client’s facts were not included in this assignment scenario, you can write specific dates in your letter that are consistent with the timeline presented here.
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Length: 1-2 pages
References: Support your work with a minimum of three primary legal resources. Use only primary sources for your analysis and cite your sources in Bluebook or ALWD citation format.
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