Plaintiff fails to prove that contractors proximately caused his infectious fungal disease by stockpiling excess dirt on vacant lot near workplace.  Rudy Miranda et al. V. Bomel Construction Co., Inc. et al., (No. G042073 California Courts of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, August 30, 2010).    

In affirming the trial courts granting of summary judgment, the appeals court found that the plaintiffs’ failed to prove within reasonable medical probability that the plaintiff suffered injuries related to a fungus that caused Avalley fever@.

A plaintiff alleging negligence must prove that a legal duty to use care existed and a breach of that duty, which was a proximate cause of the injury.  In a personal injury action, causation must be proven within a reasonable medical probability based on expert testimony.  Mere possibility alone is insufficient.  Here, defendants’= experts explained that the fungus that caused Avalley fever@ was endemic to large parts of California and could travel in the wind.  Thus, they showed that there was no reasonable medical probability that dust from the vacant lot, rather than air from another location, contained the spores that caused the plaintiff=s injuries.  Also, plaintiff=s experts did not account for the fact that other sources of the fungus spore existed.  Thus, plaintiff failed to prove causation, and his negligence claim failed.

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