CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION*
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT
D'MICHAEL BOWEN, a Minor, etc., et al.,
Plaintiffs and Respondents,
Defendant and Appellant.
(Super. Ct. No.
APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Joaquin
County, Lauren P. Thomasson, Judge. Reversed.
Jay-Allen Eisen Law Corporation, Jay-Allen Eisen and C.
Athena Roussos; Law Offices of Robert B. Zaro, Robert Zaro and
Stephen L. Ramazzini for Defendant and Appellant.
Law Office of Johnson & Johnson, Peter Johnson and Kelly
Jenkins for Plaintiffs and Respondents.
* Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.1110, this
opinion is certified for publication with the exception of Part
II of the Discussion.
Defendant Donald Ryan is a dentist whose patients include
difficult-to-treat children with behavior problems. This case
began with a claim by plaintiff D’Michael Bowen that defendant
choked him and shoved him against a wall during a dental
appointment. It continued with a trial that included 13
witnesses testifying about nine different unrelated incidents in
which defendant allegedly hit, restrained, or otherwise
mistreated child patients. The trial ended with a nine-to-three
special verdict awarding plaintiff $90,000 in damages. No
punitive damages were awarded because the jury found no malice.
On appeal, defendant contends that the court erred in
admitting the evidence of unrelated incidents. We agree, and
reverse the judgment. For the guidance of the court in the
event of retrial, we briefly address defendant’s remaining
claims concerning the proper scope of an expert witness’s
FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
Defendant had been in practice for approximately 28 years
and estimated he had seen 35,000 to 45,000 patients during that
time, including 8,000 to 10,000 patients in the prec