(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of this wrongful death case and its proceedings.)
Plaintiffs’ FAC alleges in paragraphs 9, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25 27, 28 and 29 that while in the care and custody of the moving party, Decedent suffered severe malnutrition, was unreasonably and continuously restrained, suffered pain that went untreated, suffered stage III decubitus ulcers, severe infection, acute untreated kidney failure, and severe dehydration. These paragraphs further allege that Defendant Dr. XY had a duty as her attending physician to ensure that her basic physical, safety and medical needs were attended to. Plaintiffs also allege that the above referenced maladies and other occurred because Dr. XY failed to monitor and assess her condition, failed to maintain accurate records, failed to provide nutrition to prevent malnutrition and fluids to prevent dehydration, failed to take proper measures to prevent skin breakdown and to monitor skin integrity, failed to monitor and respond to notification by the nursing staff that Decedent’s condition had deteriorated and required his medical attention.
C. Defendants Acted with Recklessness, Oppression and Fraud.
In order to make out a claim for abuse of a dependent adult the EADACPA, a plaintiff must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that defendant is guilty of something more than negligence; he or she must show reckless, oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious conduct. These three categories involve intentional, wilfull, or conscious wrongdoing of a despicable or injurious nature. College Hospital, Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal. 4th 704, 721. These are the same allegations that are required to make out a claim for Wilful Misconduct under Civil Code §3294 which is Plaintiffs’ First Cause of Action in their FAC. Defendant’s Demurrer to this cause of action was previously overruled by this Court. Recklessness involves more than inadvertence, incompetence, unskillfulness, or a failure to take precautions but rather rises to the level of a conscious choice of action with knowledge of the serious danger to others involved. (Id., at 721.)
Plaintiffs have alleged facts sufficient to establish reckless, oppressive and fraudlent conduct on the part of the moving party. These allegations, in part, include:
On November 3, 2005, CLAIRE FINE’S family called paramedics to have her admitted directly from EASTERN CONVALESCENT to a hospital because they were unable to reach her primary care physician and they were concerned that she was gravely ill. Upon admission to Olympic Hospital, it was discovered that CLAIRE FINE had a stage III decubitus ulcer on her foot and a decubitus ulcer on her sacrum, poor skin turgor, shock caused by severe infection, altered mental status, acute kidney failure, rhabdomyolosis, elevated potassium, elevated sodium and hypotension, and was suffering from severe dehydration despite have a gastrostomy tube in place.” (See Part 6 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.