(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this elder abuse/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
The Judicial Council complaint states that Tina Steinford and the Estate of Paul Steinford complain that eleven doctors and two institutions negligently caused the death of Paul Steinford and committed elderabuse. Since the filing of the complaint Universal Hospital and Camino Towers have been dismissed from the case, along with doctors Washington, Greene, and Black.
The thrust of the negligence claim is that Mr. Steinford was negligently prescribed anti-psychotic medications without his consent.
The Plaintiffs explain why the complaint was filed July 31, 2007, more than one year following the death of Mr. Steinford on May 5, 2005. It is important for the court to appreciate that the black box warning on Risperidone (Risperdal) refers to the dangers of strokes in elderly people. Mr. Steinford did not die from a stroke. So it is evident that Ms. Steinford was guessing and grasping at straws until she found present counsel and a qualified phsician to review the records and advance the theories announced.
The Legal Argument.
a. A Demurrer Examines the Pleading to Determine Its Legal Sufficiency.
On appeal from a judgment dismissing an action after sustaining a demurrer without leave to amend, the standard of review is well settled. We give the complaint a reasonable interpretation, reading it as a whole and its parts in their context. (Zelig v. County of Los Angeles (2002) 27 Cal.4th 1112, 1126.)
Further, we treat the demurrer as admitting all material facts properly pleaded, but do not assume the truth of contentions, deductions or conclusions of law. (Ibid; Aubry v. Tri-City Hospital Dist. (1992) 2 Cal.4th 962, 966-967 (Aubry).) When a demurrer is sustained, we determine whether the complaint states facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. (Zelig, supra, 27 Cal.4th at p. 1126.) And when it is sustained without leave to amend, we decide whether mere is a reasonable possibility that the defect can be cured by amendment: if it can be, the trial court has abused its discretion and we reverse. (Ibid.) City of Dmuba v. County of Tulare (2007) 41 Cal.4th 859, 865. (See Part 3 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.