Brain-Injured Sacramento Man Sues Doctor After Car Accident, Part 7 of 9

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this traumatic brain injury case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Has Met the Notice Pleading Requirement Under California Law

As established above, under California’s notice pleading requirement, Plaintiff has only to plead ultimate facts sufficient to apprise Defendant of the basis upon which Plaintiff is seeking relief. Paragraphs 6-7, 12-14, 29, 32, 34-35 and 39 of Plaintiff’s Complaint contain sufficient factual allegations regarding Dr. Brown’s actions that amount to despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others. (Cal. Civ. Code § 3294.)

Plaintiff’s allegations against Dr. Brown that give rise to punitive damages are consistent with Roth v. Shell Oil Co. (1960) 185 Cal.App.2d 676 and Fick v. Nilson (1950) 98 Cal.App.2d 683, as they are based on facts and not speculation. Plaintiff has alleged that Defendant worked excessive hours as a resident atUniversal Hospital, worked an overnight shift the night of the incident, knew or should have known that driving home while fatigued and sleep-deprived could result in dangerous harm to others, drove home in a fatigued and sleep-deprived condition and caused her vehicle to mow down Plaintiff. Plaintiffs allegations are rooted in facts, not conjecture.

What the eyewitnesses said is factual, not speculative. The allegation regarding what the witnesses observed in Paragraph 29 is taken directly from the statements witnesses provided to police officers at the scene of the incident. That allegation is rooted in fact, not conjecture and supports Plaintiff’s notice pleading regarding punitive damages.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Dr. Brown also incorrectly argues that the Complaint contains mere allegations that the Defendant’s actions were carried on with willful and conscious disregard of the rights of others. In this regard, Defendant cites to Cyrus v. Haveson (1976) 65 Cal.App.3d 306, Brousseau v. Jarrett (1977) 73 Cal.App.34 864, 872 and Grieves v. Superior Ct (1984) 157 Cal.App.3d 159, 163. Dr. Brown’s reliance on those cases is misplaced since Plaintiff did not merely allege that Defendant’s actions were “willful” or “malicious.”

As alleged in Paragraphs 34-35, Dr. Brown was incompetent and unfit to safely operate a vehicle because she was fatigued. She was a foreseeable threat to the health and safety of the public, by deliberately disregarding the high probability that she would fall asleep behind the wheel and cause permanent harm to another person. Despite the high risk of injuring someone with the vehicle, Dr. Brown consciously chose to drive home while in a fatigued, sleep-deprived and exhausted condition. Dr. Brown’s decision to drive under these conditions rose to the level of recklessness since she should have known that she was incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. She should have found an alternative means of transportation. Plaintiff has properly pled that Defendant’s actions were reckless. The allegations are sufficient. Plaintiff need not prove at this moment that Defendant was reckless at this pleading stage of the litigation. This is not a motion for summary judgment. (See Part 8 of 9.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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