The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Sutter, or any skilled nursing facility.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death case and its proceedings.)
Similarly, the court in Grieves v. Superior Court (1984) 157 Cal. App. 3d 159, noted:
The mere allegation an intentional tort was committed is not sufficient to warrant an award of punitive damages. (See Taylor v. Superior Court, supra, 24 Cal.3d 890, 894, citing Prosser, Law of Torts (4th ed. 1971) § 2, at pp. 9-10.) Not only must there be circumstances of oppression, fraud or malice, but facts must be alleged in the pleading to support such a claim. (G. D. Searle & Co. v. Superior Court (1975) 49 Cal.App.3d 22, 29 [122 Cal.Rptr. 218].)Id. at 166. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Moreover, courts have also recognized that the requirements of Civil Code § 3294 (b) must also be pled factually to properly state a punitive damage claim against an employer/corporation:
” … we fail to see how any of those allegations sets forth facts to show Hospital’s advance knowledge, authorization or ratification. Also, absent from the complaint is any assertion an officer, director or managing agent of Hospital was personally responsible for any of the acts allegedly performed by Hospital.” Grieves v. Superior Court (1984) 157 Cal.App.3d 159, 167-168.
For all of the reasons set forth above, plaintiff has failed to properly allege recklessness, let alone malice oppression or fraud on the part of a Hospital employee or the requisite wrongful conduct on the part of an officer, director or managing agent of the Hospital. (See Part 9 of 9.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.