(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this medical negligence case and its proceedings.)
It is also worth noting that situations similar to those described in this elder abuse 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.
Under the Elder Abuse Act, “Neglect” Constitutes Abuse of an Elder
The purpose Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15610.07 (which is part of the broader legislation commonly referred to as “the Elder Abuse Act” aka “EADACPA”) is essentially to protect the elderly, a particularly vulnerable portion of our society, from gross mistreatment in the form of abuse and custodial neglect. Delaney v. Baker (1999) 20 Cal.4th 23, 33. The Elder Abuse Act provides that “[a]buse of an elder” means either: (a) Physical abuse, neglect, … abandonment, … or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering; or (b) the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
“Neglect” is Broadly Defined in the Elder Abuse Act
The statutory definition of neglect is set forth in Section 15610.57(b) of the Elder Abuse Act, which provides that [n]eglect includes, but is not limited to, all the following: (1) failure to assist in personal hygiene or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter; (2) failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs; failure to protect from health and safety hazards; or (3) failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration, (Emphasis added.)
Similarly, the CACI Jury Instructions pertaining to Elder Abuse actions mirror Section 15610.57(b) by providing that an elder establishes a claim for neglect against a care provider under the Elder Abuse Act once he/she shows that the defendant failed to use the degree of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would have used. (See CACI No. 3104.) This elder abuse jury instruction then describes 4 common (but not exclusive) grounds of neglect: (1) failing to assist in personal hygiene or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter; (2) failing to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs; failing to protect plaintiff from health and safety hazards; (3) failing to prevent malnutrition or dehydration; and (4) other grounds for neglect. Id. (See Part 5 of 12.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.