Malpractice Suit Filed After Sacramento Hospital Fails To Feed Elderly Patient, Part 8 of 9

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 also 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.)


A demurrer based on uncertainty will be sustained only where the defendant cannot reasonably determine what issues must be admitted or denied or what claims are directed against it. A demurrer for uncertainty is strictly construed, even where a complaint is in some respects uncertain, because ambiguities can be clarified under modern discovery procedures. (5 Witkin, Cal. Procedure (3d ed. 1985) Pleading, § 927, p. 364; 1 Weil & Brown, Civil Procedure Before Trial (The Rutter Group 1990) § 7:85, p. 7-23. See, Khoury v. Maly’s of California, Inc. (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 612, 616. A demurrer for uncertainty should be overruled where the facts alleged in the complaint are presumptively within the knowledge of the demurring party or ascertainable through discovery, or not dispositive of one or more causes of action. Khory, supra, at 616. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The complaint contains more than sufficient facts to apprise XYZ of the issues it is being asked to meet, including labeling each of the causes of action so that XYZ can tell to what it is responding and therefore, the uncertainty claims fail. See, Williams v. Beechnut Nutrition Corp. (1986) 185 Cal.App.3d, 135, 139, fn. 2. [ [U]nder our liberal pleading rules, where the complaint contains substantive factual allegations sufficiently apprising defendant of the issues it is being asked to meet, a demurrer for uncertainty should be overruled or plaintiff given leave to amend.]

When a demurrer is made upon the ground of uncertainty, XYZ was required to specify exactly how and why the pleading is uncertain and where such uncertainty appears. Good practice requires reference to page and line. See, Fenton v. Groveland Community Services Dist. (1982) 135 Cal.App.3d 797, 809. As noted in the treatise, California Practice Guide, Civil Procedure Before Trial, (TRG 2009) 7:88:1, page 7(1)-38, Although not specifically required by CRC 3.1230(a), a demurrer for uncertainty should refer by page and line number to the particular allegations or part of the pleading that is uncertain. Plaintiff should not have search or guess. (See Part 9 of 9.)

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

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