It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical negligence 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.)
b. The Allegations Do No Support a Claim for NIED Based on a Bystander Witness Theory.
The third case relied on by Gillian Smith is Ochoa v. Superior Court, supra, 39 Cal.3d 159. Ochoa is a bystander witness case. Plaintiffs were the surviving parents of Rudy Ochoa, who as an inmate in the Santa Clara County juvenile hall. His parents visited him and found him extremely ill. The mother spoke with authorities, expressing concern that her son was not receiving necessary treatment. His mother was at his bedside and made repeated requests that her son receive medical treatment, including requesting that she be allowed to take him to a private physician. She remained at her son’s bedside. The son died.
The Supreme Court held that the mother could assert a cause of action for NIED as a bystander witness because she had personally witnessed the failure of the medical personnel at the juvenile hall to provide medical care to her son. The court further held that the father could not assert the claim because he had not witnessed the lack of care but had only been told of the situation by his wife. (See Part 6 of 6.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
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