(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.
Defendants Have Improperly Interjected New Facts in Their Demurrer
Defendants assert in their Demurrer that Abbey had severe co-morbidities which included Parkinson’s and dementia, which specifically prevented her own ability to eat. (Demurrer 6:7 – 9.) Those claims by Defendants are not supported by the facts set forth in the FAC. Defendants repeated references of Abbey’s “co-morbidity” (i.e., the coexistence of two or more disease processes) is nothing more than a red herring and appears an attempt to suggest that because Abbey had Parkinson’s and dementia then she must have been near death. That is simply untrue.
Rather, in paragraphs 30 and 31 of the FAC, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants should have been aware of the serious risks associated with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) since Abbey had Parkinson’s and the skilled nursing facility and its nurses needed to carefully monitor her swallowing abilities. They did not, which failure was a clear breach of the applicable standard of care of care. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Defendants also state, “glaringly,” plaintiffs simply gloss over the fact that Ms. Albert had several significant co-morbidities, but attempt to articulate that she was relatively healthy. (Demurrer 6:26 – 28.) Defendants again attempt to direct the focus outside of the FAC.
However, in their FAC, Plaintiffs note upfront that Abbey suffered from Parkinson’s disease (that slowly took away her ability to move on her own), but there is no evidence to suggest that Parkinson’s has a negative impact on Abbey’s life expectancy (and an area of expert inquiry in any event). Plaintiffs then noted in their FAC that other than those medical issues (i.e., Abbey’s Parkinson’s and dementia), she was relatively healthy. (FAC, para. 24)
Clearly, when a care custodian neglects a vulnerable, elderly patient by failing to prevent their severe and fatal dehydration, that is elder abuse straight up. Accordingly, Defendant’s actions and omissions, as alleged in the FAC, were reckless, oppressive, and malicious and Defendants directly caused, or disregarded the high probability of causing, Abbey’s dehydration and death. (See Part 11 of 12.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.