(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this elder abuse/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
Plaintiff Katy Smith’s Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Defendant Nationwide Hospital and Clinics’ Demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint
Defendant Nationwide Hospital demurrers to plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint on the basis that it fails to plead sufficient facts to support a claim for reckless neglect of an elder in violation of California’s Welfare & Institutions Code §15600 et seq.
Defendant’s demurrer is without merit and is of a type filed as a matter of course in virtually all elder abuse cases. Its principal purpose is to add a burden to plaintiffs bringing such cases which was not intended by the legislature. In point of fact, the legislature in §15600 of the Welfare & Institutions Code expressed as its purpose in enacting the Elder Abuse Statutes to encourage lawyers and others to take up the cause of the neglected elderly because representation had been difficult to obtain previously due to the vagaries of the law.
Plaintiff’s pleading in the case at bar is far more particular in its factual pleading than would be required under standard notice pleading rules. It alleges facts and includes specific charging allegations which if supported by evidence at trial would justify a verdict in plaintiff’s favor on a cause of action for reckless neglect of an elder.
Plaintiff is not required to plead every fact which might be ultimately proved at trial. Plaintiff’s duty is to plead specific facts sufficient to put the defendant on notice as to the particular nature of the claim and to support a verdict if ultimately proved. Plaintiff has done this. The demurrers should be overruled. (See Part 2 of 6.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.