Sacramento Family Files Wrongful Death Action Against Nursing Facility, Part 1 of 8

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this wrongful death case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC 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 personal injury case and its proceedings.)


At the outset of trial plaintiffs dismissed their negligence and certain other causes of action The action is currently proceeding on plaintiffs’ claims for elder abuse and wrongful death. Both of these causes of action are statutory in nature. Plaintiffs have now closed their case and the presentation of plaintiffs’ evidence to the jury is complete. In accordance with C.C.P. §630, the defendants now move for directed verdict as to both the elder abuse cause of action and the wrongful death cause of action on the basis that substantial evidence has not been presented which could support a verdict by the jury in favor of plaintiff on either of these remaining causes of action.

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

Directed Verdict Legal Standard

A motion for directed verdict, like a motion for non-suit, operates as a demurrer to the evidence. Hilllard v A.H. Robins, Co (1983) 148 Cal.App.3d 374, 394; Brassinga v City of Mountain View (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 195, 210. A directed verdict motion challenges the legal sufficiency of the opposing party’s evidence and whether such evidence can make out a prima face case for the claims asserted. See, County of Kern v Sparks (2007) 149 Cal.App 4th 11, 16.

A directed verdict should be granted when, giving the evidence presented by plaintiff all of the value to which it is legally entitled, and indulging legitimate inferences from that evidence in favor of the plaintiff, the court nonetheless determines plaintiff has not produced sufficient and substantial evidence to support a verdict in plaintiff’s favor. Magic Kitchen, LLC v Good Things International, Ltd (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1144, 1154; Wolf v Walt Disney Pictures & Television (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 1107, 1119.

Substantial evidence is evidence of ponderable legal significance, reasonable, credible and of solid value Kuhn v Department of General Services (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 1627, 1633. Substantial evidence, is not synonymous with any evidence. Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc v. Superior Court (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 864, 871, Instead, the evidence presented must be substantial proof of all the elements the law requires. Estate of Teed (1952) 112 Cal.App.2d 638, 644. (See Part 2 of 8.)

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

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