(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this elder abuse case and its proceedings.)
It is also 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, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Sutter, or any skilled nursing facility.
Civil Code §3294(b) provides:
(b) An employer shall not be liable for damages pursuant to subdivision (a), based upon acts of an employee of the employer, unless the employer had advance knowledge of the unfitness of the employee and employed him or her with a conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others or authorized or ratified the wrongful conduct for which the damages are awarded or was personally guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. With respect to a corporate employer, the advance knowledge and conscious disregard, authorization, ratification or act of oppression, fraud, or malice must be on the part of an officer, director, or managing agent of the corporation. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Therefore, to establish a violation of the Elder Abuse Act by a corporate employer, the plaintiff must plead and prove at only one of the following:
1. Defendant’s officer, director, or managing agent recklessly neglected plaintiff; or,
2. Defendant’s officer, director, or managing agent had advance knowledge of the unfitness of individual employees and employed him/her with a knowing disregard of the rights or safety of others; or
3. Defendant’s officer, director, or managing agent authorized the conduct of defendant’s employee(s); or
4. Defendant’s officer, director, or managing agent knew of the defendant’s employee(s)’s wrongful conduct and adopted or approved the conduct after it occurred. (CACI3105, W&I §15657(c) and Civil Code §3294(b)).
Plaintiff has pled facts of defendant’s ratification and authorization, and knowledge of the unfitness of its employees sufficiently to meet the standards of Civil Code §3294(b).
SUMMARY OF FACTS OF DEFENDANT’S RECKLESS NEGLECT
Decedent, Ian White, was admitted to National Hospital (“National”) in April 2006, for the removal of an esophageal tumor and subsequently re-admitted to National during May 2006 for a Laparoscopic procedure. After having been a patient at a convalescent facility, at which time he was placed on a strict pureed diet due to swallowing problems, plaintiff was transferred and re-admitted to National on September 14, 2006, due to shortness of breath, low blood pressure and suspected pneumonia. On September 15, 2006, Mr. White received a swallowing study that demonstrated a compromised swallowing capacity described as marginal at best. As a result of the swallowing studies, Defendant’s interdisciplinary staff implemented a Patient Care Plan requiring that at all times Mr. White required a mechanical puree fortified diet needed for his safety and wellbeing to prevent an aspiration incident, injury and possible death. The nursing staff violated all standards of practice, policies, procedures, the Patient Care Plan, physician orders and warnings from family members and friends that Mr. White should not be provided solid foods which could cause serious injuries or death. (See Part 3 of 10.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.