(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death/elder abuse case and its proceedings.)
Plaintiffs Cannot Establish the Necessary Elements of Their Wrongful Death Cause of Action Against The, As All Treatment Was Within the Standard of Care and Did Not Cause Mr. Ryan’s Death
The essential factual elements of plaintiffs’ negligence/wrongful death claim against the The are:
1. That the staff of Universal Medical Center was negligent;
2. That Mr. Ryan was harmed (i.e, he died); and
3. That the staff negligence was a substantial factor in causing Mr. Ryan’s death. (CACI No. 500.)
Once again, for purposes of this motion only, it will be presumed that Dr. Greene was either an employee or agent of The Medical Center. In other words, plaintiff must be able to establish that the staff at The Medical Center fell below the standard of care applicable to then in treating Mr. Ryan during his emergency room visit while he was in full cardiac arrest, and that such treatment was a substantial factor in causing Mr. Ryan’s death. Notably, the complaint is entirely devoid of any allegations of negligence against any staff member at The Medical Center; rather, the complaint merely alleges that Dr. Greene did not undertake all necessary measures to revive Mr. Ryan.
Plaintiffs allege that Dr. Greene was an agent or employee of The. While this is untrue and in fact disputed by Universal, for purposes of this motion only, it will be presumed that Dr. Greene was acting it the course and scope of some agency relationship with Universal. Thus, if plaintiffs cannot establish that his treatment of Mr. Ryan was negligent, and that his negligence was a substantial factor in causing Mr. Ryan’s death, then summary adjudication as to Universal is warranted. It should be noted that Dr. Greene is not represented by counsel for Universal, and summary adjudication of the negligence/wrongful death cause of action is not sought as to Dr. Greene via this motion.
Universal simply recognizes that, at this early stage in the litigation, there may be triable issues of fact regarding the agency issues alleged in the complaint. If, however, Universal demonstrates herein that there was no negligence in the treatment of Mr. Ryan, or that none of the treatment rendered to Mr. Ryan caused or contributed to his death, then it is irrelevant whether Dr. Greene was or was not an agent of Universal for purposes of this motion, as summary adjudication as to the wrongful death cause of action would be necessary in favor of Universal. (See Part 8 of 10.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.