(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.
Plaintiffs’ Claim for NIED Is Well Pled
Negligent infliction of emotional distress (“NIED”) as a cause of action is especially useful in nursing home cases because the cause of action belongs to the resident’s individual family members and is not part of the survival action or the wrongful death action. California Elder Law Litigation: An Advocate’s Guide (Cal CEB 2005). Section 2.64.2 of the treatise provides,
“In direct victim cases, the plaintiff need not personally observe the negligent conduct, but the defendant must owe a duty of care directly to the plaintiff who claims the emotional distress, not just to the patient or other individual who is physically injured, [citations]. One can argue that a nursing home has a direct duty to a resident’s family to take good care of the resident as a service to the family, not just to the resident. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
A nursing home has a duty to a patient’s family members to notify them regarding changes in the patient’s condition, [citations] If a school district deliberately conceals from parents a known risk to a student, it usurps the parents’ prerogative to protect the child, and so is liable to the parents as direct victims when the child is injured, [citations] If a skilled nursing facility operator deliberately conceals from the patient or family members developing changes in the patient’s condition, a parallel argument can be made that the family’s prerogative to protect the patient has been usurped.”
Here, Plaintiffs have alleged that Defendants neglected a vulnerable, elderly patient to the point of her senseless death from lack of water, followed by thereafter failing to provide medical attention and/or treatment for her severe injuries, and then attempting to conceal those injuries (and further aggravating such injuries), which is definitely outrageous conduct. And, in light of Defendants duty to Abbey’s family members to notify them of any changes in her condition, and there total failure to do so (resulting in her death), Plaintiffs have stated a valid cause of action for NEID.
Defendants’ Demurrer is without merit and Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court overrule it.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.