The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice 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.
(Please also 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.)
C.C.P. §1281.4 provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
If a court of competent jurisdiction, whether in this state or not, has ordered arbitration of a controversy which is an issue involved in an action or proceeding pending before a court of this state, the court in which this action or proceeding is pending shall, upon motion of a party to such action or proceeding, stay the action or proceeding until arbitration is had in accordance with the order to arbitrate or until such earlier time as the court specified.
If the issue which is the controversy subject to arbitration is severable, the stay may be with respect to that issue only. C.C.P. § 1281.4. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
C.C.P. § 1281.4 is clear and unambiguous. Any party to a judicial proceeding is entitled to a stay of those proceedings whenever (1) the arbitration of a controversy has been ordered, and (2) that controversy is also an issue involved in the pending judicial action. Heritage Provider Network, Inc. v. Superior Court (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1146, 1152. A controversy can be a single question of law or fact, and a stay shall be issued upon proper motion if the court has ordered arbitration of a controversy that is also an issue involved in an action or proceeding pending before it. Id. It is irrelevant under the statute whether the movant is a party to the arbitration agreement. Id.
Here, although it is not a party to the arbitration agreement, JFK is entitled to a stay given that the issues involved in the JFK arbitration and the instant action are not severable. Hon. Lee has ordered that Plaintiff arbitrate his claims against JFK pursuant to their agreement. The controversy in arbitration, per the Second Amended Complaint for Damages, involves Plaintiff’s claims of elder abuse and negligence in connection with JFK’s failure to prevent the development and progression of his alleged pressure ulcers beginning in the fall 2007. This controversy is the issue in Plaintiff’s action against JFK as well, also as set forth in the Second Amended Complaint for Damages.
In paragraph 19 and 36 of the Second Amended Complaint for Damages, Plaintiff alleges that, while he was hospitalized at the defendants’ respective facilities, JFK and JFK failed to assess or monitor Plaintiff’s condition in order to prevent the development and/or progression of pressure ulcers. Further, in paragraphs 12 and 32, Plaintiff alleges that both JFK and JFK failed to provide his with the care, services, and equipment necessary to remedy the formation and progression of pressure ulcers. Also, in paragraphs 9, 16, 29, and 39, he alleges that defendants failed to comply with applicable laws and regulations with regard to providing for the needs of patients, including–with regard to JFK–the Medicare regulation that the development of pressure ulcers in an acute care hospital setting is a “preventable” event. Indeed, the allegations made in the Second Amended Complaint for Damages against both JFK and JFK Post Acute Care involve and arise out of the development and progression of the alleged pressures ulcers and related alleged injuries and damages pertaining to a course of care which commenced in the fall of 2007. (See part 4 of 4.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.