Sacramento Pedestrian Seeks Punitive Damages For Brain Injury Accident, Part 8 of 9

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this traumatic brain injury case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Dr. Brown’s Reliance on Cases After Judgment or Verdict Is Misplaced – Plaintiff Need Not Prove That He Should Be Awarded Punitive Damages at The Pleadings Stage

Dr. Brown relies on Ebaugh v. Rabkin, (1972) 22 Cal.App.3d 891, and Nolin v. National Convenience Stores, Inc., (1979) 95 Cal.App.3d 279, which are not applicable to David Hall’s Complaint. Ebaugh concerned the reversal of a jury’s award of punitive damages because the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict for punitive damages against the employee and employer.

There was also prejudicial error because one of the jury instructions permitted punitive damages against the employer if it found the employee was acting in a willful, reckless or wanton manner without regard to the employer’s conduct in directing or ratifying the employee’s actions. Id. at .895-896. Nolin also involved affirming a jury verdict awarding punitive damages against an employer for the actions of an employee. Ebaugh and Nolin do not apply to this stage of the litigation since they were appeals of a jury verdict at trial. The standard for meeting the burden of proof to overturn a jury verdict is certainly different from the notice pleading requirements of California law.

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

Dr. Brown cites the following cases, all after judgment, verdict or nonsuit, which do not support granting her motion to strike since the cases do not concern the pleadings stage of litigation: Hasson v. Ford Motor Co. (1982) 32 Cal.3d 388; American Airlines, Inc. v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 1017; Cloud v. Casey (1999) 76 Cal.App.4th 895; Tomaselli, 25 Cal.App.4th 1269; Hoch v. Allied-Signal, Inc. (.1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 48; Mock v. Michigan Millers Mutual Ins. Co. (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 306; Cyrus, 65 Cal.App.3d 306; Roth, 185 Cal.App.2d 676; Fick, 98 Cal.App.2d 683; Spencer v. San Francisco Brick Co. (1907) 5 Cal.App. 127.

Since Plaintiff is clearly entitled to seek punitive damages against Dr. Brown under Cal. Civ. Code § 3294, and has pled facts sufficient to allege that Dr. Brown acted in a maimer that justifies a punitive damages award, her motion to strike Paragraph 39 and the prayer for punitive damages is not sound. (See Part 9 of 9.)

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

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