(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 Violation of the Patients Bill of Rights Is Well Pled
In their second cause of action, Plaintiffs made a claim for violation of the Patient Bill of Rights set from in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 72527. Section 72527 provides that [p]atients have the rights enumerated in this section and the facility shall ensure that these rights are not violated … and it specifically enumerates some 25 patient’s rights, including the right to be free from abuse. However, there is not limitation set forth in Section 72527 that suggests that a cause of action lies only where the State has taken action and the action has not been corrected as suggested by Defendants. (Demurrer 8:20 – 25.)
In fact, Section 72527(b) provides, [a] patient’s rights, as set forth above, may only be denied or limited if such denial or limitation is otherwise authorized by law. Reasons for denial or limitation of such rights shall be documented in the patient’s health record. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
In contrast, the statute cited by Defendants is Health & Safety Code Section 1417 et seq., also known as the Long-Term Care, Health, Safety, and Security Act of 1973 (hereafter the Long Term Care Act ). The intent of the Long Term Care Act was to establish a citation system for the imposition of civil sanctions by the State against long-term health care facilities in violation of state and federal laws and regulations. There is nothing in the Long Term Care Act that limits a patient’s rights under Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 72527.
In fact, Section 1430(b) of the Long Term Care Act specifically permits elder abuse victims to assert their Section 72527 claims, (a) current or former resident or patient of a skilled nursing facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1250, or intermediate care facility, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 1250, may bring a civil action against the licensee of a facility who violates any rights of the resident or patient as set forth in the Patients Bill of Rights in Section 72527 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, or any other right provided for by federal or state law or regulation.
Plaintiffs’ Claim for Concealment Is Well Pled
In support of their concealment cause of action, Plaintiffs’ alleged, among other things, in their FAC that: (1) Defendants were entrusted with the care of Abbey; (2) Defendants had an affirmative duty to disclose to Abbey and her family all changes in her mental or physical condition; (3) Defendants had affirmative obligations to report any and all changes in Abbey’s condition to her physician; (4) Defendants engaged in false charting, a form of concealment in that Defendants concealed the true facts from Abbey, her family, her doctor, and the community, all in an attempt to conceal their wrongful acts and neglect; (5) Defendants failed to report Abbey’s dehydration; (6) rather than report Abbey’s dehydration, Defendants concealed the true facts from Abbey, her family, and her physicians; and (7) it was the admitting physician at Kaiser Hospital who documented and reported Abbey’s dehydration, neglect, and abuse. (FAC, paras. 76 – 87.) (See Part 12 of 12.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Related blog post: Nursing Facility Patient Dies Despite Sacramento Family’s Pleas For Help