Wrongful Death Of Elderly Sacramento Woman At Nursing Facility Subject Of Lawsuit, Part 18 of 20

It is 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, UC 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 wrongful death case and its proceedings.)

Attorneys’ Fees And Costs

Under the Elder Abuse Act, plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and costs are a part of the damages award to the plaintiffs. Cal. Welf. & Instit. Code § 15657. Notably, attorneys’ fees under section 15657 are unilateral to the Elder Abuse victim, and may not be awarded to defendant. Id. The attorneys’ fees and costs incurred thus far in this case are substantial.

The actual number of hours spent in litigation is only a starting point for determining the amount of fees that will be awarded after trial. The hourly computer is known as the lodestar, which may be multiplied based on certain factors, including the novelty or difficulty of the questions presented and the skill of the prosecuting attorney; the extent to which the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys; the contingent nature of the fee; the importance of the litigation; delay in receiving attorneys’ fees; whether substantial time was devoted to the litigation; success in achieving the ultimate purpose of the litigation; and the reputation and professional standing of the prosecuting attorney. Serrano v. Priest, 20 Cal. 3d 25, 49 (1977). The facts here are well suited for a multiple of at least 1.5 to the attorneys’ fees in this case. See, id., (1.4 multiplier); Coalition for LA County Planning etc. Interest v. Board of Supervisors, 76 Cal. App. 3d 241, 251 (1977) (2.0 multiplier).

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

MICRA Does Not Apply To Elder Abuse Act Actions

A common question in elder abuse Lawsuits is: Does MICRA apply? ( MICRA, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975, refers to several statutes that restrict or place conditions upon causes of action and remedies directed at health care providers for professional negligence. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 364 [requiring 90-day notice prior to bringing lawsuit]; id., § 667.7 [permitting periodic payment of any judgment against the provider]; id., § 1295 [requiring a certain type of notice for providers’ mandatory arbitration provisions]; Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6146 [providing caps on attorney contingency fees]; Civ. Code, § 3333.1 [making admissible evidence of workers’ compensation or disability payments]; and id., § 3333.2 [providing a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages].) See Delaney v. Baker, 20 Cal. 4th 23, 28, fn. 2 (1999).) According to the California Supreme Court, the answer is no as elder abuse is separate and distinct from professional negligence. Covenant Care v. Superior Court, 32 Cal. 4th 771 (2004); Delaney v. Baker, 20 Cal. 4th 23 (1999). (See Part 19 of 20.)

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

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