Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Sacramento Nursing Facility, Part 5 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 personal injury case and its proceedings.)

While the XYZ Corporate Defendants have tried valiantly to insulate themselves from liability by erecting an ever changing, opaque corporate structure, one fact remains clear they own Universal Healthcare, Inc. Every penny of profit Universal Healthcare, Inc. earns goes to XYZ Healthcare California, Inc. which has one shareholder – XYZ Healthcare, Inc. Every penny that goes to XYZ Healthcare, Inc. rolls to its one shareholder, XYZ, Inc. Having reaped all of the benefits of Universal Healthcare, Inc., the XYZ Corporate Defendants cannot now turn tail when they are exposed to liability and pretend that they have nothing to do with Universal Healthcare’s operations.

Indeed, as is discussed below, the XYZ Corporate Defendants control the operations at Universal Healthcare, Inc. in fundamental ways and thus are directly liable for the reckless neglect that Ms. Hill suffered. They supervise the administrator, set the budget, and control the finances of the facility, among other things. Particularly noteworthy, the XYZ Corporate Defendants ultimately set the staffing budget for the facilities, which budget cuts staffing to the bone and, as discussed, was a substantial contributing factor to Universal’s reckless neglect of Ms. Hill in the aftermath of her fall on September 2.

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

Moreover, the fact that the XYZ Corporate defendants delegate patient care to third party employees within a separate corporate entity should not and does not insulate them from liability. See Textron Financial Corp. v. National Union Fire Ins. of Pittsburgh, 118 Cal. App. 4th 1061 (2004).

In Textron, plaintiff purchased a liability insurance policy from defendant National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh (National Union). Id. at 1067. The policy was issued through TRM International (TRM), a company that National Union appointed to solicit, bind, write, and administer policies for National Union’s commercial bus program. Id. Plaintiff ultimately sued National Union based on TRM’s alleged bad faith in denying an insurance claim. Id. at 1069. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff and awarded punitive damages to plaintiff against defendant National Union. Id.

On appeal, National Union argued that the punitive damages award was improper because TRM’s activity cannot be attributed to it, and it did not ratify TRM’s actions. Id. at 1079. The Court of Appeal disagreed. It found that, even though TRM was a separate and distinct legal entity, TRM was a managing agent of National Union because National Union gave TRM broad discretion over defendant’s bus insurance program. Id. at 1080. TRM was given the authority to solicit, bind, write and administer insurance policies and to exercise its independent judgment as to the time, place and manner of soliciting insurance and servicing policyholders. Id. This evidence rendered TRM National Union’s managing agent with respect to the bus insurance program. Id. (See Part 6 of 20.)

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

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