This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/18/2020 at 07:19:45 (UTC).

JIMI MCDANOUGH FURLANO ET AL VS CANYON RIDGE HOSPITAL INC

Case Summary

On 05/02/2018 JIMI MCDANOUGH FURLANO filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CANYON RIDGE HOSPITAL INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS and MAURICE A. LEITER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4785

  • Filing Date:

    05/02/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MARC D. GROSS

MAURICE A. LEITER

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

SCHICKEDANZ JENNIFER (SUCCESSOR)

SCHICKENDANZ JENNIFER (INDIVIDUALLY)

FURLANO JIMI MCDANOUGH

SCHICKEDANZ JENNIFER

MCDANOUGH FURLANO JIMI

SCHICKEDANZ JENNIFER (SUCCESSOR IN INTE)

SCHICKEDANZ JENNIFER SUCCESSOR IN INTE

SCHICKENDANZ JENNIFER INDIVIDUALLY

Defendants, Respondents and Not Classified By Court

LIVE LIFE

LIVELIFE24/7

DESHMUKH M.D. MUKUND

CANYON RIDGE HOSPITAL INC.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL

PACIFIC ASIAN COUNSELING SERVICES

LIFE247

DOES 1-50 INCLUSIVE

RONDEAU CHRISTOPHER

DOES 1-50

DESHMUKH MUKUND M.D.

Other

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT

9 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

JOHNSON GREGORY L.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

CREASON TCKER ALEXANDER LLP

HALL PRANGLE & SCHOONVELD LLC

BRANDMAYER KENT T. ESQ.

CREASON JAMES A.

BRANDMEYER KENT T.

WEBSTER KENNETH M.

MONROY JON F.

MONROY JON F. ESQ.

TUCKER JEFFREY

 

Court Documents

Brief - BRIEF CANYON RIDGE HOSPITAL'S INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE BRIEF

9/28/2020: Brief - BRIEF CANYON RIDGE HOSPITAL'S INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE BRIEF

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [NOTICE OF REJECTION OF ELECTRONIC FILING]

9/9/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [NOTICE OF REJECTION OF ELECTRONIC FILING]

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF COLETTE BERNARD IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITIONS

7/20/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF COLETTE BERNARD IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITIONS

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

7/20/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Separate Statement

7/20/2020: Separate Statement

Notice - NOTICE EXHIBIT A PART 4 IN SUPPORT OF CANYON RIDGE MSJ

7/29/2020: Notice - NOTICE EXHIBIT A PART 4 IN SUPPORT OF CANYON RIDGE MSJ

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BY DEFENDANT CANYON RI...)

4/28/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BY DEFENDANT CANYON RI...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC))

2/25/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC))

Request for Dismissal

1/15/2020: Request for Dismissal

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING DEFE...)

1/8/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING DEFE...)

Notice - NOTICE OF INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

12/3/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES O REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE, FROM DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH

10/22/2019: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES O REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE, FROM DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER

10/22/2019: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER

Declaration - DECLARATION DENISE ROUND, RN IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CANYON RIDGE HOSPITAL, INC.'S MOTION ON FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

7/5/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DENISE ROUND, RN IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CANYON RIDGE HOSPITAL, INC.'S MOTION ON FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Summons - on First Amended Complaint

5/29/2018: Summons - on First Amended Complaint

Minute Order - Minute Order (Status Conference)

10/22/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (Status Conference)

ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

7/31/2018: ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint -

6/22/2018: Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint -

182 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/26/2021
  • Hearing04/26/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department A at 200 West Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 90220; Jury Trial

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  • 04/19/2021
  • Hearing04/19/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department A at 200 West Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 90220; Final Status Conference

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  • 11/05/2020
  • Hearing11/05/2020 at 09:00 AM in Department A at 200 West Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 90220; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 10/15/2020
  • Docketat 2:00 PM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Informal Discovery Conference (IDC) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 10/13/2020
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 10/08/2020
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Sanctions - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketOrder (Granting Summary Judgment on behalf of Defendant, Mukund Deshmukh, M.D.); Filed by MUKUND M.D. DESHMUKH (Defendant)

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  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([Notice of Rejection of Electronic Filing]); Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/01/2020
  • DocketDeclaration (of Jeffrey D. Tucker, Esq., of Summary of Response to the Proposed Order to Grant Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendant, Mukundh Deshmukh, M.D.); Filed by MUKUND M.D. DESHMUKH (Defendant)

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  • 09/30/2020
  • Docketat 2:00 PM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Informal Discovery Conference (IDC) - Held

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286 More Docket Entries
  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Jimi McDanough Furlano (Plaintiff); Jennifer Schickendanz (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketDeclaration OF JENNIFER SCHICKEDANZ

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Jimi McDanough Furlano (Plaintiff); JIMI MCDANOUGH FURLANO (Plaintiff); JENNIFER SCHICKEDANZ (Plaintiff) et al.

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Jimi McDanough Furlano (Plaintiff); JIMI MCDANOUGH FURLANO (Plaintiff); JENNIFER SCHICKEDANZ (Plaintiff) et al.

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by Jimi McDanough Furlano (Plaintiff); Jennifer Schickendanz (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketComplaint

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketDeclaration (OF JENNIFER SCHICKEDANZ ); Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketSummons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC704785    Hearing Date: September 03, 2020    Dept: A

# 11. Jimi Furlano, et al. v. Canyon Ridge Hospital, Inc., et al.

Case No.: BC704785

Matter on calendar for: Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication (x3)

Tentative ruling:

  1. Background

    This wrongful death and dependent adult neglect action is brought by Jimi Furlano, by and through his mother and successor in interest, Jennifer Schickedanz. Schickedanz also sues individually. Furlano was admitted involuntarily to defendant Canyon Ridge Hospital, Inc., on May 1, 2017 with schizophrenia and suicidal ideations. While at Canyon Ridge, Furlano was in the care of defendant Mukund Deshmukh, M.D., a psychiatrist.

    Schickedanz asked Canyon Ridge to petition for a conservatorship. She was told by staff members that Furlano did not qualify because he was a resident of Los Angeles County, not San Bernardino County where Canyon Ridge was located. On May 3, 2017 Schickedanz turned to Malik Tate, LCSW, who worked for defendant Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (“DMH”). Tate advised Schickedanz to apply for a referral to DMH’s Assisted Outpatient Treatment, Los Angeles program (“AOT”). The AOT program serves seriously mentally ill individuals who are at risk of deteriorating or who qualify for involuntary holds. The AOT program accepted the application and directed Tate and Dr. Keyondria Bunch to evaluate Furlano for an involuntary hold the day of his discharge, May 16, 2017. They determined Furlano did not meet the criteria for an involuntary hold, and instead offered him the voluntary services of the AOT program.

    Defendant Pacific Asian Counsel Services (“PACS”), which participates in the AOT program, was contacted on May 16, 2017. The AOT program directed that PACS provide AOT services to Furlano. Those services include a therapist, a case manager, a parent partner, a psychiatrist, financial support, housing, and transportation to medical and mental health appointments. PACS arranged for Furlano to stay at defendant Live Life, an unlocked supportive living facility. When it arranged his housing, PACS knew Furlano was an AOT referral, but it was not aware of the specifics of his condition.

    After Furlano’s discharge from Canyon Ridge, Tate and Dr. Bunch transported him to Live Life. PACS Program Manager Casey Huynh arrived and conducted a partial mental health assessment. Furlano was shown around the facility and its rules were explained. Tate, Dr. Bunch, and Huynh then left. Shortly thereafter, at 6 p.m., Furlano went for an unsupervised walk. His body was found on the train tracks less than 200 feet from Live Life.

    The First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) alleges the following causes of action:

  1. Dependent adult neglect (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 15600 et seq.), and

  2. Wrongful Death.

    Currently before the Court are three motions:

  1. Deshmukh’s motion for summary judgment or in the alternative, summary adjudication,

  2. DMH’s motion for summary judgment, and

  3. PACS’s motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication.

Plaintiffs oppose the motions.

  1. Standard

    A “motion for summary judgment shall be granted if all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” (C.C.P., § 437c(c).) "A moving party need only show it is entitled to the benefit of a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence in order to shift the burden of proof to the opposing party to show there are triable issues of fact. [Security Pac. Nat. Bank v. Associated Motor Sales (1980) 106 Cal.App.3d 171, 178–179.]" (Alvarez v. Seaside Transportation Services LLC (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 635, 644.) Once the moving party has met its burden of demonstrating that there is no triable issue as to any material fact, the opposing party cannot rest upon the mere allegations of the pleadings but must present admissible evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Company (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 844.) “In ruling on the motion, the court must consider all of the evidence and all of the inferences reasonably drawn therefrom… and must view such evidence… in the light most favorable to the opposing party.” (Id. at 844-845; C.C.P., § 437c(p)(2).) “A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (C.C.P., § 437c(f)(1).)

  2. Analysis

    1. Deshmukh’s motion for summary judgment or adjudication

      1. Evidentiary objections and judicial notice

“In granting or denying a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, the court need rule only on those objections to evidence that it deems material to its disposition of the motion. Objections to evidence that are not ruled on for purposes of the motion shall be preserved for appellate review.” (C.C.P., § 437c(q).) Plaintiffs’ objections 1–5 and Deshmukh’s objections 1–47 are not material to the disposition of this motion.

On reply, Deshmukh seeks judicial notice of 27 items. Most of these items are interpretations of various Welfare & Institutions Code sections. However, numbers 1–6 are purported facts in this case. Deshmukh may not add additional evidence on reply; the request for judicial notice is denied. (San Diego Watercrafts, Inc. v. Wells Fargo Bank. N.A. (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 308, 316.) In any event, the requested facts are immaterial to the disposition of this motion.

      1. Immunity under Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, Welfare and Institutions Code §§ 5000 et seq. (“LPS Act”)

“ ‘Under the LPS Act, a person who is dangerous or gravely disabled due to a mental disorder may be detained for involuntary treatment. However, in accordance with the legislative purpose of preventing inappropriate, indefinite commitments of mentally disordered persons, such detentions are implemented incrementally. [Citation.] Further, these involuntary placements can be terminated before the expiration of the commitment period. Thus, the LPS Act assures a person properly detained of an opportunity for early release. [Citation.] [ ] However, the LPS Act also recognizes that the early release of involuntarily committed patients can pose a risk of harm to others. The evaluation and treatment of mentally disordered persons is inherently uncertain and cannot reliably predict future conduct. Nevertheless, the Legislature determined that the act’s goal of ending indefinite confinements outweighed the early release potential for harm. Consequently, as a corollary to the early release provisions, the LPS Act exempts specified persons from civil or criminal liability. [Citation.]’ [Ford v. Norton (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 974, 979.]” (Bragg v. Valdez (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 421, 429.)

Deshmukh argues he is immune from liability under Welfare & Institutions Code § 5259.3 subdivisions (a) and (b). (Mtn., at 15.)

The following facts are undisputed:

Plaintiffs argue Deshmukh is not entitled to immunity because he did not discharge Furlano in good faith, and immunity does not apply to improper discharge planning. Additionally, plaintiffs argue there are triable issues of material fact because: (1) Deshmukh failed to realize that Furlano was gravely disabled at the time of discharge; (2) Deshmukh failed to realize Furlano was a candidate for conservatorship; (3) Furlano was prematurely discharged without an adequate discharge plan and placed in an inadequate boarding situation; (4) referral to conservatorship or a safe discharge plan would have prevented Furlano’s suicide; and (5) defendants had a financial incentive to not recommend conservatorship. (Opp. at 2.)

      1. Section 5259.3(a)

Section 5259.3(a) provides:

Notwithstanding Section 5113, if the provisions of Section 5257 have been met, the professional person in charge of the facility providing intensive treatment, his or her designee, . . . shall not be held civilly or criminally liable for any action by a person released before the end of 14 days pursuant to this article.

(Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5259.3(a).)

Plaintiffs focus on the clause “if the provisions of Section 5257 have been met...” Section 5257(a) states, in pertinent part:

During the period of intensive treatment pursuant to Section 5250 or 5270.15, the person's involuntary detention shall be terminated and the person shall be released only if the psychiatrist directly responsible for the person's treatment believes, as a result of the psychiatrist's personal observations, that the person certified no longer is, as a result of mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism, a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled.

(Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5257(a)) Plaintiffs argue that immunity for the decision to release under section 5259.3(a) should not apply because Deshmukh did not evaluate Furlano in good faith. According to plaintiffs, Deshmukh hoped to avoid the cost of further confinement; they point to Canyon Ridge’s low recertification percentages to suggest Deshmukh tried to save money by refusing to pursue conservatorships or recertifications.

Section 5259.3(a) does not apply here, but for a different reason. On its face, it applies to actions by a person “released before the end of 14 days…” Furlano was not released before the end of 14 days. We turn to Section 5259.3(b).

      1. Section 5259.3(b)

Section 5259.3(b) states, in relevant part:

The professional person in charge of the facility providing intensive treatment . . . the psychiatrist directly responsible for the person’s treatment, or the psychologist shall not be held civilly or criminally liable for any action by a person released at the end of the 14 days pursuant to this article.

This subsection applies to the situation here: the actions of a person released at the end of the 14-day period. But this subsection does not include the limiting phrase found in subsection (a): “if the provisions of Section 5257 have been met.” On the plain language of the statute, whether Deshmukh acted in good faith at the end of the 14-day period is not relevant to the issue of immunity.

Plaintiffs first suggest that the Court should construe subsection (b) to include the good faith requirement found in subsection (a). The Court declines to do so. In Coburn v. Sievert (2005) 133 Cal.App.4th 1483, the Court of Appeal analyzed sections 5152 and 5154, which are the 72-hour immunity sections analogous to sections 5259.3 and 5257. The Court found that the Legislature’s decision to impose a good faith requirement with regard to early release, and to allow broader immunity thereafter, was consistent the purpose of the LPS Act “to end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons’ [Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5001(a)].” (Id. at 1504.) Similarly, this Court finds no basis to inject a good faith requirement into subsection 5259.3(b).

Plaintiffs next argue that immunity under section 5259.3(b) only protects physicians from liability for premature discharge, not for the failure to provide proper discharge planning. For this argument they rely on Jacobs v. Grossmont Hospital (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 69, and Gonzalez v. Paradise Valley Hospital (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 735.

Gonzalez involved a patient who escaped from a 72-hour hold, broke into an occupied apartment, cut himself, and was shot by police when he disobeyed an order to drop the knife. (Gonzalez, supra, 111 Cal.App.4th at 738.) Jacobs involved a patient who broke her leg while a nurse was assisting her down a hallway; the patient fell because of her rubber slippers. (Jacobs, supra, 108 Cal.App.4th at 72.) The Coburn court distinguished both Jacobs and Gonzalez, however, because those cases relied on section 5278, not section 5154. (Coburn, supra, 133 Cal.App.4th at 1502.) Section 5278 does not excuse liability “for any action by a person released,” critical language contained in section 5154 and here, in section 5259.3. (Ibid.)

Plaintiffs argue that Deshmukh failed to diagnose Furlano, failed to properly treat him, and/or failed to release him in a manner that would have been adequate had Furlano been properly diagnosed and treated. In essence, plaintiffs argue Deshmukh failed to prevent Furlano’s subsequent actions. But such a scenario is within the plain language of section 5259.3(b). As the Court noted in Ford: “The evaluation and treatment of mentally disordered persons is inherently uncertain and cannot reliably predict future conduct. Nevertheless, the Legislature determined that the acts goal of ending indefinite confinements outweighed the early release potential for harm. Consequently, as a corollary to the early release provisions, the LPS Act exempts specified persons from civil or criminal liability. [Citation.]” (Ford, supra, 89 Cal.App.4th at 979.)

Deshmukh has met his initial burden of showing he is immune from liability under section 5259.3(b). Plaintiffs fail to raise a triable issue of material fact as to immunity. The motion for summary judgment is granted.

    1. DMH’s motion for summary judgment

      1. Evidentiary objections

Plaintiffs’ objections 1–3 are not material to the disposition of this motion. DMH’s objection to Kathy Smith’s affidavit is overruled. Affidavits may be submitted as evidence on motions for summary judgment. (C.C.P., § 437c(d).)

      1. Merits

DMH argues it is immune under Government Code § 856(a), which states:

(a) Neither a public entity nor a public employee acting within the scope of his employment is liable for any injury resulting from determining in accordance with any applicable enactment:

(1) Whether to confine a person for mental illness or addiction.

(2) The terms and conditions of confinement for mental illness or addiction.

(3) Whether to parole, grant a leave of absence to, or release a person confined for mental illness or addiction.

(b) A public employee is not liable for carrying out with due care a determination described in subdivision (a).

(c) Nothing in this section exonerates a public employee from liability for injury proximately caused by his negligent or wrongful act or omission in carrying out or failing to carry out:

(1) A determination to confine or not to confine a person for mental illness or addiction.

(2) The terms or conditions of confinement of a person for mental illness or addiction.

(3) A determination to parole, grant a leave of absence to, or release a person confined for mental illness or addiction.

DMH relies primarily on the declarations of Tate and Dr. Bunch. Tate discusses his initial contact with Schickedanz on May 3, 2017 and his advice to her to apply to the AOT program. (Decl. Tate, ¶ 4.) The AOT program directed plaintiffs to Canyon Ridge on the day of Furlano’s discharge, to evaluate him under section 5150’s involuntary-hold criteria. (Id. at ¶ 5.) Finding he did not qualify for a hold, Canyon Ridge encouraged him to accept voluntary services. (Id. at ¶ 16; Decl. Bunch, ¶ 11.) They then transported him to Live Life. (Decl. Bunch, ¶ 7.)

DMH focuses on the cases of McDowell v. County of Alameda (1979) 88 Cal.App.3d 321 and Johnson v. County of Ventura (1994) 29 Cal.App.4th 1400. In McDowell, Gregory Jones was taken to Highland Hospital by his manager after he began acting strangely. (McDowell v. County of Alameda (1979) 88 Cal.App.3d 321, 324.) The defendants determined Jones was suffering from a mental disorder and, absent treatment, was a danger to himself and others. (Ibid.) After learning Jones was insured via a Kaiser Health Plan, defendants called Kaiser Foundation Hospital and requested it send an ambulance, but Kaiser refused. (Ibid.) Defendants sent Jones in a taxicab, but he never arrived. Two days later, he shot and killed John McDowell. (Ibid.) McDowell’s survivors filed suit alleging the defendants, including the County of Alameda (Highland Hospital), were negligent in failing to transport Jones by means which would assure his arrival at Kaiser and thus their negligence proximately caused John McDowell’s death. (Ibid.)

Addressing immunity under Government Code § 856(a), the McDowell court held: “The scope of the immunity is broad. ‘[It] extends not only to the final determination to confine or not to confine the person for mental illness, but to all determinations involved in the process of commitment.’ [Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California, (1976) 17 Cal.3d 425, 448.]” (McDowell, supra, 88 Cal.App.3d at 326.) “By sending Jones in public transportation to another hospital, rather than retaining him at Highland Hospital, respondents did not confine Jones. Whether or not we agree with respondents’ decision is immaterial, for section 856 provides absolute immunity to respondents’ determination to confine or not to confine.” (Id. at 327.)

In Johnson, Kevin Kolodziej was admitted to Ventura County Medical Center for self-inflicted stab wounds. (Johnson, supra, 29 Cal.App.4th at 1404.) He suffered from psychiatric disorders; he was to be held under Welfare & Institutions Code 5150 after he was treated for his stab wounds. (Ibid.) Before fully recovering from his stab wounds, he walked out of the hospital into an adjacent neighborhood and broke into several homes. (Ibid.) Kolodziej was located by police officers, but they determined he did not represent a danger to himself or others. He promised to walk back to the hospital, so they allowed him to do so on his own. Minutes later he broke into 90-year-old Velasta Johnson’s home and stabbed her to death. (Ibid.) Her family members filed a wrongful death action alleging the County was negligent in carrying out the plan to “confine” Kolodziej and that it used inadequate facilities and personnel to care for him. (Ibid.)

The Johnson court found that the County was not negligent in carrying out its plan to “confine” Kolodziej because the decision to place him on an LPS hold after he recovered “was one of the intermediate ‘. . . determinations involved in the process of commitment. [Citation.]’ [Tarasoff, supra, 17 Cal.3d at 448.]” (Johnson, supra, 29 Cal.App.4th at 1410.) The court rejected plaintiffs’ argument that the County was liable under subdivision (c) for negligently carrying out a decision to confine, because the limitation applies to public employees, not public entities. (Id. at 1409.)

Here, plaintiffs argue their suit is based not on DMH’s failure to confine Furlano, but on DMH’s failure to connect Furlano with suitable housing and resources. (Opp., at 7.) This characterization is unpersuasive. Plaintiffs’ experts, Paul Barkopoulous, M.D., and Colette Bernard, MSW, state Furlano was gravely disabled and that an unlocked board and care facility did not meet the standard of care. (Decl. Barkopoulous, ¶¶ 15(A), 18(A); Decl. Bernard, ¶¶ 9(A), 11.) Plaintiffs’ allegations go directly to the issue of whether Furlano needed to be confined to prevent his suicide.

As to the legal standard, plaintiffs’ reliance on Regents of University of California v. Superior Court (2018) 29 Cal.App.5th 890 (Opp. at 7), is misplaced. Regents involved a UCLA student, Damon Thompson, who began experiencing hallucinations and paranoia. (Regents, supra, 29 Cal.App.5th at 895.) He was diagnosed with possible schizophrenia and was treated through the university. (Ibid.) Six months later he attacked a fellow student, Katherine Rosen, with a kitchen knife in the chemistry laboratory. (Ibid.) Rosen suffered life-threatening injuries but survived. (Ibid.) Rosen filed suit against “the Regents of the University of California and several UCLA employees who had knowledge of Thompson’s mental condition. [fn. omitted.]” (Id. at 897.) The court ruled Rosen’s negligence claim was not barred by section 856 because it did not challenge a decision on confinement, but on the “allegedly negligent behavior the university engaged in with respect to Thompson, including the failure to refer Thompson to the Violence Prevention Team, or to employ many of the other intervention techniques that were available to the school under its existing policies and procedures.” (Id. at 914.)

Regents is inapplicable here. First, unlike McDowell and Johnson, but similar to Tarasoff, Regents involved the special relationship between a university and its students.[1] Second, the limitations on Government Code § 856(a)’s immunity, found in subdivisions (b) and (c) apply to public employees only. DMH is a public entity not subject to these limitations. (See Johnson, supra, 29 Cal.App.4th, 1409.)

DMH has met its burden of showing no triable issue of material fact as to its immunity under Government Code § 856(a). Plaintiffs fail to raise a triable issue of material fact as to immunity. The motion for summary judgment is granted.

    1. PACS’s motion for summary judgment or adjudication

      1. Evidentiary objections

Plaintiffs’ objections 1–2 are not material to the disposition of this motion. PACS’s objection to the affidavit of Kathy Smith is overruled; affidavits may be submitted for consideration on motions for summary judgment. (C.C.P., § 437c(d).)

      1. Merits

PACS argues it is entitled to immunity under Welfare & Institutions Code § 5278, which states:

Individuals authorized under this part to detain a person for 72-hour treatment and evaluation pursuant to . . . shall not be held either criminally or civilly liable for exercising this authority in accordance with the law.

Courts have interpreted “in accordance with the law” to require “probable cause” before an individual may be detained. (Jacobs, supra, 108 Cal.App.4th at 74.)

The following pertinent facts are undisputed:

Plaintiffs make similar arguments concerning the application of section 5278 immunity to PACS as they do with respect to Government Code § 586(a). Specifically, plaintiffs argue they seek to hold PACS liable for its failure “to exercise due diligence to connect Mr. Furlano with appropriate housing services, as he was being discharged from the hospital and the failure to communicate and coordinate care at Live Life. [fn. omitted.]” (Opp. at 8.)

This is unpersuasive for the same reasons discussed above: plaintiffs are seeking to hold PACS liable for its decision not to detain Furlano. This decision is immune from liability under section 5278.

PACS has met its prima facie burden of showing no triable issue of material fact as to immunity under section 5278. Plaintiffs have failed to raise a triable issue of material fact. The motion for summary judgment is granted.

  1. Ruling

    The motions for summary judgment are granted.

    Next dates:

    Notice:


[1] In fact, the special relationship between university and its students was established in that case by the Supreme Court in Regents of University of California v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 607. Plaintiffs’ citation is to the Court of Appeal’s decision on remand.

Case Number: BC704785    Hearing Date: August 04, 2020    Dept: A

# 4. Jimi Furlano, et al. v. Canyon Ridge Hospital, Inc., et al.

Case No.: BC704785

Matter on calendar for: Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication (x4)

Tentative ruling:

Plaintiff Jimi Furlano (suing by and through his mother, Jennifer Schickedanz) was involuntarily admitted to defendant Canyon Ridge Hospital, Inc., on May 1, 2016, due to schizophrenia and suicidal ideations. While at Canyon Ridge, Furlano was in the care of defendant Mukund Deshmukh, M.D.

Furlano was discharged on May 16, 2017. Staff from defendants Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (“DMH”) and Pacific Asian Counseling Services (“PACS”) arranged the transportation of Furlano to defendant Live Life, a supportive living program that contracts with DMH. The day before discharge, Schickedanz allegedly was assured that Furlano would be transported to a different facility, Penn Mar Therapeutic Center.

The complaint alleges that at the group home Furlano was left unsupervised and without access to ongoing psychiatric services and medication management. He left the facility within an hour of admission, walked to nearby train tracks, and lay down on the tracks. He was run over by a train. His death was ruled a suicide.

The First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) alleges the following causes of action:

  1. Dependent adult neglect (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 15600 et seq.), and

  2. Wrongful Death.

    Currently before the Court are four motions:

  1. Canyon Ridge’s motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication;

  2. DMH’s motion for summary judgment;

  3. Deshmukh’s motion for summary judgment or in the alternative, summary adjudication; and

  4. PACS’s motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication.

Plaintiffs oppose the motions.

The Court finds as follows: