This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/05/2021 at 02:20:40 (UTC).

STEPHANIE GIBSON, AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF THELMA GARCIA VS RIVERA SANATARIUM, INC

Case Summary

On 06/12/2019 STEPHANIE GIBSON, AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF THELMA GARCIA filed a Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice lawsuit against RIVERA SANATARIUM, INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Norwalk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DANIEL M. CROWLEY. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0686

  • Filing Date:

    06/12/2019

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice

  • Courthouse:

    Norwalk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

DANIEL M. CROWLEY

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

GIBSON AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF THELMA GARCIA STEPHANIE

Defendant

RIVERA SANATARIUM INC DBA COLONIAL GARDENS NURSING HOME

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

ABRAMS MATTHEW E

SMITH DAWN MARIE

Defendant Attorney

ASIRYAN OKSANNA

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal - REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL AS TO THE ENTIRE ACTION WITH PREJUDICE

4/30/2021: Request for Dismissal - REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL AS TO THE ENTIRE ACTION WITH PREJUDICE

Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT - SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

12/23/2020: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT - SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

Order - ORDER HEARING OF 12/3/20

12/3/2020: Order - ORDER HEARING OF 12/3/20

Reply - REPLY OF RIVERA SANITARIUM, INC TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION TO STRIKE FAC

11/23/2020: Reply - REPLY OF RIVERA SANITARIUM, INC TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION TO STRIKE FAC

Request for Judicial Notice - REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDAT'S MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

10/6/2020: Request for Judicial Notice - REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDAT'S MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE; CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

7/29/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE; CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Case Management Statement

7/14/2020: Case Management Statement

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

6/12/2020: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER SETTING CASE FOR CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE AND T...) OF 06/18/2020

6/18/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER SETTING CASE FOR CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE AND T...) OF 06/18/2020

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER SETTING CASE FOR CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE AND T...)

6/18/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER SETTING CASE FOR CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE AND T...)

Reply - REPLY REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

4/14/2020: Reply - REPLY REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE

4/7/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE

Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

3/16/2020: Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

3/16/2020: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

Amended Complaint - 1ST AMENDED COMPLAINT

1/14/2020: Amended Complaint - 1ST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

12/26/2019: Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

6/12/2019: Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

Complaint

6/12/2019: Complaint

35 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/03/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 04/30/2021
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal (as to the Entire Action With Prejudice); Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/03/2021
  • Docketat 10:30 AM in Department F; Trial Setting Conference - Held

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  • 03/03/2021
  • Docketat 10:30 AM in Department F; Case Management Conference - Held

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  • 03/03/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference; Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/03/2021
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/03/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by RIVERA SANATARIUM, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by RIVERA SANATARIUM, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/11/2021
  • Docketat 10:30 AM in Department F; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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43 More Docket Entries
  • 01/14/2020
  • DocketAmended Complaint (1st); Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff); STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/26/2019
  • DocketDemurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Filed by RIVERA SANATARIUM, INC (Defendant)

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  • 12/26/2019
  • DocketDemurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Filed by RIVERA SANATARIUM, INC (Defendant)

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  • 11/15/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([PI General Order] and Standing Order re PI Procedures and Hearing Dates); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketPI General Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/12/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/12/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/12/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE of THELMA GARCIA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/12/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCV20686    Hearing Date: December 03, 2020    Dept: C

GIBSON v. RIVERA SANATARIUM, INC.

CASE NO.: 19STCV20686

HEARING: 12/03/2020

#

TENTATIVE ORDER

I. Defendant RIVERA SANITARIUM, INC.’s demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint is SUSTAINED with 20 days leave to amend in part, and OVERRULED in part. C.C.P. § 430.10(e).

II. Defendant RIVERA SANITARIUM, INC.’s Motion to Strike Portions of Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint is DENIED in part and GRANTED with 20 days leave to amend in part. Defendant’s Supplemental Motion to Strike Portions of Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint FILED on October 6, 2020 is STRICKEN as filed without leave of Court.

Opposing Party to Give Notice.

Defendant’s Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED. Cal. Ev. Code §452.

This action for elder abuse was filed by Plaintiff STEPHANIE GIBSON, as representative of the ESTATE OF THELMA GARCIA on June 12, 2019. On January 14, 2020, Plaintiff filed the subject First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). The FAC alleges, in pertinent part, “When Ms. Garcia was admitted into COLONIAL GARDENS, she was to have been provided with custodial care, appropriate medical monitoring, therapy, healthcare and nutrition, hygiene, and all that one would expect of a skilled care facility to facilitate her recovery from her stroke. Defendants had a non-delegable duty to regularly monitor Decedent’s mental and physical condition, including, but not limited to care and treatment related to her weakened condition and her lack of mobility. [¶] As a result of the reckless neglect of Ms. Garcia by defendants and each of them, Decedent suffered two catastrophic and debilitating falls. She also suffered from multiple duodenal and gastric ulcers, pneumonia and dehydration.” (FAC ¶¶32-33.) Ms. Garcia (“Decedent”) passed away on April 8, 2019.

The FAC asserts the following causes of action: (1) Negligence; (2) Willful Misconduct; and (3) Violations of the Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act.

Defendant RIVERA SANITARIUM, INC. dba COLONIAL GARDENS NURSING HOME (“Defendant”) demurs to the second and third causes of action under CCP §430.10(e).

Second Cause of Action – Willful Misconduct

“In order to establish willful misconduct, a plaintiff must prove not only the elements of a negligence cause of action, that is, duty, breach of duty, causation, and damage, but also (1) actual or constructive knowledge of the peril to be apprehended, (2) actual or constructive knowledge that injury is probable, as opposed to a possible, result of the danger, and (3) conscious failure to act to avoid the peril. [W]illful misconduct is not marked by a mere absence of care. Rather, it involves a more positive intent actually to harm another or to do an act with a positive, active and absolute disregard of its consequences.” (Doe v. United States Youth Soccer Assn., Inc. (2017) 8 Cal.App.5th 1118, 1140.)

Plaintiff alleges that “COLONIAL GARDENS’ neglect of [Decedent] was not a one-time occurrence. Defendants’ neglect was ongoing over the duration of [Decedent’s] residence with Defendants. [Decedent’s] medical records indicate she fell and suffered severe injuries on June 17, 2018 and August 3, 2018. In July 2018, she also contacted pneumonia. In August 2018, she also suffered from multiple gastric and duodenal ulcers and dehydration.” (FAC ¶35.)

The demurrer to the second cause of action is SUSTAINED with 20 days leave to amend. Although the facts, as alleged, are sufficient to state a cause of action for negligence, they do not establish a “more positive intent actually to harm another or to do an act with a positive, active and absolute disregard of its consequences.”

Third Cause of Action – Elder Abuse

A cause of action under the Elder Abuse Act must be alleged with particularity. (See Covenant Care, Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 32 Cal.4th 771, 790.) Acts that constitute mere professional negligence do not constitute elder abuse. “In order to obtain the remedies available in section 15657, a plaintiff must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that defendant is guilty of something more than negligence; he or she must show reckless, oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious conduct. The latter three categories involve "intentional," "willful," or "conscious" wrongdoing of a "despicable" or "injurious" nature.” (Delaney v. Baker (1999) 20 Cal.4th 23, 31-32.) “To recover the enhanced remedies available under the Elder Abuse Act from a health care provider, a plaintiff must prove more than simple or even gross negligence in the provider's care or custody of the elder.” (See Carter v. Prime Healthcare Paradise Valley LLC (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 396, 405.) “‘[T]he legislature intended the Elder Abuse Act to sanction only egregious acts of misconduct distinct from professional negligence….” (Covenant Care, Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 32 Cal.4th 771, 784.) In summary, to plead a cause of action for elder abuse under the Act based on neglect, a plaintiff must allege facts establishing that the defendant: “(1) had responsibility for meeting the basic needs of the elder or dependent adult,” “(2) knew of conditions that made the elder or dependent adult unable to provide for his or her own basic needs”; and “(3) denied or withheld goods or services necessary to meet the elder or dependent adult’s basic needs, either with knowledge that injury was substantially certain…or with conscious disregard for the high probability of such injury….” (Carter v. Prime Healthcare Paradise Valley, LLC (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 396, 405-407.) A plaintiff must also allege facts demonstrating that the neglect caused the elder or dependent adult to suffer physical harm, pain, or mental suffering such that the causal link between the neglect and injury is specifically alleged. (Id at 407.) Section 15610.63(a)(1) defines neglect in relevant part as follows: “The negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder or dependent adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.” Subsection (b) provides specific examples of neglect, and states in relevant part: “Neglect includes… (3) [f]ailure to protect from health and safety hazards.” To state an elder abuse claim, a plaintiff must allege facts showing that an officer, director, or managing agent of defendant was involved in the abuse, authorized the abuse, ratified the abuse or hired the person who did the abuse with advance knowledge of the persons unfitness and hired him with a conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others. (Welf. & Inst. Code §15657(c); Cal. Civ. Code §3294.)

The demurrer to the third cause of action is OVERRULED.

Plaintiff adequately alleges the existence of a caretaking/custodial relationship. (FAC ¶¶12-13.) Further, Plaintiff adequately alleges a withholding of care for. The FAC alleges that Defendant “had knowledge that the care plans put in place for [Decedent] were inadequate to meet her needs, as evidenced by her falls of June 17, 2018 and August 3, 2018, her contracting pneumonia, and her August 2018 diagnoses of multiple duodenal and gastric ulcers and dehydration…. [¶] [Defendant] did not provide needed care to [Decedent]. Defendant failed to prevent [Decedent’s] falls, didn’t provide her with necessary hydration and didn’t monitor her to ensure she didn’t develop pneumonia and gastric and duodenal ulcers.” (FAC ¶¶34 and 36.) These allegations are sufficient to withstand demurrer.

Motion to Strike

A motion to strike lies either when (1) there is “irrelevant, false or improper matter inserted in any pleading”; or (2) to strike any pleading or part thereof “not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state, a court rule or order of court.” (CCP §436.)

The motion to strike attorney’s fees is DENIED. Plaintiff has adequately alleged a cause of action for elder abuse.

The motion to strike punitive damages is also DENIED. Plaintiff has adequately alleged that Defendant engaged in malicious and/or despicable conduct under the cause of action for elder abuse.

The motion to strike treble damages under Cal. Civ. Code §3345 is GRANTED with 20 days leave to amend. Cal. Civ. Code §3345(a) limits its application to “by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of senior citizens or disabled persons, as those terms are defined in subdivisions (f) and (g) of Section 1761, to redress unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition.” The statute does not provide for treble damages for estates.

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