Successful Motions In Elder Abuse Case
December 1, 2006
The deceased was a resident of the Windsor Gardens skilled nursing facility on and off during 2001 and the first half of 2002. In early December 2002, he died at an acute care hospital nearly six months after leaving Windsor Gardens. At the time of his death, he was 92 and had experienced numerous serious pre-existing medical conditions.
The Plaintiffs are the decedent's widow and two of his adult children who sued Windsor Gardens alleging that elder care abuse contributed to his death. Dan L. Longo, lead counsel from Murchison & Cumming, propounded contention interrogatories to the Plaintiffs to determine the exact nature and basis of the allegations against Windsor Gardens. Based on the lack of supporting evidence revealed in the discovery responses, we filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of SNF Management, and a Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication on behalf of Windsor Gardens.
The Court granted the SNF Management Motion for Summary Judgment, freeing it from the case, and awarded costs of suit to SNF Management. The Court dismissed all but one cause of action against Windsor Gardens, resulting in a significant reduction in the damages Plaintiffs can recover, assuming they can meet the burden of proof at trial. The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) limits now take effect, capping the possible damages at $250,000. This ruling, affirmed by the Court of Appeal, puts our client in an excellent bargaining position for settlement negotiations.
Dan L. Longo