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Part III - Elder Abuse Statute Does Not Limit Liability to Health Care Providers with Custodial Obligations

The plaintiffs, Kathleen A. Winn and Karen Brendahl (daughters of the decedent Elizabeth Cox), appealed the trial court's judgment that the plaintiffs allegations merely constitute professional negligence and not elder abuse.

The Court of Appeal then reversed the trial court's ruling stating that the elder abuse statute nor the cases cited does not support the defendants, Pioneer Medical Group, Inc. et al., claim that the Elder Abuse Law is limited to health care providers with custodial obligations. The Court further added that the primary purpose of the Act is to protect elder adults through the application of heightened civil remedies from being recklessly neglected at the hands of their custodians. Additionally, questions of recklessness should be left for a jury to decide and cannot be considered simply based on "professional negligence." Thus, the judgment was reversed and sent back to the trial court with directions to vacate its order sustaining defendants' demurrer without leave to amend, and to enter a new and different order overruling the demurrer. Costs on appeal were awarded to the plaintiffs.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.