The trial court properly granted JNOV on plaintiff’s claim for elder abuse. Though plaintiff’s decedent died as a result of aspirating chicken that the defendant skilled nursing facility fed him for dinner after one of the staff noticed the decedent had trouble swallowing an earlier meal and ordered a soft diet for him, the evidence showed only negligence not recklessness, which is necessary to sustain an elder abuse cause of action against a medical services provider. The trial court however also correctly denied defendant’s JNOV motion as to the jury verdict against it on negligence and also properly held that defendant’s parent was independently liable for negligence in providing inadequate staffing. As it was not a medical service provider, the parent could be held liable for its full share of plaintiff’s non-economic damages, whereas, the skilled nursing facility’s liability was limited to $250,000 under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, Civ. Code, 3333.2.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Ikola, J.); July 12, 2018 (published August 8, 2018); 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 692