Monday, October 28, 2013

Young v. Horizon West (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 28, 2013)

Grandma's had a stroke.  She's 88.  After her release from the hospital, you reluctantly put her in a nursing home. 

A couple of weeks later, she  tells you she wants to leave immediately.  No surprise.  These places are rarely fun.  Of course she doesn't want to be there.  Who would?

She also tells you a story.  Though she can't communicate very well, she spins some sort of tale about having woken up with previous evening with her catheter removed and hearing male voices near her bed, seeing her curtains move, and having someone at the nursing home say "This is why I love my job."  With her additional claim that she heard someone "fiddling" with the nurse call button next to her bed so that it wouldn't work. 

Oh, Grandma.  I know the stroke is tough.  I know that nursing homes are terrible places to be.  I know that you're scared and frightened.  Of the stroke.  Of the staff.  Of everything.  Even a rational person would have reason to confabulate.  That an 88-year old stroke victim would do so is even less surprising.

With one caveat.

You inspect the nurse call button.  It has indeed been unplugged.  At the same time, you notice unexplained deep bruising on Grandma's inner thigh.  And she starts complaining -- for the first time ever -- of pain in her vaginal and anal regions.

You arrange for her removal from the facility.  You also have her tested.  At which point you discover that she's contracted genital herpes.  Grandpa -- who's been her husband for the past 70 years, and her one and only sexual partner ever -- tests negative.

Talk about a lawsuit.

Defendant better settle this one.  Regardless of whether the thing proceeds to arbitration.  (And, on that front, the Court of Appeal holds that, nope, the arbitration agreement that Daughter signed on Grandma's behalf isn't binding.)

Because I think the defendant's going to get spanked.  Hard.