Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Marshall v. La Mesa Rehabilitation and Care Center

United States District Court, D. Arizona

December 18, 2017

Jonathan Marshall, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
La Mesa Rehabilitation and Care Center, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          DOUGLAS L. RAYES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff John Marshall, individually and on behalf of decedent Melissa Marshall, brings a medical negligence and wrongful death action against Defendants La Mesa Rehabilitation and Care Center and Five Star Senior Living.[1] At issue is Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff's punitive damages claim (Doc. 86), which is fully briefed. For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants' motion.[2]

         I. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and, viewing those facts in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party, the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the case, and a dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party based on the competing evidence. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir. 2002). Summary judgment may also be entered "against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The party seeking summary judgment "bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Id. at 323. The burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish the existence of a genuine and material factual dispute. Id. at 324.

         Additionally, this District's Local Rules of Practice impose specific requirements on the form and content of summary judgment motions. "Any party filing a motion for summary judgment must file a statement, separate from the motion and memorandum of law, setting forth each material fact on which the party relies in support of the motion." LRCiv 56.1(a). Each of these facts "must refer to a specific admissible portion of the record where the fact finds support (for example, affidavit, deposition, discovery response, etc.)." Id. Likewise:

Any party opposing a motion for summary judgment must file a statement, separate from that party's memorandum of law, setting forth:
(1) for each paragraph of the moving party's separate statement of facts, a correspondingly numbered paragraph indicating whether the party disputes the statement of fact set forth in that paragraph and a reference to the specific admissible portion of the record supporting the party's position if the fact is disputed; and
(2) any additional facts that establish a genuine issue of material fact or otherwise preclude judgment in favor of the moving party. Each additional fact must be set forth in a separately numbered paragraph and must refer to a specific admissible portion of the record where the fact finds support.

LRCiv 56.1(b). The court may deem a movant's separate statement of facts to be true if the nonmoving party does not comply with these rules. See Szaley v. Pima Cty., 371 Fed.App'x 734, 735 (9th Cir. 2010).

         II. Factual Background

         Preliminarily, Defendants submitted a separate statement of facts setting forth each fact upon which they rely in their memorandum of law, along with corresponding citations to evidence in the record supporting those factual assertions. (Doc. 87.) In violation of LRCiv 56.1(b), however, Plaintiff did not submit a separate statement of correspondingly numbered paragraphs indicating whether he disputes or admits the facts asserted by Defendants, along with additional facts that he believes preclude summary judgment. Because Plaintiff failed to submit a separate statement of facts, his memorandum of law fails to "include citations to the specific paragraph in the statement of facts that supports assertions made in the memorand[um]." LRCiv. 56.1(e). The Court therefore may deem Defendants' separate statement of facts to be undisputed for purposes of this order.[3] Szaley., 371 Fed.App'x at 735.

         Nevertheless, Defendants' motion is not premised on the Court adopting their version of the facts as undisputed. Defendants concede that there are genuine factual disputes touching on the merits of Plaintiff's negligence and wrongful death claims. They contend, however, that summary judgment may be entered on Plaintiff's request for punitive damages because such damages are not available even under Plaintiff's view of the facts. With that in mind, the following is the factual background material to resolution of this motion.

         Melissa Marshall ("Marshall) was admitted as a patient at La Mesa Rehabilitation and Care Center ("La Mesa" or "the facility") on August 23, 2013. Upon admission, Marshall underwent an evaluation to assess her status as an elopement risk. Given Marshall's dementia and her history of exit seeking behavior, she was characterized as at risk. As a result, Marshall was fitted with a WanderGuard, a device which signals an alarm when the patient wearing it tries to exit the facility.

         La Mesa's staff conducted periodic elopement assessments of Marshall, regularly characterizing her status as at risk. Plaintiff contends that in August 2014 Marshall's risk status improperly was downgraded. (Doc. 91 at 7, 8.) Nevertheless, the staff continued to have Marshall wear her WanderGuard device, regularly checked the WanderGuard to ensure that it was ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.