California Supreme Court Extends Assumption of Risk Doctrine to Cases Where an In-home Caregiver is Injured by their Patient

Headshot of Robert F BennettBy Robert Bennett

On August 4, 2014, the California Supreme Court released a decision in Carolyn Gregory v. Lorraine Cott. At issue for the court was whether an in-home caregiver was precluded from suing her Alzheimer’s patient when she was injured in the course of caring for her. In 2005 Bernard Cott contracted with a home health care agency to care for his then 85 year old wife, Lorraine Cott, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The agency assigned Gregory to work in the Cott home. Gregory was trained to care for Alzheimer’s patients and was advised by Bernard that his wife was combative often kicking, biting, scratching and flailing. In 2008, Gregory was washing dishes when Lorraine bumped into her. Gregory, who was holding a knife at the time, attempted to restrain Lorraine when she dropped the knife which struck her wrist and caused injuries. Gregory filed a workers’ compensation claim and then a separate civil claim against the Gregorys. Continue reading

Mr. Miller Obtains an Award 97% Below Claimant’s Demand

James Miller headshotJim Miller recently completed a binding arbitration in this matter. The claimant was involved in a moderate impact rear-end accident that occurred on Highway 99 northbound which resulted in a total loss of the claimant’s vehicle.

Claimant settled with third party’s liability insurance limits. The claimant then presented a first party claim against his insurance company, alleging that he suffered significant injuries to his cervical spine and lumbar spine with radicular components to both the upper extremities and the lower extremities. Claimant had a rather significant work up that involved multiple presentations to a chiropractor and an orthopedic spine surgeon. Continue reading