Gross v. Rolando Lazatin et al.

Jan 4, 2019 – United States Disctrict Court, Los Angeles, CA

On Friday, January 4, 2019, Yukevich | Cavanaugh achieved a significant victory for Rolando Lazatin and Chateau of Oaks, Inc. Hon. Goergina Torres Rizk granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment against plaintiffs Steve Dinkowitz and Susan Phaneuf. Plaintiffs sought liability on the theories of negligence, elder abuse, and wrongful death, and sought to impose punitive damages. The Court granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment in its entirety, dismissing all claims against the elder care facility.

Plaintiffs alleged that on November 17, 2015, Defendants delayed providing emergency medical treatment after the decedent started coughing. Plaintiffs’ liability theory was that Defendants failed to monitor the decedent and to have her evaluated by a physician for early administration of antibiotics for pneumonia. Plaintiffs alleged that had this been done, more likely than not, the decedent would have survived.

Defendants moved for Summary Judgment when Yukevich | Cavanaugh’s investigation revealed that decedent had accumulated a long list of medical problems and that it was medically reasonably probable that any delay in treatment would not have impacted the ultimate outcome.

The Court found that even if all the alleged tortious conduct rose to the level of “extreme indifference,” that conduct cannot support plaintiffs’ claims, because any delay in treatment was not the proximate cause of the decedent’s death. Further, the Court sustained Defendants’ objections to Plaintiffs’ expert’s entire declaration finding that their expert was unqualified and applied the wrong standard with regard to causation.