Healthcare Professionals

Primary Assumption of The Risk: In-Home Caregivers

By on May 9, 2013 - Comments off

Gregory v. Cott, (Second District, January 28, 2013) — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 13 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 1027, 2013 Daily Journal D.A.R. 1217

An employee of a home care agency who was working as an in-home caregiver for an 85-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, was seriously injured when the woman attempted to reach for a knife that she was holding. The caregiver then brought an action for damages against the woman and her husband, asserting theories of battery, negligence and premises liability. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff had assumed the risk, in that the plaintiff had been trained in dealing with Alzheimer’s patients, was aware that they could become violent, and had been the woman’s caretaker for several years.

The trial court granted summary judgment and the court of appeal affirmed, holding that the trial court had properly determined that the causes of action as to both negligence and intentional torts were barred by the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, and that the plaintiff “could not have been under any illusions concerning the [patient’s] condition or the premises”: Read the rest »