Subject Matter: New Case Decision in California
Shuts v. Covenant Holdco LLC (Covenant Care)
Case Background: Class Action lawsuit filed against provider for alleged violation of the requirement that skilled nursing facilities provide 3.2 nursing hours per patient, per day. The lower court exercised its discretion to abstain from hearing the matter pursuant to Alvarado v. Selma Convalescent Hospital (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1292, 1298. The Court of Appeal in Shuts reversed the trial court ruling sustaining a demurrer to Plaintiffs’ Class Action Complaint for Damages. The Court concluded "that while section 1276.5, subdivision (a), may not create a private right of action, section 1430, subdivision (b) does, thereby allowing plaintiffs to sue under this latter statute for violation of section 1276.5, subdivision (a)." The Court further concluded that even if the lower court was empowered to abstain from hearing certain claims under the doctrine of abstention, the first amended complaint "contained nonequitable claims for relief, including damages, that are not subject to dismissal under the doctrine of equitable abstention." Thus, the lower court’s ruling was reversed and plaintiffs shall be permitted to proceed. Further, in a non-published portion of the decision, the Appellate Court reversed the trial courts’ dismissal of plaintiffs’ unfair competition and consumer legal remedies act claims.
Firm/Company: Division Four
Document Date: August 15 2012
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