NEGLIGENCE-GROUP HOME LIABILITY-CHOKING CASE

December 15th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Negligence

Bouchon v. Citizen Care, Inc., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 989 (December 6, 2017) Stabile, J.  This case involves Charles Bouchon, who is mentally challenged.  He was the occupant of a group home owned and operated by Citizen Care.  During a pizza dinner, the resident was unsupervised.  He choked on uncut pizza and a soft drink.  Efforts to help were unsuccessful.  EMS was summoned, and they were unsuccessful.  The resident was transported to the hospital and died.  The case was dismissed by the trial court.  The appellate court found that sufficient facts were pled to show a breach of duty.  There may be gross negligence even under § 4603 of the MHMR Act.  It is not clear whether any of the defendants are governmental or recognized nonprofit health or welfare organizations even entitled to immunity under the statute.  There are sufficient facts pled to constitute gross negligence rendering the grant of any immunity demurrer improper.  The EMS agency also claimed that there were insufficient allegations of gross negligence under 8151(2) of the EMSS Act.  The court said that appellant had alleged fundamental mistakes on the part of the EMS that could constitute gross negligence.  The court then went on to be very critical of plaintiff’s complaint and how confusing it was.  The court therefore affirmed in part and reversed in part and sent the case back.

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