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.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]

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