In the Courts: Caregiver Cannot Sue Client with Dementia for Injury, Says CA High Court

August 15, 2014 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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The Supreme Court of California has upheld a court of appeals ruling that a woman with Alzheimer disease and her husband are not liable for the woman's injury of a paid home caregiver (see the March 29, 2013, Issues in Continuing Care Risk Management for a summary of the appeals court's decision).

When the home care agency assigned the caregiver to the client, the husband told the caregiver that the client was combative and that she bit, kicked, scratched, and flailed her arms. When she had been caring for the client for about three years, the caregiver was washing dishes when the client came up behind her and reached toward the sink while the caregiver was washing a large knife. As the caregiver tried to restrain the client, the caregiver dropped the knife. The knife cut her wrist, causing loss of feeling in several fingers and recurring pain. The caregiver received workers' compensation but sued the client for battery...

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