Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

Cowan v. Hospice Support Care, Inc.

603 S.E.2d 916 (2004)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...

Cowan v. Hospice Support Care, Inc.

Virginia Supreme Court

603 S.E.2d 916 (2004)

Facts

Ingrid H. Cowan (plaintiff) placed her mother, Ruth D. Hazelwood (deceased), in a residential care facility that was operated by Hospice Support Care, Inc. (Hospice) (defendant), a nonprofit, nonmedical, volunteer hospice-support corporation. The facility provided temporary care for infirm persons when their primary caregivers needed a break. Cowan sued Hospice for the wrongful death of her mother, who died from complications from surgery to amputate her shattered right leg. Cowan alleged that her mother’s leg shattered at the care facility when it got caught on Cowan’s mother’s bed when she was being improperly assisted from her bed to a commode and that it went undiagnosed and untreated the entire week her mother was in residence. Hospice raised the charitable-immunity defense, and the trial court dismissed Cowan’s claims for gross negligence and willful and wanton negligence. Cowan appealed and argued that the defense was inapplicable to acts of gross negligence and willful or wanton negligence because they involve extreme acts that differ in degree and kind from simple negligence and that the public’s interest in encouraging charitable activities is not outweighed by the need to deter extreme, reckless, and wanton acts. Hospice argued that unless charities are immune from liability for all degrees of negligence, charities will be discouraged from performing their beneficial activities. Hospice further argued that because state law makes charitable volunteers liable for their acts of gross negligence and willful and wanton negligence, the legislature intended to shield charities from similar liability.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Keenan, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 602,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 602,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 602,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 33,600 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership