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Meighan v. Shore

34 Cal. App. 4th 1025 (1995)

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Meighan v. Shore

California Court of Appeals

34 Cal. App. 4th 1025 (1995)

Facts

Clement Meighan had two coronary-bypass procedures before going to the hospital with chest pains. His first cardiogram looked abnormal but did not definitely show a heart attack or damage. His wife, Joan (plaintiff) stayed with him until the attending physician said Clement was not having a heart attack—but he was. Further tests early the next morning showed damage. Trained as a nurse, Joan knew medication to dissolve blood clots that cause heart attacks worked only if administered early. She was hysterical and demanded a cardiologist, who appeared and started therapy over three hours later. Afterward Clement could no longer do activities he enjoyed, and their personal relationship suffered. When the couple met with attorney Samuel Shore (defendant), he ruled out the possibility that Joan had a claim for loss of consortium and emotional distress without discussing it. Shore had only Clement sign the retainer agreement, explaining he represented Clement only, not Joan. The couple had no idea Joan had viable claims until limitations expired. Joan sued Shore for malpractice. The court granted Shore summary judgment, finding he owed no duty to Joan as a nonclient. Joan appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Epstein, J.)

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