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Ramirez v. Long Beach Memorial Medical Center

California Court of Appeal
2013 WL 1144257 (2013)


Facts

Julio Ramirez suffered a gunshot wound to his leg and was transported to the emergency room at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (Hospital) (defendant). Ramirez was examined by the primary emergency-room doctor and a trauma surgeon. Thereafter, an on-call surgeon was ordered to the Hospital to operate on Julio. The on-call surgeon was delayed, and Julio was not taken to an operating room until three hours later. Julio died during surgery. Earlier, when Julio had arrived at the emergency room, his mother, Herminia Ramirez (plaintiff), had signed a printed form called Conditions of Admission (Form), which included a consent to medical procedures. The Form also provided that the Hospital’s emergency-room physicians and surgeons were independent contractors and not employees or agents of the Hospital. Herminia, along with Julio’s minor children (plaintiffs), filed a wrongful-death action against the Hospital and others (defendants), alleging that Julio died because of the delay in surgery. The Hospital filed a motion for summary judgment based on the Form. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Hospital, finding that the Form precluded a claim of vicarious liability against the Hospital for the actions of the doctors. Herminia and Julio’s children appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bigelow, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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