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Filing a civil case on behalf of somebody

Oakland, CA |

My mother suffered neglect and abuse in a nursing home. Can I sue this nursing home? In other words, my mother was a victim, can I be the plaintiff in this case?

Also, can my mother be a plaintiff and can I ask the court to appoint an attorney for her because she has no income?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

No, you cannot be the plaintiff because you are not the real party in interest.

http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/litigation-tips--real-party-in-interest-in-california?ref=kb_serp_title_1

The court will not appoint an attorney for her, but you ought to be able to find an attorney willing to represent her on a contingency fee basis.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

Posted

Mr. Chen is correct about you not suing the nursing home if the claim is violation of the Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Act. That can only be your mother. I have successfully sued a care facility on behalf of the sibling who found the facility and visited with her father on a regular business. The jury awarded the daughter compensatory and punitive damages for fraud. This would not be available in every case, but if you were separately harmed by lies or other conduct directed at you, or if you were present when injury occurred to your parent, there are creative ways to state claims for you in addition to your mother.

Mr. Chen is right about appointing a lawyer. However, if your case has merit and damages that are substantial enough to support one, these are the kinds of cases that are handled on a contingency basis.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Posted

You don't know what happened in my client's situation so your rant is insensitive and uncalled for.

Asker

Posted

Family member suing for other people's suffering is such a barony.

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Posted

And you display your ignorance in saying such things. You have no idea.

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Posted

When you learn to spell, people will give more credence to what you say. You obviously have a great deal of anger towards attorneys. I am sorry for whatever bad experience you had. Good evening to you.

Posted

Your mother is the only one, at this time, who may sue. A court will not appoint an attorney in a matter such as this. You need to search avvo, call your state's trial lawyers, ask those you trust and respect for recommendations. Interview and look to hire the one you are most comfortable with and confident in. Your mother can give you permission, or a petition may be filed with the court, for you to be the plainitiff, in limited circumstances.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com

Posted

I am not licensed in California and cannot give you any advice regarding the laws of that state. With that said, I offer the following.

Your mother would be the plaintiff in any suit brought against a nursing home for negligence and/or abuse she experienced at that facility. You could possibly bring the suit on her behalf. In order to do so, you would have to be in a legal position to do so. That is, you would have to have what the law refers to as legal standing to file the suit.

One way to do this would be if you were your mother's court appointed guardian. If that were the case, you could file suit on behalf of your mother in your capacity as her guardian.

Regarding representation, you may well be able to find an attorney experienced in the area of nursing home litigation who would be willing to take your mother's case on a contingency basis.

I urge you to contact lawyers in your geographic area who represent plaintiffs in nursing home cases. Your local county bar association may be able to refer you to these practitioners. The lawyer

Disclaimer: The information contained in this answer is not legal advice, does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is offered for informational purposes only. Individuals with questions or problems in any area of the law should consult a qualified attorney licensed to practice in the individual's jurisdiction.

Michael James Perillo Jr.

Michael James Perillo Jr.

Posted

The lawyer will be able to explain how you could bring an action on behalf of your mother under the law of your state. Good Luck.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much, Mr. Perillo. I am my mother's court appointed probate conservator. Would I be able to file suit on her behalf as me being the plaintiff?

Michael James Perillo Jr.

Michael James Perillo Jr.

Posted

.I just don't know how that would work in California. A local attorney will likely be able to answer the question for you. Most consultations in such cases are free of charge. Do yourself and your mom a big favor...see a lawyer (or two). A non-attorney simply cannot be effective in prosecuting a nursing home neglect/abuse case. Good luck to you and your mom.