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Wilcoxson v. Golden Gate National Senior Care, LLC

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

November 20, 2013

DEBRA WILCOXSON, as Administratrix of the Estate of CORNELIA STEARMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL SENIOR CARE, LLC, d/b/a GOLDEN LIVING, et al. Defendants

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

THOMAS B. RUSSELL, Senior District Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon Defendants'[1] Motion to Dismiss Resident's Rights Claims. (Docket No. 5.) Plaintiff Debra Wilcoxson, as Administratrix of the Estate of Cornelia Stearman, deceased, has responded in opposition, (Docket No. 10), and Defendants have replied, (Docket No. 11). This matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion will be DENIED.

BACKGROUND

According to Plaintiff's Complaint, Cornelia Stearman was a resident of Golden Living Center-Green Hill in Greensburg, Kentucky, from on or about January 9, 2013, until her death on February 8, 2013. (Docket No. 1, at 3.) Plaintiff, as Administratrix of Stearman's Estate, asserts claims of negligence, negligence per se, medical negligence, corporate negligence, violations of long-term-care resident's rights pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. § 216.510 et seq., and wrongful death. (Docket No. 1, at 10-19.) In regard to her resident's rights claim, Plaintiff alleges the following violations:

a) Violation of the right to be treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of her dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and in care for her personal needs;
b) Violation of the right to have a responsible party or family member or guardian notified immediately of any accident, sudden illness, disease, unexplained absence, or anything unusual involving the resident;
c) Violation of the right to have an adequate and appropriate resident care plan developed, implemented and updated to meet her needs;
d) Violation of the right to be free from mental and physical abuse and neglect; and
e) Violation of the statutory standards and requirements governing licensing and operation of long-term care facilities as set forth by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, pursuant to provisions of KRS Chapter 216 and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as well as the applicable federal laws and regulations governing the certification of long-term care facilities under Titles XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act.

(Docket No. 1, at 17-18.)

Defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff's resident's rights claim. Defendants argue that the claim allowed under Ky. Rev. Stat. § 216.515(26) does not survive the residency. Defendants further argue that the right to bring such a claim exists only to enforce a resident's rights against the facility and not against any other related entities.

STANDARD

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that pleadings, including complaints, contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A complaint may be attacked for failure "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court will presume that all the factual allegations in the complaint are true and will draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Total Benefits Planning Agency v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Great Lakes Steel v. Deggendorf, 716 F.2d 1101, 1105 (6th Cir. 1983)).

Even though a "complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). Instead, the plaintiff's "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Id. (citations omitted). That is, a complaint must contain enough facts "to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. A claim becomes plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). If, from the well-pleaded facts, the court cannot "infer more ...


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