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Court Again Allows Jahi McMath Family to Prove She Is Alive

There are three active lawsuits concerning the life/death status of Jahi McMath: (1) the federal lawsuit against the state to revoke the death certificate, (2) her father’s medical malpractice action, (3) her mother’s medical malpractice action.  Three other lawsuits are now closed.  I collect materials on all six here.

This update concerns the medical malpractice action by Jahi’s mother against the children’s hospital where Jahi died.  In October 2015, the Alameda County Superior Court granted the defendant healthcare providers’ demurrers to the complaint.  But the court permitted the McMath family to file an amended complaint that more specifically supports the allegation that she is now alive.

In November, McMath filed that amended complaint.  The medical defendants again filed demurrers.  Today, the court overruled those demurrers.  It explained: “The court is hesitant to determine that, at the pleading stage, there is no factual issue as to whether the facts have changed or new facts have occurred.”  

While the court does not reference the Aden Hailu, the court does emphasize something that illustrates this case is different from the Supreme Court of Nevada case:  “Plaintiffs are not, by way of this action, expressly seeking any re-determination or reversal of the matters in the prior probate proceeding or seeking to apply standards other than those set forth in the UDDA.”

To be clear, the medical malpractice action is still at the pleading stage.  The defendants have yet to file an answer.  The McMath family has yet to offer any actual evidence that Jahi is alive.  The court has merely decided that the family is allowed to offer that proof in this lawsuit notwithstanding the judicial determinations to the contrary in January 2014.

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

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