United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND
DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE AS MOOT
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on the combined motion to
dismiss and motion for summary judgment of Defendant Catholic
Health Initiatives (“CHI”). Dkt. 31. Also before
the Court is Plaintiff Jean Kasem's (“Jean”)
motion for a continuance of CHI's summary judgment
motion. Dkt. 34. The Court has considered the pleadings filed
in support of and in opposition to the motion and the
remainder of the file and hereby rules as follows:
15, 2017, Jean filed her complaint in this case as the
surviving spouse of Casey Kasem (“Casey”) and the
personal representative of Casey's estate. Dkt. 1. Jean
brought claims for negligence, fraud, and the wrongful death
of Casey against CHI and individually named
defendants Kerri Kasem, Mike Kasem, Jamil Aboulhosn, Julie
Aboulhosn, and Troy Martin. Id. Jean claimed her
lawsuit satisfied the diversity jurisdiction requirements of
28 U.S.C. § 1332.
October 3, 2017, the individual defendants moved for
dismissal based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Dkt.
12. Because Casey, Jean (as the personal representative of
Casey's estate), and all of the individual defendants in
this action were citizens of California, there was no
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. See
Id. On October 30, 2017, Jean filed a motion to
voluntarily dismiss the individually named defendants. Dkt.
24. On November 8, 2017, the Court granted the motion and
dismissed the individually named defendants. Dkt. 28. Because
the individually named defendants were dismissed and CHI is a
Colorado corporation, the diversity of citizenship
requirements under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 are presumably
satisfied for Plaintiff's remaining claims against
February 14, 2018, CHI filed its combined motion to dismiss
and motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 31. CHI moves for
dismissal on the basis that Jean has failed to allege any
conduct on the part of CHI that constitutes negligence or
some other tort. Id.
CHI moves for summary judgment on the basis that Jean cannot
support her wrongful death or negligence claims with expert
testimony to establish a breach of the applicable
professional standard of care or causation of any alleged
March 5, 2018, Jean responded to CHI's motion to dismiss
and moved to continue CHI's summary judgment motion
pursuant to Rule 56(d). Dkt. 34. In regards to CHI's
motion to dismiss, Jean argues that the complaint alleges
sufficient facts “that if accepted as true . . .
demonstrate that [CHI]'s actions contributed to a scheme
that resulted in the death of Mr. Casey Kasem.”
Id. at 2. In response to CHI's motion for
summary judgment, Jean seeks a Rule 56(d) continuance to
conduct discovery and obtain an expert opinion supporting a
theory that CHI negligently contributed to Casey's death.
Id. at 3-4.
March 9, 2018, CHI replied. Dkt. 36.
30, 2014, Kitsap County Superior Court issued an order
requiring an independent medical evaluation of Casey, age 82,
at a hospital. Dkt. 1 at 6. On June 1, 2014, Casey was taken
from the place he was residing with Jean and evaluated at St.
Anthony's Hospital located in Gig Harbor, WA, which is
owned and operated by CHI. Id. At the hospital,
Casey was examined by Dr. Joseph Regimbal. Id. Casey
was accompanied by his daughter, Kerri Helen Kasem
(“Kerri”), and his own personal care provider,
Dr. Donald Sharman. Id.
Kitsap County Superior Court's order was entered as the
result of a dispute between Jean and Kerri (along with her
siblings from Casey's previous marriage) in regards to
the care and guardianship of Casey. Previously, on May 12,
2014, a California court had entered an order assigning Kerri
and her siblings as Casey's guardians and legal health
care decision-makers. Id. at 4. Kerri was appointed
guardian pursuant to her purported authority under a
“Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, ”
(“DPA”) executed by Casey in 2007. Id.
Also, Kerri and her siblings purportedly “made numerous
false allegations to the Los Angeles Adult Protective
Services and the Police” that Jean was mistreating
Casey. Id. at 3. Jean claims that the DPA was
fraudulently obtained, but her complaint states that the
California court nonetheless appointed Kerri and her siblings
as guardians of Casey.
four hours of evaluation, Dr. Regimbal cleared Casey to
return to the in-home care he was receiving from Dr. Sharman,
where he was living with Jean. Id. However, Kerri
requested that Casey remain at the hospital for an overnight
observation. Id. The overnight observation was not
necessary, but it was allowed by the hospital. Id.
Kerri was acting as Casey's guardian and legal
decision-maker pursuant to the above-mentioned California
court decision. Id. at 4, 6.
2, 2014, Kitsap County Superior Court entered an order
authorizing Casey to be released from the hospital.
Id. at 7. After the Kitsap County Court entered the
order, Jean called St. Anthony's Hospital and spoke with
Dr. Ramon Basa. Id. Dr. Basa informed Jean that the
overnight observation went well and that she ...