Gregory v. Cott, 2014 WL 3805478 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014)

Carolyn Gregory was injured while providing in-home care for Lorraine Cott, an Alzheimer’s disease patient.  Gregory received workers’ compensation benefits but sued the Cotts for negligence and premises liability and asserted a claim against Lorraine for battery.  The trial court granted a defense motion for summary judgment based on the primary assumption of risk doctrine.  The California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court affirmed, holding that “it is [Gregory’s] occupation to care for Alzheimer’s patients.  We do not hold that anyone who helps with such patients assumes the risk of injury.  The rule we adopt is limited to professional home health care workers who are trained and employed by an agency.”  See also LeFiell Mfg. Co. v. Superior Court, 2014 WL 3855046 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) (Labor Code § 4558, which provides an exception to workers’ compensation exclusivity where there has been a knowing removal by the employer of a point of operation guard on a power press, did not apply in this case).