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Health provider seeks dismissal in lawsuit filed by Black woman


Alleges she was thrown from her wheelchair

PIH Health Inc. is seeking dismissal of most of a Black woman’s lawsuit in which she says race was a factor when she went to the Good Samaritan Hospital emergency for coronavirus treatment in February and was wrongfully removed from the medical center by a security guard who tossed her from a wheelchair into bushes.

Defense attorneys filed court papers on Monday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Timothy Patrick Dillon, arguing that plaintiff Sydney Davidson’s three causes of action for civil rights violations and one for assault and battery should be tossed. The defense lawyers are not seeking dismissal of Davidson’s negligence allegation.

“This is at its core a medical malpractice action and nothing more...,” hospital lawyers contend in their court papers.

Good Samaritan Hospital was acquired by PIH Health in 2019. In her suit filed Sept. 27, Davidson says she was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital emergency room on Feb. 6 for coronavirus treatment when she had the alleged confrontation with the security guard. She maintains she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and says she now fears getting future medical treatment. She says she doubts she would have been treated the same way if she were a White man.

“Ms. Davidson was delirious with pain, but remembers receiving a bracelet and waiting in a chair in a waiting room,” according to the suit, which further states her symptoms worsened as time passed.

The pain escalated to the point that Davidson collapsed to the floor, crying out for help and unable to get up, but the emergency room security told her she could not sleep on the floor, the suit states.

Rather than show compassion, a security officer grabbed Davidson’s throat, choked her, pulled her up by her neck and placed her in a wheelchair, causing the plaintiff severe bruising, the suit states.

Security guards “wheeled Ms. Davidson out of the hospital and violently threw her into the bushes outside,” the suit states.

But in their court papers, hospital lawyers state that the security guards tried to help Davidson in the emergency room, but that it was the plaintiff’s own conduct that “made treating her difficult if not impossible.”

The defense attorneys also maintain in their court papers that race was not a factor.

“Nothing has been pleaded to support any kind of causal connection between her race and the results,” the hospital lawyers state in their court papers. “Just because she is a member of a protected class does not mean that all wrongs were motivated by a malicious intent to specifically target the protected class.”

No one tried to harm Davidson, the defense lawyers contend in their court papers, adding, “Simply put, there are simply no facts alleged against (PIH Health Inc.) to support a claim for battery.”

A hearing on the PIH Health motion is scheduled Feb. 13.