C.R. v. Tenet Healthcare Corp., 169 Cal. App. 4th 1094 (2009)

In this class action, C.R. sued Tenet Healthcare for sexual harassment in violation of Civil Code § 51.9 (prohibiting sexual harassment by a health care provider), negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress based upon nursing assistant Ramon Eduardo Gaspar’s alleged sexual touching of her and other patients while they were in a state of diminished capacity due to their illness and were unable to resist his assaults. The trial court sustained Tenet’s demurrer to the complaint and ruled that Tenet’s motion to strike was moot. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment, holding that certain business licenses (of which Tenet asked the trial court to take judicial notice because they purportedly established Tenet did not employ or supervise Gaspar) did not negate the allegations that Tenet was legally responsible for Gaspar’s actions. The Court similarly rejected Tenet’s other arguments that the statute could not apply to its actions vis-à-vis the plaintiff.