People with Alzheimer’s disease are not liable for injuries they may cause their paid in-home caregivers, California’s highest court ruled Monday in a case involving a home health aide who was hurt while trying to restrain a client.
One common concept in American tort law is the idea of risks that are inherent in certain activities and professions. Many jurisdictions prohibit recovery for injury caused by such risks if the person performing the job or activity knew of the dangers presented and voluntarily assumed the dangers involved. The California Supreme Court has now applied this to home caretakers of Alzheimer’s patients. The Court has likened being injured by the physical outbursts of Alzheimer’s patients to a fireman not being able to sue for getting burned in a fire or a veterinarian not being able to sue for getting bit by a dog.