Brooks v. Mercy HospitalAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit alleging claims stemming from his medical care and treatment at Mercy Hospital when he was a prison inmate at Corcoran State Prison. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the trial court's dismissal entered in favor of Mercy Hospital after the trial court sustained defendant’s demurrer to plaintiff’s complaint on statute of limitations grounds. Plaintiff argues that the trial court erred because it failed to apply the tolling provision set forth at Code of Civil Procedure section 352.1, which grants a two-year tolling of the statute of limitations to persons who are imprisoned “for a term less than for life.” The court concluded that when the Legislature enacted section 352.1 and continued to use the same language from former section 352, stating that tolling would be granted to persons imprisoned “for a term less than for life,” the Legislature did so with knowledge and in light of Grasso v. McDonough Power Equipment, Inc.'s prior judicial construction thereof, and with an intention to continue that construction of the statutory language. Accordingly, Grasso remains good law. The court concluded that the trial court erred in sustaining the demurrer on statute of limitations grounds, which error stemmed from the trial court’s failure to apply the tolling provision in section 352.1 to plaintiff. Therefore, the court reversed the judgment.