DiCampli-Mintz v. County of Santa ClaraAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants, a hospital and doctors, alleging negligence. The hospital was owned by the County. The County filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that Plaintiff failed to comply with the Government Claims Act (Act) because her claim was never presented to or received by a statutorily designated recipient. Plaintiff responded by arguing that she had substantially complied with the Act by delivering a letter of intent to the risk management department of the hospital and that the letter was received by the County risk management department. The trial court granted the County's summary judgment motion, holding that the County made a sufficient showing of noncompliance. The court of appeal reversed, holding (1) a claim may substantially comply with the Act, notwithstanding failure to deliver it to one of the statutorily specified recipients, if it is given to a department whose functions include the management or defense of claims against the defendant entity, and (2) Plaintiff had "substantially complied" with the presentation requirements of the Act. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the court of appeals erred by judicially expanding the statutory requirements; and (2) a claim must satisfy the express delivery provisions language of the statute.