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150882 - Est of Margaret Marie Roush v Laurels of Carson City

Cynthia Hardy, Personal Representative of the Estate of Margaret Marie Roush,
Matthew T. Nelson
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
(Montcalm – Kreeger, S.)
The Laurels of Carson City, LLC,
Ronald S. Lederman


In 2012, Margaret Marie Roush was admitted to defendant Laurels of Carson City.  Two physicians documented their opinion that she was unable to make medical treatment decisions, which triggered her patient advocate designation.  At one point, Roush’s family sought to have her discharged.  Despite the fact that this also appeared to be Roush’s wish, Laurels of Carson City refused, believing that it was bound by the instructions of the patient advocate that Roush remain at the facility.  Although Roush signed a written revocation of her patient advocate designation, Laurels of Carson City expressed concern as to its validity, and urged the family to obtain guidance from the probate court.  Roush was eventually discharged, and the plaintiff filed a civil lawsuit, alleging claims of false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, abuse of process, and civil conspiracy.  Laurels of Carson City moved for summary disposition pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(10), which the circuit judge granted, dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims.  The circuit judge held that, because there were competing opinions regarding Roush’s ability to make treatment decisions while she was in the defendant’s facility, the defendant had complied with its legal obligations.  The Court of Appeals reversed in an unpublished per curiam opinion.  Laurels of Carson City filed an application for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court.  On September 18, 2015, the Supreme Court ordered oral argument, directing the parties to address issues including:  (1) whether the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court’s grant of summary disposition on the plaintiff’s false imprisonment claim based on its conclusion that genuine issues of material fact remained whether Margaret Roush’s patient advocate designation became effective and whether Roush subsequently revoked her patient advocate designation, see MCL 700.5510(1)(d); and (2) whether the Court of Appeals erred in addressing the plaintiff’s remaining claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, abuse of process, and civil conspiracy, where the plaintiff did not challenge that portion of the trial court’s order granting summary disposition as to those claims.