Pop star Michael Jackson is no longer named as a defendant in a lawsuit that alleges intentional infliction of emotional and mental distress by Jackson, Marian Medical Center and Catholic Healthcare West.

The suit was filed by the family of a Santa Maria woman who died at the hospital in February 2005.

Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville granted a demurrer Tuesday that was filed by Jackson’s attorney, Timothy Gorry.

Demurrers were likewise filed by the attorney for the hospital, Hugh Spackman, but Melville ordered that allegations will remain against the hospital. Whether the hospital still faced all charges couldn’t be immediately confirmed.

James McKiernan had been the attorney for the plaintiffs, but the court clerk’s office reported Tuesday that there was no attorney listed for the plaintiffs.

The attorneys could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The lawsuit also alleges elder abuse against 73-year-old Manuela Gomez Ruiz on the part of the hospital, which according to the complaint moved Ruiz while she was being treated to make space for Jackson to be examined when he was brought to the hospital in 2005 while he was on trial on child-molestation and other charges.

Ruiz died at Marian Medical Center shortly after she was reportedly moved to another hospital room to make room for Jackson, who ultimately was acquitted of the charges.

The case is set to return to court in Santa Maria on June 2 for a case-management conference.

April 9, 2008

Source: http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2008/04/09/news/centralcoast/news09.txt 

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