Contacts – Subrogation – Partial Subrogation of a Cause of Action for Personal Injuries

Plaintiff, an incorporated home for the aged, provided all essential medical care to one of its residents under the provisions of a life-care contract between it and the resident. On the basis of a contract clause which purported to subrogate plaintiff to the right of the resident to recover medical expenses caused by the negligence of third parties, plaintiff brought an action to recover certain medical expenses incurred from the party who was allegedly responsible for the injuries and death of the resident. The trial court sustained a demurrer to the complaint for failure to state a cause of action and dismissed the case. On appeal to the California Supreme Court, held, affirmed. The statutory prohibition against the assignment of personal injury claims precluded the transfer of claims for medical expenses by subrogation. Fifield Manor v. Finston, 54 Cal. 2d 632, 354 P.2d 1073 (1960).