Thank you for your question. I should start by saying that because the nuances of every case are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in person with counsel. That said, the hospital's patient relations department is probably a good place to start if you don't pursue a lawsuit. Typically, a plaintiff would not want to make any statements about their damages if they were planning to sue, especially to a potential defendant, since any such statements could be used to undermine the plaintiff's case later on.
There is no statute of limitations for a hospital to fire or reprimand their employee, so you may want to keep that option in your back pocket until after you decide whether you want to take legal action.
That said, you are correct that the statute of limitations for a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress is generally two years from the date of the injury. California is very plaintiff-friendly compared to other states for this particular tort, but certain criteria still have to be met.
Specifically, (1) the defendant's conduct must be outrageous; (2) the defendant must have intended to cause the plaintiff emotional distress, or acted with reckless disregard to the probability that the plaintiff would suffer emotional distress; and (3) the defendant's conduct must have caused the plaintiff to suffer severe emotional distress.
The challenge in an emotional distress case is oftentimes damages. That was a terrible thing for the RN to say and what you have described could understandably be perceived as outrageous, but what damages did you suffer and how much are those damages worth?
How much would someone in the same position have to be paid to willingly endure those insults? For some people, it might be $10 and for others it might be $1,000. There are no wrong answers because there is a degree of subjectivity.
But the question is what would a jury say it is worth, so you have to consider the likely range of possible outcomes.
So whether to sue is up to you, but it might not be worth spending $10,000 on attorney fees for a case that is only worth $9,000 (for example).
If you are interested in a lawsuit, start by consulting in person with a personal injury lawyer to discuss the value of your case (many will provide a free initial consultation). If the value of the case is not high enough to justify involving an attorney, you may want to consider pursuing it yourself. Incidentally, the small claims limit in California is $7,500.
Naturally, you are certainly free to hire an attorney to pursue your case even if it is a low dollar value, but I'm just alerting you to the possibility that it might not be justified by the cost.
If you do not pursue a lawsuit, reporting misconduct to the hospital's patient relations department is a reasonable step. Frankly, I consider insults like the ones you described inexcusable andgrounds for termination.
Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a positive rating once you are finished. It does not cost anything extra to do so, and it is the only way I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.
I'm sorry for not responding to your additional posts... it's not clear to me why I couldn't see those other questions that you posted. I think that they have been answered, but please let me know if you would like additional information. Did you have any remaining questions? Please let me know if you do. Thanks.
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