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Court: Caregivers can't sue Alzheimer's patients

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- California's highest court says people with Alzheimer's disease are not liable for injuries they may cause their paid in-home caregivers.

The California Supreme Court ruled 5-2 on Monday that people hired to work with clients suffering from Alzheimer's should know the condition commonly causes. The court majority concluded it would therefore be inappropriate to allow caregivers who get hurt managing a combative client to sue their employers.

State law already established that nursing home staff members who are injured on the job may not seek damages from their Alzheimer's patients.

But the two Supreme Court dissenters say it's unfair to apply that reasoning to caregivers working for individuals.

The ruling came in a lawsuit brought against a Los Angeles couple by a home health aide who was hurt while trying to calm the wife.

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