On 09/23/2015 MARIA CONCEPCION ROSALES IRASAVA filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against PHARMAVITE LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is TERESA A. BEAUDET. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
TERESA A. BEAUDET
IRASAVA MARIA CONCEPCION ROSALES
DOES 1 THROUGH 100
PHARMAVITE DIRECT LLC
LAW OFFICES OF MARYANN P. GALLAGHER
MARYANN P. GALLAGHER LAW OFFICES OF
ALLISON M. SCHULMAN LAW OFFICES OF
GALLAGHER MARYANN PATRICIA
SCHULMAN ALLISON MARIE
LITTLER MENDELSON A PROFESSIONAL CORP.
KRIEGER LINDA GUTHMANN ESQ.
LITTLER MENDELSON PC
KRIEGER & KRIEGER ALC
KENNEDY TRACEY A. ESQ.
PC LITTLER MENDELSON
KENNEDY TRACEY ADANO
KRIEGER LINDA GUTHMANN
1/23/2019: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice
3/10/2016: DECLARATION OF KEITH A. JACOBY IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER REGARDING THE USE AND RETENTION OF ELECTRONIC VIDEO RECORDING
4/13/2016: DEFENDANT PHARMAVITE LLC'S SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER COMPLETE AND OBJECTIONLESS RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES-GENERAL, SET ONE; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS
5/20/2016: DEFENDANTS' COMPENDIUM OF EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THEIR MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES
5/20/2016: DEFENDANTS' SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES
5/25/2016: NOTICE OF JOINDER OF EDWIN CALDERON IN DEFENDANT PRARMAVITE'S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER REGARDING THE USE AND RETENTION OF ELECTRONIC VIDEO RECORDING; DECLARATION OF EDWIN CALDERON IN SUPPORT THEREO
7/25/2016: DECLARATION OF MARYANN P. GALLAGHER IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM WAIVER OF OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANT PHARMAVITE, LLC'S SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE
9/6/2016: Minute Order
11/21/2016: NOTICE OF RULING ON DEFENDANT EDWIN CALDERON'S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER
2/7/2017: Minute Order
3/2/2017: DEFENDANTS PHARMAVITE DIRECT LLC, AND PHARMAVITE LLC RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO PERMIT AMENDED SEPARATE STATEMENT
3/10/2017: PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS' SEPARATE STATEMENT OF DISPUTED FACTS IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/ADJUDICATION
3/17/2017: REPLY MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS PHARMAVITE LLC AND PHARMAYITE DIRECT LLC'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES
6/16/2017: ASSIGNED FOR ALL PURPOSES TO JUDGE TERESA A. BEAUDET, DEPT. 50
6/16/2017: ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S EXPARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE HEARING DATE OF DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES; ETC.
6/19/2017: Proof of Service
9/7/2017: DEFENDANT CALDERON'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER: 1) IMPOSING MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,941.75; ETC
Application ( to Bifurcate Punitive Damages and Evidence of Financial Condition by Defendant Pharmavite, LLC); Filed by Pharmative LLC (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice (of Case Reassignment); Filed by Maria Concepcion Rosales Irasava (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESSRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Maria Concepcion Rosales Irasava (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 09:30 AM in Department 50; Unknown Event Type - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
Minute order entered: 2018-06-06 00:00:00; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
at 09:30 AM in Department 50; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
Minute order entered: 2018-05-25 00:00:00; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
at 08:45 AM in Department 28; Case Management Conference (Conference-Case Management; Trial Date Set) -Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Pharmative LLC (Defendant); Pharmavite Direct LLC (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DEFENDANTS PHARMAVITE LLC AND PHARMAVITE DIRECT LLC'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT - CIVILRead MoreRead Less
Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by Maria Concepcion Rosales Irasava (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice; Filed by Maria Concepcion Rosales Irasava (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Maria Concepcion Rosales Irasava (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Summons (Joint Debtor)Read MoreRead Less
PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1) SEXUAL HARASSMENT; ETCRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC595706 Hearing Date: January 14, 2021 Dept: 31
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO QUASH DEPOSITION SUBPOENA IS DENIED.
On September 23, 2015, Plaintiff Maria Concepcion Rosales Irasava filed the instant action against Defendants Pharmavite LLC (“Pharmavite”); Pharmavite Direct LLC (“Direct”); Edwin Calderon; and Does 1 through 100. The Complaint asserts causes of action for:
Failure to Investigate and Prevent Harassment and Retaliation (against Pharmavite and Direct);
Retaliation (against Pharmavite and Direct);
Violation of Civil Code § 51 and Civil Code § 52.1(b) (against Pharmavite and Direct);
Wrongful Termination (against Pharmavite and Direct); and
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.
On September 7, 2017, the Court granted Defendant Direct’s motion for summary judgment. On the same day, the Court granted Defendant Pharmavite’s motion for summary adjudication as to the second and fourth causes of action.
Plaintiff now moves for an order quashing or modifying Defendant Calderon’s (hereinafter “Defendant”) subpoena issued to Kaiser Foundation Hospital.
California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, subdivision (a) provides:
If a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by any person described in subdivision (b), or upon the court's own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders. In addition, the court may make any other order as may be appropriate to protect the person from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person.
(Code of Civ. Proc., § 1987.1(a).) There is no requirement that the motion contain a meet and confer declaration. (See Code of Civ. Proc., § 1987.1.)
“Unless otherwise limited by order of the court . . . any party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved . . . if the matter either is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 2017.010.) “Even highly relevant, nonprivileged information may be shielded from discovery if its disclosure would impair a person’s ‘inalienable right of privacy’ provided by” Article 1, section 1 of the California Constitution. (See Britt v. Sup. Ct. (San Diego Unified Port Dist.) (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 855-856.)
Regarding the right of privacy, courts must carefully balance a right of privacy against the interest in having just litigation. (Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 40 Cal.4th 360, 371; Valley Bank of Nevada v. Sup. Ct. (1975) 15 Cal.3d 652, 657.) If there is a serious invasion of a constitutional right to privacy, the party seeking the evidence must establish that the information sought is not only essential and directly relevant, but also that this information could not be discovered through less intrusive means. (See Williams v. Superior Court (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 552; Allen v. Superior Court (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 447, 449.)
“The burden is on the party seeking the constitutionally protected information to establish direct relevance.” (Davis v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1017.) “Mere speculation as to the possibility that some portion of the records might be relevant to some substantive issue does not suffice.” (Id.)
Plaintiff moves for an order quashing or modifying Defendant’s subpoena issued to Kaiser Foundation/SCPMG (Medical Records Dept.) (“Kaiser”) on June 13, 2019 seeking “[a]ll documents and electronic data related to any visits by Maria Concepcion Rosales Irasava to Kaiser Permanente Inc., Santa Clarita Medical offices in 2013, including, but not limited to, physician notes, billing records, and any other notes or records of any kind.” (Schulman Decl. ¶ 2, Exh. 1.)
It is well established that medical records are afforded constitutional protection under a persons’ right to privacy. “[A]lthough in seeking recovery for physical and mental injuries plaintiffs have unquestionably waived their physician-patient and psychotherapist-patient privileges as to all information concerning the medical conditions which they have put in issue, past cases make clear that such waiver extends only to information relating to the medical conditions in question, and does not automatically open all of a plaintiff's past medical history to scrutiny.” (Britt v. Superior Court (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 849.)
Plaintiff argues that there are less intrusive means of obtaining the information sought. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant’s argument that it is entitled to all of Plaintiff’s medical records – for medical treatment completely unrelated to this action – because there is a possibility that such records may disclose alternate causes of Plaintiff’s emotional distress indicates that the subpoena is merely a fishing expedition to see if there might exist something helpful for Defendant. Plaintiff contends that Defendants have taken four days of Plaintiff’s deposition and have had ample opportunity to determine if alternate causes of emotional distress exist.
Plaintiff argues that Defendant cannot meet his significant burden of justifying the overly-broad subpoena seeking the entirety of Plaintiff’s medical and psychological records for an entire year of Plaintiff’s life and those of any third parties who Plaintiff may have mentioned to her doctors. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant cannot establish direct relevance to the instant case of all the records sought. Plaintiff contends that Defendant made no attempt to draft his subpoena such that it only sought records that were, or were at least expected to be, directly relevant to the issues in this case and for which there is a compelling need to discovery, or to even exclude information which Defendant was well aware he had no right to discover in light of statutory privileges and protections.
In opposition, Defendant argues Plaintiff has placed her physical and emotional state in controversy by alleging that Defendant began to sexually harass her in January 2013 and continued to sexually assault her throughout 2013. (Complaint ¶ 19-22.) Plaintiff further alleges that “[a]s a direct and legal result of the acts and omissions of DEFENDANTS, and each of them, Plaintiff was rendered sick, sore, lame, disabled, disordered, both internally and externally, and suffered numerous internal injuries, severe fright, shock, pain, discomfort, and extreme anxiety (among other things). The exact nature and extent of said injuries are not known to Plaintiff.” (Complaint ¶ 138.) Defendant contends that Plaintiff additionally alleged that she has been “forced to incur expenses for medical care, x-rays, and laboratory costs.” (Complaint ¶ 139.)
Defendant argues that such graphic depictions of Plaintiff’s alleged physical and emotional distress have not eased with time, as Plaintiff’s trial brief states “[Plaintiff] was devastated. Plaintiff has been depressed, suffers from anxiety, is afraid to go out in public, and has been unable to find work since her termination.” (Plaintiff’s Trial Brief, 1:8-14.) Defendant asserts that the brief additionally alleges that “Plaintiff suffered extreme emotional distress. She suffered depression, anxiety, she is afraid to go out in public now, she is afraid to work in a large company where she will be left alone for fear she will be subjected to sexual abuse again. The emotional distress has lasted for over six years. And while Plaintiff is attempting to learn new job skills, to work in the community helping others with nutrition, she still suffers the scars of the sexual abuse and wrongful termination in violation of law.” Defendant contends that Plaintiff further alleges that “Plaintiff went to Kaiser on her own immediately. She was referred to a psychiatrist. She has been undergoing treatment since her termination in November 2013. She has been placed on medication for depression and anxiety which she does not like to take because of the way it makes her feel. There were several times when the anxiety was so overwhelming she thought of killing herself. She found group therapy and continues to see a therapist. She feels hopeless. She is afraid to go out in public. When she tried to apply for work, she would become overcome with a fear that she would be trapped at a place like Pharmavite where she would be working alone and vulnerable to assault. Plaintiff will have her treating doctors testify at trial regarding the depression, anxiety and treatment she had undergone.” (Plaintiff’s Trial Brief, 14:23-15:4.) Defendant argues that clearly, Plaintiff’s claimed damages are not simply “garden variety” emotional distress claims.
Defendant asserts that given the overlapping time between Plaintiff’s claim of events in 2013 and the narrow scope of the subpoena, which only seeks records from 2013, these medical records are highly relevant and necessary in order to analyze, understand, and challenge the full extent of Plaintiff’s claimed damages. Defendant contends that the subpoena is aimed at obtaining Plaintiff’s physical and mental state in the year in which she claims she was sexually harassed and assaulted by Defendant. Defendant argues that he is entitled to fully investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding Plaintiff’s alleged injuries, including Plaintiff’s medical records for the year at issue.
Defendant asserts “[b]ecause only the patient, and not the party seeking disclosure, knows both the nature of the ailments for which recovery is sought and the general content of the . . . communications, the burden rests upon the patient initially to submit some showing that a given confidential communication is not directly related to the issue he has tendered to the court. [Citation.]” (In re Lifschutz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 415, 436.) Defendant contends that Plaintiff has failed to meet this burden, as Plaintiff has failed to provide the Court with any evidence on the content of the documents she is seeking to withhold from Defendant. Defendant argues that while Plaintiff insisted that Defendant is only entitled to records related to emotional distress, limiting the subpoena to “records related to emotional distress” is too vague to carry any actual significance, and furthermore, if Plaintiff had medical issues in 2014, Defendant would be entitled to argue that such medical issues caused her emotional distress.
As to Plaintiff’s arguments regarding third-party information, Defendant asserts that Plaintiff fails to cite to any authority for such a proposition that medical history is protected from disclosure. Defendant contends that if Plaintiff was truly concerned about third party privacy, she could have addressed those with Defendant during the meet and confer process prior to filing the instant motion. Defendant argues that he offered to consider narrowing the subpoena to address any concerns that Plaintiff had, however, Plaintiff offered no concrete proposal for narrowing the subpoena in a meaningful way. Defendant finally asserts that this action is already subject to a lengthy protective order that governs this case.
The Court finds that Defendant, as the party seeking the constitutionally protected information, has carried his burden establishing direct relevance of the information sought. First, the Court notes that Plaintiff concedes that Defendant is entitled to records related to Plaintiff’s emotional distress damages. Plaintiff not only claims emotional damages, but physical injuries as well, as Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges that “Plaintiff was rendered sick, sore, lame, disabled, disordered, both internally and externally, and suffered numerous internal injuries, severe fright, shock, pain, discomfort, and extreme anxiety (among other things). The exact nature and extent of said injuries are not known to Plaintiff.” (Complaint ¶ 138.) In doing so, Plaintiff has “unquestionably waived [the] physician-patient and psychotherapist-patient privileges as to all information concerning the medical conditions which [she] ha[s] put in issue.” (Britt, supra, 20 Cal.3d at 849.) Defendant is therefore entitled to test the veracity of those allegations.
Here, Defendant seeks medical records only for 2013, the year Plaintiff alleges the misconduct took place. Such a request is narrowly tailored, as the length is necessary for Defendant to ascertain Plaintiff’s mental and physical state prior to, during, and after the alleged misconduct. Had Defendant sought medical records for the five years prior to the alleged misconduct, the Court would agree with Plaintiff that the request is overbroad. However, that is not the case here and the Court finds that the information is directly relevant and there are no less intrusive means of discovering such information.
Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s motion to quash or modify the subpoena issued to Kaiser is DENIED in its entirety. The Court declines Defendant’s request to impose sanctions.
Plaintiff’s motion to quash or modify the subpoena issued to Kaiser is DENIED in its entirety. The Court declines Defendant’s request to impose sanctions.
Moving party is to give notice.
The parties are strongly encouraged to attend all scheduled hearings virtually or by audio. Effective July 20, 2020, all matters will be scheduled virtually and/or with audio through the Court’s LACourtConnect technology. The parties are strongly encouraged to use LACourtConnect for all their matters. All social distancing protocols will be observed at the Courthouse and in the courtrooms.
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