On 04/10/2018 AILEEN HEIDI VICTORIA COYNE filed a Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice lawsuit against CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are CHRISTOPHER K. LUI and DANIEL M. CROWLEY. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
CHRISTOPHER K. LUI
DANIEL M. CROWLEY
COYNE AILEEN HEIDI VICTORIA
RUDD M.D. STEVEN
DOES 1 THROUGH 100 INCLUSIVE
CEDARS SINAI MEDICAL GROUP -GASTROENTEROL
HERMAN M.D. JEREMY
CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER
CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL GROUP
HERMAN JEREMY M.D.
CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL GROUP GASTROENTEROLOGY
RUDD STEVEN M.D.
KATZ RICHARD M. ESQ.
KATZ RICHARD MARC
MOSELY KATHRYN S.M.
11/3/2020: Stipulation - No Order - STIPULATION - NO ORDER STIPULATION RE PENDING MATTERS
9/24/2020: Memorandum of Costs (Summary)
9/10/2020: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF STEVEN RUDD, M.D.
9/8/2020: Judgment - [PROPOSED] JUDGMENT PER CCP SECTION 437C IN FAVOR OF STEVEN RUDD, M.D.
7/9/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/ADJUDICATION OF DEFENDANT CEDARS SINAI MEDICAL CENTER
7/9/2020: Proof of Service by Mail
6/3/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)
6/4/2020: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF COURTS CONTINUANCE AND ADVANCING THE HEARING ON CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTERS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
3/17/2020: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR A CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL DATE PURSUANT TO STIPULATION;
3/4/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF COURT'S ORDER CONTINUING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
1/22/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (DEFENDANTS CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER AND STEVEN RUDD, M.D.'...)
1/30/2020: Separate Statement
1/30/2020: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGING EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/ADJUDICATION OF DEFENDANTS CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER AND STEVEN RUDD, M.D. (VOLUME 2 OF 3)
10/15/2019: Notice of Change of Firm Name
7/8/2019: [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person - [PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSO
11/30/2018: Answer - Answer Defendants, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center And Steven Russ, M.D.'s Answer To Plaintiff's Complaint
4/10/2018: Summons -
Hearing05/17/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearing04/30/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Hearing04/12/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; : OSC RE DismissalRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 2:30 PM in Department 28, Daniel M. Crowley, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by PartyRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 28, Daniel M. Crowley, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by PartyRead MoreRead Less
DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Jeremy Herman, M.D. (Defendant); Cedar-Sinai Medical Group Erroneously Sued As Cedars-Sinai Medical Group Gastroenterology (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketStipulation - No Order (Stipulation Re Pending Matters); Filed by Aileen Heidi Victoria Coyne (Plaintiff); Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Defendant); Steven Rudd, M.D. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 28, Daniel M. Crowley, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
DocketJudgment (AMENDED JUDGMENT PER CCP 437c IN FAVOR OF CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER AND STEVEN RUDD, M.D.); Filed by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Defendant); Steven Rudd, M.D. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 28, Daniel M. Crowley, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
DocketStatement of Damages (Personal Injury or Wrongful Death); Filed by Aileen Heidi Victoria Coyne (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketStatement of Damages (Personal Injury or Wrongful Death); Filed by Aileen Heidi Victoria Coyne (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Aileen Heidi Victoria Coyne (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by Jeremy Herman, M.D. (Defendant); Cedar-Sinai Medical Group Erroneously Sued As Cedars-Sinai Medical Group Gastroenterology (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration (of Trial Attorney); Filed by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Defendant); Steven Rudd, M.D. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer (Defendants, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center And Steven Russ, M.D.'s Answer To Plaintiff's Complaint); Filed by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Defendant); Steven Rudd, M.D. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons; Filed by Aileen Heidi Victoria Coyne (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaintRead MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover SheetRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Aileen Heidi Victoria Coyne (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC701841 Hearing Date: July 24, 2020 Dept: 28
Motion for Summary Judgment, or in the Alternative, Summary Adjudication
Having considered the moving, opposing, and reply papers, the Court rules as follows.
On April 10, 2018, Plaintiff Aileen Heidi Victoria Coyne (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Jeremy Herman, M.D., Steven Rudd, M.D., and Cedars Siani Medical Group – Gastroenterology (collectively “Defendants”). Plaintiff alleges medical malpractice in the complaint arising from deficient care rendered on February 15, 2017 and after in relation to a colonoscopy.
On January 30, 2020, Defendant Cedars-Sinai Medical Center filed a motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 437c.
On February 25, 2020, the Court continued the hearing on Defendant Ste Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s motion to April 24, 2020.
On April 14, 2020, the Court continued the hearing on Defendant Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s motion to August 14, 2020.
On June 3, 2020, the Court advanced the hearing on Defendant Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s motion to July 24, 2020.
Trial is set for October 23, 2020.
Defendant Cedars-Siani Medical Center (“Moving Defendant”) asks the Court to enter summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication against Plaintiff and in Moving Defendant’s favor for three reasons. First, the statute of limitations has passed. Second, an expert has opined that Moving Defendant complied with Moving Defendant’s standard of care. Third, an expert has opined that Moving Defendant did not cause Plaintiff’s harm.
The purpose of a motion for summary judgment “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar v. Atl. Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.)
“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.) A defendant moving for summary judgment “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(p)(2).) “Once the defendant . . . has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.” (Id.) “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Med. Ctr. (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467.)
“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi, supra, 159 Cal.App.4th at p. 467; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).)
Statute of Limitations
California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5 states: “In an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence, the time for the commencement of action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first . . . .”
The term “injury,” as used in California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5, means both a person’s physical condition and its negligent cause. Thus, once a patient knows, or by reasonable diligence should have known, that he has been harmed through professional negligence, he has one year to bring his suit. The patient is charged with “presumptive” knowledge of his negligent injury, and the statute commences to run, once he has notice or information of circumstances putting a reasonable person on inquiry notice, or has the opportunity to obtain knowledge from sources open to his investigation. (Gutierrez v. Mofid (1985) 39 Cal.3d 892, 896-897.) A plaintiff has reason to discover a cause of action when he or she has reason at least to suspect a factual basis for the elements of the cause of action. (Fox v. Ethicon Edo-Surgery, Inc. (2005) 35 Cal.4th 797, 807.) “In so using the term ‘elements,’ we do not take a hypertechnical approach to the application of the discovery rule. Rather than examining whether the plaintiffs suspect facts supporting each specific legal element of a particular cause of action, we look to whether plaintiffs have reason at least to suspect that a type of wrongdoing has injured them.” (Ibid.) Once the plaintiff has a suspicion of wrongdoing, and therefore an incentive to sue, he or she must decide whether to file suit or sit on his or her rights. (Id. at 769.)
“Where the operative facts are undisputed, the question of the application of the statute of limitations is a matter of law, and summary judgment is proper where the facts shown the action is time-barred as a matter of law.” (Velasquez v. Truck Ins. Exchange (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 712, 717.)
The complaint alleges the following. On February 15, 2017, Plaintiff sought Moving Defendant’s professional advice on Plaintiff’s hyponatremia. (Compl., ¶ 12.) Plaintiff relied on Moving Defendant’s advice to Plaintiff’s detriment. (Ibid.) Moving Defendant’s negligence caused hyponatremia, osmotic demyelination syndrome, issues of fatigue, dizziness, vision complaints, and the sequella thereof. (Compl., ¶ 14.)
Moving Defendant’s undisputed material facts establish the following. Plaintiff underwent a colonoscopy performed by Jeremy Herman, M.D. on February 13, 2017. (UMF No. 2.) Dr. Herman ordered .4 micrograms/kilogram of DDAVP. (Ibid.) That evening, Plaintiff began to develop abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. (UMF No. 4.) On February 15, 2017, Plaintiff presented to Moving Defendant’s Emergency Department. Moving Defendant’s hospital and discharged on February 18, 2017 in good condition. (UMF No. 11.) On February 22, 2017, Plaintiff presented to Michelle Grotz-Rhone, M.D. for a hospitalization follow-up. (UMF No. 13; Evidence Vol. 2, Exh. A, pp. 249-253.) Dr. Grotz-Rhone stated the following:
s/p discharge 2/18/2017, admitted for hyponatremia likely due to DDAVP.
upset. given higher dose than written by hematologist, was unable to get care from GI when so sick.
(UMF No. 13; Evidence Vol. 2, Exh. A, p. 251.)
The Court finds Moving Defendant has met his burden. Dr. Grotz-Rhone’s report from the February 22, 2017 follow-up visit reveals that Dr. Grotz-Rhone concluded Plaintiff’s hyponatremia was likely due to the DDAVP. This report also shows Plaintiff was unable to get adequate care from Moving Defendant during Plaintiff’s hospitalization due to the severity of Plaintiff’s sickness. This would put a reasonable person on notice to suspect a factual basis for Plaintiff’s medical malpractice cause of action. The burden shifts to Plaintiff.
Plaintiff argues the February 22, 2017 follow-up visit with Dr. Grotz-Rhone did not put Plaintiff on notice of her injuries or their negligent cause. There is no mention in that visit of Plaintiff’s neurologic symptoms. (Opposition, p. 14:9-14:10.) Dr. Grotz-Rhone did not diagnose Plaintiff with osmotic myelinolysis or inform her that she suffered an injury because of over rapid correction of hyponatremia in the emergency department. (Opposition, p. 14:10-14:12.) Rather, Plaintiff argues she did not have notice of her injuries and their negligent cause until Plaintiff was diagnosed with osmotic myelinolysis on August 10, 2017. (Opposition, p. 14:17-14:27.)
The Court finds Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate the one year statute of limitations in California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5 did not trigger on February 22, 2017. Plaintiff did not have to be told of all of her symptoms, including her neurological symptoms, and all of her diagnoses, including osmotic myelinolysis, in order for the statute of limitations to be begin. Rather, the mention of why Plaintiff was hospitalized and why Plaintiff was not adequately treated in the hospital put Plaintiff on inquiry notice of the professional negligence that caused Plaintiff’s harm sufficient to trigger the statute of limitations.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s one year statute of limitations to bring this action began on February 22, 2017. Plaintiff brought suit over a year later on April 10, 2018. As such, Plaintiff’s action is barred by the statute of limitations.
In light of the above finding, the Court declines to consider Moving Defendant’s argument that summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication should be granted based on an expert declaration.
The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.
The parties are directed to the header of this tentative ruling for further instructions.
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