This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/02/2019 at 03:26:29 (UTC).

ALICE SARKISSIAN VS MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/11/2017 ALICE SARKISSIAN filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are WILLIAM D. STEWART and YOLANDA OROZCO. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6448

  • Filing Date:

    12/11/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

WILLIAM D. STEWART

YOLANDA OROZCO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

SARKISSIAN ALICE AN INDIVIDUAL AN AS

SARKISSIAN ALICE

Defendants and Respondents

MONTROSE HEALTHCRE CENTER

DOES 1 TO 100

MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC

MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC. A CALIF. CORP.

MONTROSE HEALTHCAR CENTER

Not Classified By Court

MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC. DBA MONTROSE HEALTHCARE CENTER

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

MGDESYAN GEORGE G. ESQ.

FIRM MGDESYAN LAW

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

HESTER CECILLE L. ESQ.

HESTER CECILLE LOUISE ESQ.

 

Court Documents

DEFENDANT MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC. DBA MONTROSE HEALTHCARE CENTER NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF CECILLE L. HESTER

2/1/2018: DEFENDANT MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC. DBA MONTROSE HEALTHCARE CENTER NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF CECILLE L. HESTER

DEFENDANT MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC., DBA MONTROSE HEALTHCARE CENTER'S JOINT MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER ETC.

3/7/2018: DEFENDANT MONTROSE HEALTHCARE INC., DBA MONTROSE HEALTHCARE CENTER'S JOINT MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER ETC.

Unknown

4/3/2018: Unknown

Unknown

4/23/2018: Unknown

Unknown

4/25/2018: Unknown

Case Management Statement

4/25/2018: Case Management Statement

Unknown

5/1/2018: Unknown

Minute Order

5/4/2018: Minute Order

Unknown

5/14/2018: Unknown

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

7/16/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Notice of Motion

8/14/2018: Notice of Motion

Notice of Motion

8/14/2018: Notice of Motion

Notice of Motion

8/14/2018: Notice of Motion

Minute Order

10/19/2018: Minute Order

Notice

11/21/2018: Notice

Notice

1/8/2019: Notice

Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

4/19/2019: Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. WRONGFUL DEATH ;ETC

12/11/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. WRONGFUL DEATH ;ETC

39 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/10/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Notice (of Entry of Order by the Court re Continuance of the Trial Date, The Final Status Conference Date and All Pre-Trial Dates); Filed by Montrose Healthcare, Inc (Defendant)

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  • 04/19/2019
  • ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND RELATED DATES; Filed by Alice, Sarkissian (Plaintiff); Montrose Healthcare, Inc (Defendant)

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  • 04/19/2019
  • JOINT STIPULATION OF COUNSEL TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND RELATED DATES; Filed by Alice, Sarkissian (Plaintiff); Montrose Healthcare, Inc (Defendant)

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  • 01/14/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held

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  • 01/14/2019
  • Minute Order ((Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/08/2019
  • Notice (of continued case management conference); Filed by Alice, Sarkissian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/31/2018
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by Montrose Healthcare, Inc., a Calif. Corp. (Defendant); Montrose Healthcar Center (Defendant)

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  • 11/26/2018
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Case Management Conference (continued to and/or) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 11/26/2018
  • Minute Order ((Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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74 More Docket Entries
  • 02/01/2018
  • Motion to Strike; Filed by Montrose Healthcare, Inc (Defendant); Montrose Healthcre Center (Defendant)

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  • 12/26/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Alice, Sarkissian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/26/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 12/26/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Alice, Sarkissian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/26/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 12/26/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 12/11/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Alice, Sarkissian (Plaintiff); Alice, Sarkissian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/11/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 12/11/2017
  • Complaint

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  • 12/11/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. WRONGFUL DEATH ;ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC686448    Hearing Date: January 31, 2020    Dept: A

Sarkissian v Montrose Healthcare

Motion for Summary Judgment

Calendar:

09

Case No.:

BC686448

Hearing Date:

January 31, 2020

Action Filed:

December 11, 2017

Trial Date:

May 11, 2020

MP:

Defendants Montrose Healthcare, Inc. d/b/a Montrose Healthcare Center

RP:

Plaintiff Alice Sarkissian, an individual and as successor in interest to Decedent Shnorig Baghadasar Sarkissian

ALLEGATIONS:

Plaintiff Alice Sarkissian (“Plaintiff”) is the daughter and successor in interest of Decedent Shnorig Baghadasar Sarkissian (“Decedent”). Plaintiff alleges that Decedent was in the care of Defendant Montrose Healthcare Center, Inc. and Defendant Montrose Healthcare Center (“Defendants”). She alleges that Defendants were a nursing facility that provided long term care. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to provide proper hygiene and physical activity to Decedent, and isolated her in her room without medical care. Plaintiff alleges that their care for Decedent was negligent and resulted in Decedent developing an infected sore, which ultimately caused her death.

The Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”), filed August 09, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) Wrongful Death; and (2) Professional Negligence.

PRESENTATION:

Defendants filed the instant motion for summary judgment on September 26, 2019. Plaintiff opposed the motion on January 17, 2020. A reply brief was received on January 24, 2020.

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Defendants move for judgment on the First and Second Causes of Action.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review – A party may move for summary judgment in any action or proceeding if it is contended the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding. Code Civ. Proc. §437c(a). To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the evidence submitted must show there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Code Civ. Proc. §437c(c). In other words, the opposing party cannot present contrary admissible evidence to raise a triable factual dispute.

“A defendant or cross-defendant 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, even if not separately pleaded, cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action. Once the defendant or cross-defendant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff or cross-complainant to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto. The plaintiff or cross-complainant shall not rely upon the allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.” Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(p)(2).

When ruling on a summary judgment motion, the trial court must consider all inferences from the evidence, even those contradicted by the moving party’s evidence. The motion cannot succeed unless the evidence leaves no room for conflicting inferences as to material facts; the court has no power to weigh one inference against another or against other evidence. Murillo v. Rite Stuff Food Inc. (1998) 65 Cal. App. 4th 833, 841. In determining whether the facts give rise to a triable issue of material fact, “‘[a]ll doubts as to whether any material, triable, issues of fact exist are to be resolved in favor of the party opposing summary judgment . . . .’” Gold v. Weissman (2004) 114 Cal. App. 4th 1195, 1198-99. “In other words, the facts alleged in the evidence of the party opposing summary judgment and the reasonable inferences there from must be accepted as true.” Jackson v. County of Los Angeles (1997) 60 Cal. App. 4th 171, 179.

With a summary judgment motion, a three-step analysis is required of the trial court. AARTS Productions, Inc. v. Crocker Nat’l Bank (1986) 179 Cal. App. 3d 1061, 1064–65. First, the trial court must identify the issues framed by the pleadings since it is these allegations to which the motion must respond by establishing a complete defense or otherwise showing there is no factual basis for relief on any theory reasonably contemplated by the opponent’s pleading. Id. Secondly, the court must determine whether the moving party’s showing has established facts which negate the opponent’s claim and justify a judgment in movant’s favor. Id. When a summary judgment motion prima facie justifies a judgment, the third and final step is to determine whether the opposition demonstrates the existence of a triable, material factual issue. Id. On a plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff bears the burden of persuasion that each element of the cause of action in question has been proved, and that there is no defense thereto. Code of Civ. Proc. §437c(o)(1); Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al. (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 850.

Element of Causation – Defendants attack the element of causation as the basis for their motion for summary judgment, arguing that because Defendants did not violate the requisite standard of care, the element of causation is missing from the existing evidence. Motion, 9:20-10:7. In making this argument, Defendants rely on the expert opinion of Roger Schechter, M.D., opining that the standard of care was not violated. Decl. of Schechter, ¶9. Pursuant to the Court’s review, the Court determines that Defendants have failed to establish a prima facie right to relief, as the expert declaration fails to inform the Court what the requisite standard of care is under the facts of this case. As stated by the Supreme Court of California:

Evidence Code section 801 provides: “If a witness is testifying as an expert, his testimony in the form of an opinion is limited to such an opinion as is: (a) Related to a subject that is sufficiently beyond common experience that the opinion of an expert would assist the trier of fact; and (b) Based on matter ... that is of a type that reasonably may be relied upon by an expert in forming an opinion upon the subject to which his testimony relates, unless an expert is precluded by law from using such matter as a basis for his opinion.” (Italics added.) Subdivision (b) clearly permits a court to determine whether the matter is of a type on which an expert may reasonably rely.

In Lockheed Litigation Cases (2004) 115 Cal. App. 4th 558, 563 [10 Cal. Rptr. 3d 34], the plaintiffs argued that under Evidence Code section 801, subdivision (b), “a court should determine only whether the type of matter that an expert relies on in forming his or her opinion is the type of matter that an expert reasonably can rely on in forming an opinion, without regard to whether the matter relied on reasonably does support the particular opinion offered.” The Court of Appeal disagreed. “An expert opinion has no value if its basis is unsound. [Citations.] Matter that provides a reasonable basis for one opinion does not necessarily provide a reasonable basis for another opinion. Evidence Code section 801, subdivision (b), states that a court must determine whether the matter that the expert relies on is of a type that an expert reasonably can rely on ‘in forming an opinion upon the subject to which his testimony relates.’ (Italics added.) We construe this to mean that the matter relied on must provide a reasonable basis for the particular opinion offered, and that an expert opinion based on speculation or conjecture is inadmissible.” (Lockheed Litigation Cases, supra, at p. 564, 10 Cal. Rptr. 3d 34.)

….

Thus, under Evidence Code sections 801, subdivision (b), and 802, the trial court acts as a gatekeeper to exclude expert opinion testimony that is (1) based on matter of a type on which an expert may not reasonably rely, (2) based on reasons unsupported by the material on which the expert relies, or 3) speculative. Other provisions of law, including decisional law, may also provide reasons for excluding expert opinion testimony. [Emphasis added].

 

See, Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. Univ. of S. California (2012) 55 Cal. 4th 747, 769–70.

As further stated by the Court:

…“[A] properly qualified expert may offer an opinion relating to a subject that is beyond common experience, if that expert’s opinion will assist the trier of fact.” (Bushling v. Fremont Medical Center (2004) 117 Cal. App. 4th 493, 510, 11 Cal. Rptr. 3d 653 (Bushling ).) “However, even when the witness qualifies as an expert, he or she does not possess a carte blanche to express any opinion within the area of expertise. For example, an expert’s opinion based on assumptions of fact without evidentiary support, or on speculative or conjectural factors, has no evidentiary value and may be excluded from evidence. Similarly, when an expert’s opinion is purely conclusory because unaccompanied by a reasoned explanation connecting the factual predicates to the ultimate conclusion, that opinion has no evidentiary value because an ‘expert opinion is worth no more than the reasons upon which it rests.’ ” [Emphasis added] (Jennings v. Palomar Pomerado Health Systems, Inc. (2003) 114 Cal. App. 4th 1108, 1117, 8 Cal. Rptr. 3d 363 (Jennings ).) “An expert who gives only a conclusory opinion does not assist the jury to determine what occurred, but instead supplants the jury by declaring what occurred.” (Id. at pp. 1117–1118, 8 Cal. Rptr. 3d 363.) Regarding causation, “the plaintiff must offer an expert opinion that contains a reasoned explanation illuminating why the facts have convinced the expert, and therefore should convince the jury, that it is more probable than not the negligent act was a cause-in-fact of the plaintiff’s injury.” [Emphasis added] (Id. at p. 1118, 8 Cal. Rptr. 3d 363.)

These rules apply to expert witness declarations submitted in connection with a motion for summary judgment. (Powell, supra, 151 Cal. App. 4th at p. 123, 59 Cal. Rptr. 3d 618); (Bushling, supra, 117 Cal. App. 4th at p. 510, 11 Cal. Rptr. 3d 653.) “Cases dismissing expert declarations in connection with summary judgment motions do so on the basis that the declarations established that the opinions were either speculative, lacked foundation, or were stated without sufficient certainty.” (Sanchez v. Hillerich & Bradsby Co. (2002) 104 Cal. App. 4th 703, 718, 128 Cal. Rptr. 2d 529.) “[U]nder Evidence Code section 801, the trial court acts as a gatekeeper to exclude speculative or irrelevant expert opinion.” (Sargon, supra, 55 Cal. 4th at p. 770, 149 Cal. Rptr. 3d 614, 288 P. 3d 1237.) “[T]he gatekeeper’s role ‘is to make certain that an expert, whether basing testimony upon professional studies or personal experience, employs in the courtroom the same level of intellectual rigor that characterizes the practice of an expert in the relevant field.’ ” [Emphasis added] (Id. at p. 772, 149 Cal. Rptr. 3d 614, 288 P. 3d 1237.)

See, Sanchez v. Kern Emergency Med. Transportation Corp. (2017) 8 Cal. App. 5th 146, 153 and 155–56, as modified (Feb. 16, 2017).

However, even if Defendants’ expert had adequately explicated the standard of care for the instant matter, Plaintiff’s expert’s contrary opinion would create a material issue for the factfinder. Specifically, the Declaration of Jackson (while equally failing to describe the requisite standard of care), contradicts the Declaration of Schechter by opining that the failure of Defendants to provide supplements, perform physiotherapy, and undertake other actions substantially contributed to Decedent’s death. Decl. of Jackson, ¶¶15-20. However, as Defendants have failed to shift the burden to Plaintiff in the first instance, the Court need not perform any additional analysis on the matter.

Accordingly, the motion is denied.

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RULING:

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Defendants Montrose Healthcare, Inc. d/b/a Montrose Healthcare Center’s Motion for Summary Judgment came on regularly for hearing on January 31, 2020, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION IS DENIED. MOVING PARTY DID NOT SHIFT THE BURDEN IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, AND THERE IS A TRIABLE ISSUE OF FACT: DID THE FAILURE OF DEFENDANTS TO PROVIDE SUPPLEMENTS, PERFORM PHYSIOTHERAPY CONTRIBUTE TO DEATH OF DECEDANT.

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE