This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 01/17/2020 at 01:27:15 (UTC).

BUENA JOHNSON VS HIRBOD ETESSAMI DDS

Case Summary

On 05/25/2018 BUENA JOHNSON filed an Other lawsuit against HIRBOD ETESSAMI DDS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7788

  • Filing Date:

    05/25/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

JOHNSON BUENA

Defendants and Respondents

ETESSAMI HIRI DDS

DOES 1 TO 20

ETESSAMI HIRBOD DDS

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

FALESE PHILIP O.

Defendant Attorneys

HIRSCHBERG MARK L

CRISLER TED RUSSELL

 

Court Documents

Offer to Compromise

1/9/2020: Offer to Compromise

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT) OF 01/10/2020

1/10/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT) OF 01/10/2020

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

1/10/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE)

12/30/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE)

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE

12/30/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE

12/26/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE)

12/26/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CONTINUANCE)

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

12/26/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Motion for Summary Judgment

10/25/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Separate Statement

10/25/2019: Separate Statement

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

6/26/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Substitution of Attorney

11/30/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Answer

2/22/2019: Answer

Notice of Deposit - Jury

2/22/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

4/26/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER -

5/25/2018: ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER -

VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: NEGLIGENCE; ETC

5/25/2018: VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: NEGLIGENCE; ETC

SUMMONS -

5/25/2018: SUMMONS -

9 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/10/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 01/10/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/10/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment) of 01/10/2020); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/10/2020
  • DocketOrder - Dismissal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/09/2020
  • DocketOffer to Compromise; Filed by Buena Johnson (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/30/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (for continuance) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 12/30/2019
  • DocketEx Parte Application (for continuance); Filed by Buena Johnson (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/30/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for continuance)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/26/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (for continuance) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 12/26/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Buena Johnson (Plaintiff)

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11 More Docket Entries
  • 02/22/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Hirbod, DDS Etessami (Defendant)

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  • 12/13/2018
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

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  • 11/30/2018
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Buena Johnson (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketRequest-Waive Court Fees

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: NEGLIGENCE; ETC

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC707788    Hearing Date: January 10, 2020    Dept: 5

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 5

BUENA JOHNSON,

Plaintiff,

v.

HIRBOD ETESSAMI, DDS, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: BC707788

Hearing Date: January 10, 2020

[Tentative] order RE:

Defendant’s motion for summary judgment

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Buena Johnson (“Plaintiff”) filed this medical malpractice action against Defendant Hirbod Etessami, D.D.S. (“Defendant”) asserting causes of action for: (1) negligence; (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (3) negligent infliction of emotional distress. Now, Defendant moves for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed no opposition to the motion, which is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

“[T]he party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of persuasion that there is no triable issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law . . . . There is a triable issue of material fact if, and only if, the evidence would allow a reasonable trier of fact to find the underlying fact in favor of the party opposing the motion in accordance with the applicable standard of proof.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850.)

“[T]he party moving for summary judgment bears an initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any triable issue of material fact; if he carries his burden of production, he causes a shift, and the opposing party is then subjected to a burden of production of his own to make a prima facie showing of the existence of a triable issue of material fact.” (Ibid.) In ruling on the motion, “the court may not weigh the plaintiff's evidence or inferences against the defendant[’s] as though it were sitting as the trier of fact.” (Id. at p. 856.) However, the Court “must . . . determine what any evidence or inference could show or imply to a reasonable trier of fact.” (Ibid.)

DISCUSSION

A. Claim for Professional Negligence

To prevail on a claim for professional negligence against a medical professional, a plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) a medical professional had a duty to use the skill, prudence and diligence that members of the profession commonly possess and exercise; (2) breach of that duty; (3) an injury that resulted from the breach of that duty; and (4) actual loss or damage resulting from the breach of that duty. (Banerian v. O’Malley (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 604, 612.) Expert testimony is the only admissible evidence on breach of the standard of care. (Landeros v. Flood (1976) 17 Cal.3d 399, 410.) Defendant relies on the expert testimony from endodontist expert, Eddie Harouni, D.D.S., who opines that Defendant’s care and treatment was within the standard of care and did not cause or contribute to Plaintiff’s injuries. (Harouni Decl., ¶¶ 8-16.) Specifically, Dr. Harouni would testify as follows: (1) Defendant did not breach the standard of care; (2) Defendant’s use of a dental bite block during treatment was appropriate; (3) the length of time to conduct the root canal therapy was appropriate; (4) Plaintiff’s continued complaints of sensitivity were due to gum sensitivity, not due to the root canal; (5) the root canal therapy performed on an upper tooth would not place pressure on the lower jaw; (6) Defendant’s follow-up care was appropriate; and (7) no act or omission by Defendant contributed to Plaintiff’s alleged injuries. (Ibid.) This evidence is sufficient to satisfy Defendant’s burden, shifting the burden to Plaintiff. Plaintiff proffers no evidence to rebut this showing. Nor is there sufficient evidence in the record to create a triable issue.

B. Claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

“To state a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress a plaintiff must show: (1) outrageous conduct by the defendant; (2) the defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress; (3) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (4) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct.” (Yau v. Santa Margarita Ford, Inc. (2014) 229 Cal.App.3th 144.) A defendant’s conduct is “outrageous” when it is so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community. (Hughes v. Pair (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1035, 1050-1051.) Further, “in the absence of physical injury, the courts have never allowed recovery of damages for emotional distress arising solely from property damage or economic injury to the plaintiff.” (Butler-Rupp v. Lourdeaux (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 1220, 1228.)

“With respect to the requirement that the plaintiff show severe emotional distress, this court has set a high bar. Severe emotional distress means emotional distress of such substantial quality or enduring quality that no reasonable [person] in civilized society should be expected to endure it.” (Hughes v. Pair (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1035, 1051 (Hughes), internal citation marks omitted.) In Hughes, our Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal’s judgment in finding that “plaintiff’s assertions that she has suffered discomfort, worry, anxiety, upset stomach, concern, and agitation” were insufficient to plead severe emotional distress. (Ibid.) In Angie M. v. Superior Court (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 1217, the Court of Appeal found that “Angie has pleaded no facts demonstrating the nature, extent or duration of her alleged emotional distress” sufficient to plead the severe emotional distress element. (Id. at p. 1227.)

Here, Plaintiff alleges the following “outrageous” conduct: (1) Defendant refused to prescribe antibiotics and pain killers on May 30, 2017 and (2) Plaintiff was left in the dental chair for an unreasonable length of time while mouth was blocked open causing her jaw to be dislocated. (Complaint ¶¶ 22-23.) The evidence in the record indicates that Plaintiff did not recall whether she was given any antibiotics or pain medication from Defendant or if she asked for some. Dr. Harouni’s declaration states that Plaintiff’s procedure occurred for a reasonable length of time. This evidence is sufficient to satisfy Defendant’s burden, shifting the burden to Plaintiff to advance evidence to raise triable issues of material fact as to whether Defendant’s conduct is outrageous. Plaintiff proffers no evidence to rebut this showing, and there is insufficient evidence in the record to create a triable issue.

C. Claim for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

“A cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress requires that a plaintiff show “(1) serious emotional distress, (2) actually and proximately caused by (3) wrongful conduct (4) by a defendant who should have foreseen that the conduct would cause such distress.” (Austin v. Terhune (9th Cir. 2004) 367 F.3d 1167, 1172 [applying California law].)

California courts have recognized that negligent infliction of emotional distress is not an independent tort, but the tort of negligence such that the traditional elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages apply. (Christensen v. Superior Court (1991) 54 Cal.3d 868, 884.) To plead negligent infliction of emotional distress, a plaintiff must establish negligence. (Id. at p. 882.) Therefore, this claim fails for the same reasons as Plaintiff’s claim for professional negligence.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: January 10, 2020 ___________________________

Hon. Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court