This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/14/2020 at 03:26:40 (UTC).

CHRISTINE KELLY MACINNIS VS CONDUENT PAYMENT INTEGRITY SOLUT

Case Summary

On 03/29/2018 CHRISTINE KELLY MACINNIS filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CONDUENT PAYMENT INTEGRITY SOLUT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS, TERESA A. BEAUDET, JON R. TAKASUGI, HOLLY E. KENDIG and DALILA CORRAL LYONS. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9972

  • Filing Date:

    03/29/2018

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • 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

MARC D. GROSS

TERESA A. BEAUDET

JON R. TAKASUGI

HOLLY E. KENDIG

DALILA CORRAL LYONS

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

MACINNIS CHRISTINE KELLY

Defendants and Respondents

ROES 101-200

KHOSHABA ZINA

XEROX RECOVERY SERVICES INC.

DOES 1-100

CONDUENT PAYMENT INTEGRITY SOLUTIONS INC

AMBULATORY ANESTHESIA ASSOC

TEAM MAKENA AKA RESTORE MOTION

COAST SURGERY CENTER LP

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYS SOUTH DBA LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY

ADVANCED IMAGING SOUTH BAY

ORTHOPEDIC & EXTREMITY SPEC

HERMAN OT MOJCA C.

EMERGENCY SPECIALIST PHYS MED

TEAM MAKENA

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYS SOUTH

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

WEBERMAN JANCE M. ESQ.

WEBERMAN JANCE MARSHALL ESQ.

WEBERMAN JANCE MARSHALL

WEBERMAN JANCE M.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

BROWN JANICE P.

COCANIG CODY JOSEPH

FODE STACY L.

SPITZER SIERRA J.

 

Court Documents

Proof of Service by Mail

4/15/2020: Proof of Service by Mail

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE LODGE TRIAL READINESS AND EXHIB...) OF 02/14/2020

2/14/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE LODGE TRIAL READINESS AND EXHIB...) OF 02/14/2020

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

2/6/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

2/6/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Proof of Service by Mail

1/28/2020: Proof of Service by Mail

Notice - NOTICE OF PLAINTIFFS AMENDED LODGEMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION

1/15/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF PLAINTIFFS AMENDED LODGEMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER)

12/6/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF ZINA KHOSHABA

11/22/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF ZINA KHOSHABA

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/22/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

11/22/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Clerk of Court Notice of Clerical Error and Correction

11/19/2018: Clerk of Court Notice of Clerical Error and Correction

Case Management Statement

10/16/2018: Case Management Statement

Minute Order -

9/5/2018: Minute Order -

NOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT CIVIL

7/25/2018: NOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT CIVIL

NOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT CIVIL

7/25/2018: NOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT CIVIL

Proof of Service -

7/25/2018: Proof of Service -

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO EACH CAUSE OF ACTION IN PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

7/26/2018: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO EACH CAUSE OF ACTION IN PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. VIOLATIONS OF CCMIA; CAL CIV. CODE 56, ET SEQ. ;ETC

3/29/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. VIOLATIONS OF CCMIA; CAL CIV. CODE 56, ET SEQ. ;ETC

83 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/03/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Christine Kelly MacInnis (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/28/2020
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 08/28/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 08/14/2020
  • DocketNotice (of Court's Intent to Dismiss the Case Pursuant Notice of Settlement filed by Plaintiff); Filed by Christine Kelly MacInnis (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/07/2020
  • Docketat 07:47 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 08/07/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order) of 08/07/2020); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/07/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/06/2020
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department STL-A, Dalila Corral Lyons, Presiding; MSC Timeslot (Judge Dalila Corral Lyons) - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by Christine Kelly MacInnis (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/25/2020
  • Docketat 3:30 PM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Held - Continued

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119 More Docket Entries
  • 07/25/2018
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Conduent Payment Integrity Solutions, Inc (Defendant); Zina Khoshaba (Defendant)

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  • 07/25/2018
  • DocketNotice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by Christine Kelly MacInnis (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/25/2018
  • DocketNotice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by Christine Kelly MacInnis (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/25/2018
  • DocketProof of Service

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  • 07/25/2018
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Conduent Payment Integrity Solutions, Inc (Defendant); Zina Khoshaba (Defendant)

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  • 07/25/2018
  • DocketNOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT CIVIL

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  • 07/25/2018
  • DocketProof of Service

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  • 03/29/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 03/29/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Christine Kelly MacInnis (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/29/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. VIOLATIONS OF CCMIA; CAL CIV. CODE 56, ET SEQ. ;ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC699972    Hearing Date: February 06, 2020    Dept: 50

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

christine kelly macinnis,

Plaintiff,

vs.

conduent payment integrity solutions, inc., et al.

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC 699972

Hearing Date:

February 6, 2020

Hearing Time:

8:30 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT

Background

Plaintiff Christine Kelly MacInnis (“MacInnis”) filed this action on March 29, 2018 against Defendants Conduent Payment Integrity Solutions, Inc. (“Conduent”) and Zina Khoshaba (“Khoshaba”) (jointly, “Defendants”). The Complaint asserts causes of action for violations of the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Civil Code section 56, et seq.), negligence, tortious interference with attorney-client relationship, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Defendants now move for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication of each of the remaining causes of action. MacInnis opposes.

Procedural Issues

On December 7, 2018, the Court issued an order sustaining Defendants’ demurrer to the causes of action for tortious interference with attorney-client relationship and intentional infliction of emotional distress, with leave to amend. The Court ordered MacInnis to file an amended complaint, if any, within 20 days of the date of the order. If no amended complaint were filed, Defendants were ordered to file an answer within 30 days of the date of the order. No amended complaint was filed within the proscribed deadline, and Defendants filed their Answer on January 7, 2019.

Defendants’ motion for summary judgment was filed on November 22, 2019.

On December 2, 2019, MacInnis filed a First Amended Complaint asserting the same four causes of action and an additional fifth cause of action for disgorgement of double payments allegedly made to medical providers by Cigna Insurance Company for injuries to Plaintiff initially paid by her employer. MacInnis also named eight new defendants in the First Amended Complaint. MacInnis did not seek leave to file an amended complaint, nor were her amendments within the scope of the Court’s December 7, 2018 order. Therefore, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 436, subdivision (b), the Court exercises its discretion to strike the First Amended Complaint. ((Code Civ. Proc., § 436, subd. (b) [“The court may, upon a motion made pursuant to Section 435, or at any time in its discretion, and upon terms it deems proper: …. (b) Strike out all or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state, a court rule, or an order of the court.”].)

Accordingly, the operative complaint is the original Complaint, and the only two remaining causes of action are those for violations of the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Civil Code section 56, et seq.) and negligence.

Evidence

The Court grants Defendants’ request for judicial notice as to Exhibits 1, 2, and 5.

The Court rules on Defendants’ evidentiary objections as follows:

Objection 1: sustained

Objection 2: overruled

Objection 3: overruled as to the first two and the fifth and sixth sentences; sustained as to the remainder

Objection 4: sustained

Objection 5: sustained

Objection 6: overruled as to the first sentence; sustained as to the remainder

Objection 7: sustained

Objection 8: sustained

Objection 9: sustained

Objection 10: overruled

The Court notes that MacInnis did not separately serve and file written evidentiary objections as set forth in CRC 3.1352 and CRC 3.1354. Therefore, to the extent that MacInnis’s separate statement contains her evidentiary objections, the Court declines to rule on MacInnis’s evidentiary objections.

Legal Standard

“[A] motion for summary judgment shall be granted if all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” ((Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).) The moving party bears the initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact. ((Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850.) If the moving party carries this burden, the burden shifts to the opposing party to make a prima facie showing that a triable issue of material fact exists. ((Ibid. .) Courts “liberally construe the evidence in support of the party opposing summary judgment and resolve doubts concerning the evidence in favor of that party.” ((Dore v. Arnold Worldwide, Inc. (2006) 39 Cal.4th 384, 389.)

When a defendant seeks summary judgment, he/she must show either (1) that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established; or (2) that there is a complete defense to that cause of action. ((Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).)

Discussion

Allegations of the Complaint

MacInnis alleges that on August 12, 2015, she slipped and fell at a Knott’s Soak City water park, sustaining a fracture of her right arm. (Compl., ¶¶ 8-9.) MacInnis filed suit against Knott’s for damages. (Compl., ¶ 9.) On or about August 29, 2016, Khoshaba, an employee of Conduent, sent a letter on behalf of Conduent to counsel for MacInnis notifying him of a lien for medical expenses paid out for MacInnis. (Compl., ¶ 10.) On or about November 2, 2016, Conduent sent another letter to counsel for MacInnis requesting status on her case. (Compl.

¶ 11.) On or about May 10, 2017, Conduent sent a letter to the Claims Department at Knott’s. (Compl., ¶ 12, Ex. A (second page).) In this letter to Knott’s, Conduent stated that as part of its representation of Cigna, it was requesting reimbursement of $14,936.49 for benefits paid out by Cigna to MacInnis as a result of her injuries. (Compl., Ex. A (second page).) The letter also enclosed an itemization of the paid benefits. (Compl., Ex. A (second page).)

MacInnis alleges that the letter sent to Knott’s on May 10, 2017 contained confidential medical information that cast MacInnis in a “very fragile and sensitive light.” (Compl., ¶¶ 16, 38.) MacInnis also alleges that the information revealed to Knott’s that MacInnis had been treated for a life-threatening medical condition that was unrelated to the injuries sustained at Knott’s on August 12, 2015. (Compl., ¶ 42.) Counsel for Knott’s contacted counsel for MacInnis inquiring about the injuries/benefits that Conduent was claiming on behalf of Cigna. (Compl.,

¶ 35.) At the time, counsel for MacInnis was engaged in trial preparation and settlement negotiations on the Knott’s matter. (Compl., ¶ 35.) MacInnis alleges that as a result of Conduent’s actions, the settlement discussions were halted. (Compl., ¶ 35.)

Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (the “Confidentiality Act”)

The Confidentiality Act generally prohibits unauthorized disclosure of medical information. ((Civ. Code, § 56.10, subd. (a) [“A provider of health care, health care service plan, or contractor shall not disclose medical information regarding a patient of the provider of health care or an enrollee or subscriber of a health care service plan without first obtaining an authorization, except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c).”].) “A provider is relieved from liability under the act if it can show that the disclosure is excepted either by the mandatory

(§ 56.10, subd. (b)) or permissive (§ 56.10(c)(4)) provisions of the act, allowing disclosure of medical information under specified circumstances.” ((Heller v. Norcal Mutual Ins. Co. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 30, 38.) Defendants contend that the sending of the May 10, 2017 letter to Knott’s falls within a permissive exemption to the Confidentiality Act, namely, the exemption permitting a health care service plan or contractor to disclose confidential medical information to an “insurer, employer, health care service plan, hospital service plan, employee benefit plan, governmental authority, contractor, or other person or entity responsible for paying for health care services rendered to the patient, to the extent necessary to allow responsibility for payment to be determined and payment to be made.” ((Civ. Code, § 56.10, subd. (c)(2).)

Conduent is a company that provides contract services as a subrogation/reimbursement agent to recover funds paid out by commercial healthcare providers under healthcare plans. (Khoshaba Decl., ¶ 1.) One such healthcare plan is Cigna. (Khoshaba Decl., ¶ 2.) It is undisputed that at the time of MacInnis’s accident, she was insured both by a healthcare plan provided by her employer (the Pinnacle plan) as well as a healthcare plan provided by MacInnis’s husband’s employer (the Cigna plan). (Defendants’ Undisputed Material Fact (“UMF”) 2-3.) According to Defendants, Conduent was thus contracted by Cigna to recover funds that Cigna paid out for medical treatment provided to MacInnis related to the incident. (Khoshaba Decl., ¶ 2.) Khoshaba was Conduent’s assigned recovery analyst for that purpose. (Khoshaba Decl., ¶¶ 1-2.) Defendants assert that the May 10, 2017 letter was sent by Khoshaba in her capacity as the subrogation/reimbursement agent for Conduent’s client, Cigna, to Knott’s to determine responsibility for payment of medical benefits made on behalf of MacInnis related to the incident and to recover funds from the responsible parties for the medical benefits payments made by Cigna.

MacInnis disputes that Cigna made any payments for medical treatment provided to her relating to the Knott’s incident. (Response to UMF 6.) The Court notes that the only evidence submitted by Defendants in support of the assertion that Cigna made any payments is Khoshaba’s declaration stating so. (UMF 6.) But Khoshaba works for Conduent, not Cigna. There is no competent evidence that Cigna made any payments for MacInnis’s medical treatment related to the Knott’s incident, or more significantly, that Cigna ever had a valid lien on any money MacInnis recovered from Knott’s for her injuries.[1] The Court notes that Defendants argue that the matter of whether Cigna ever made payments on her behalf is outside the scope of this lawsuit because it was not pleaded in MacInnis’s Complaint. (Mot., p. 15:25-27.) Defendants misunderstand their burden on summary judgment. MacInnis has alleged that Defendants improperly disclosed confidential medical information about her in violation of the Confidentiality Act. If Defendants’ position is that MacInnis’s cause of action has no merit because their actions fall within the exception for disclosure “to the extent necessary to allow responsibility for payment to be determined and payment to be made,” then it is Defendants’ burden on summary judgment to establish that they (in their capacity as agent for Cigna) were entitled to payment. If there is no underlying entitlement to payment, then there is a triable issue of fact as to whether the May 10, 2017 disclosure was, in fact, for the purpose of allowing responsibility for payment to be determined and payment to be made.

Defendants next argue that even assuming that the May 10, 2017 disclosure was not excepted under the Confidentiality Act, there was no violation because no confidential or individually identifiable medical information was actually disclosed. Under the Confidentiality Act, “medical information” means “any individually identifiable information, in electronic or physical form, in possession of or derived from a provider of health care, health care service plan, pharmaceutical company, or contractor regarding a patient’s medical history, mental or physical condition, or treatment.” ((Civ. Code, § 56.05, subd. (j).) “‘Individually identifiable’ means that the medical information includes or contains any element of personal identifying information sufficient to allow identification of the individual, such as the patient’s name, address, electronic mail address, telephone number, or social security number, or other information that, alone or in combination with other publicly available information, reveals the individual’s identity.” ((Civ. Code, § 56.05, subd. (j).)

Defendants contend that the itemization attached to the May 10, 2017 letter contains very limited information, including numbers, codes, names of providers, service dates and charges, but does not expressly provide any medical information regarding MacInnis’s medical conditions or treatment, nor does it list her full name, address, or contact information. (Defendants’ Ex. 18.) However, as noted by MacInnis, while her full name is not set forth on the itemization, her full name is referenced in the cover letter. MacInnis’s identity was clearly revealed to Knott’s in this letter. Moreover, to be considered protected “medical information,” the information needs only to be “regarding” the patient’s medical history, mental or physical condition, or treatment. While it is true that there are no specific details about MacInnis’s medical condition or treatment, there is sufficient information in the itemization to allow someone to deduce the type of medical treatment or the category of medical condition at issue here. At the very least, the information in the itemization is “regarding” MacInnis’s medical conditions and treatments.

Next, Defendants argue that the litigation privilege bars MacInnis’s claims. Defendants contend that the disclosure of medical information in the May 10, 2017 letter was within the confines of the Knott’s litigation.

Civil Code section 47, subdivision (b) provides that, “A privileged publication or broadcast is one made . . . [i]n any (1) legislative proceeding, (2) judicial proceeding, (3) in any other official proceeding authorized by law, or (4) in the initiation or course of any other proceeding authorized by law . . . .” The litigation privilege has broad application. ((Hagberg v. California Federal Bank (2004) 32 Cal.4th 350, 355, 375.) “The usual formulation is that the privilege applies to any communication (1) made in judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings; (2) by litigants or other participants authorized by law; (3) to achieve the objects of the litigation; and (4) that have some connection or logical relation to the action.” ((Silberg v. Anderson (1990) 50 Cal.3d 205, 212.) It applies to statements made prior to legal proceedings, or afterwards, if the statements are made in furtherance of the objects of the proceedings. ((Falcon v. Long Beach Genetics, Inc. (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1263, 1272.) Here, the statement at issue was made by Conduent, who was never a party to the Knott’s litigation. There is no argument that Conduent was a “participant” in the underlying personal injury lawsuit or how Conduent’s disclosure could have furthered the objects of a lawsuit to which they were not a party. That subpoenas could have been served that could have elicited the same information disclosed in the May 10, 2017 letter does not suffice to cloak Defendants’ actual disclosure with the protection afforded by the litigation privilege.

Finally, Defendants argue that the cause of action as to Khoshaba in her individual capacity has no merit because the evidence establishes that all of the actions she took were in her capacity as an employee of Conduent. (UMF 8.) The Court notes that Defendants offer no controlling authority for the proposition that an individual employee is not liable for her own acts of negligence. The case cited by Defendants in their reply only stands for the proposition that employers may be vicariously liable for an employee’s conduct as long as the conduct does not substantially deviate from the employee’s duties. ((See Farmers Ins. Group v. County of Santa Clara (1995) 11 Cal.4th 992, 1004.)

Accordingly, the Court finds that Defendants have failed to satisfy their burden of showing that MacInnis’s first cause of action has no merit as to Conduent.

Negligence

MacInnis’s second cause of action for negligence is based on the same conduct as the first cause of action—the May 10, 2017 disclosure. Defendants repeat the same arguments set forth above in arguing that MacInnis cannot establish a breach of duty, and for the same reasons as set forth above, the Court finds that Defendants have failed to satisfy their burden of showing that MacInnis cannot establish breach. Nevertheless, Defendants also argue that the negligence cause of action has no merit because MacInnis cannot establish that she suffered any damages as a result of the disclosure.

It is undisputed that MacInnis and Knott’s settled their lawsuit on or about September 1, 2017. (UMF 68.) Defendants submit evidence that the settlement was not impacted by the May 10, 2017 disclosure, other than that settlement talks stalled at some point and the case settled instead of going to trial. (UMF 69.) MacInnis testified that she did not suffer any loss of income or economic damages as a result of the disclosure. (UMF 70.) MacInnis also testified that she did not seek any treatment related to any emotional distress arising from the disclosure. (UMF 71.) Although, MacInnis purports to dispute these facts (Response to UMF 69-71), MacInnis offers no evidence to show that a triable issue of fact exists. Instead, MacInnis argues a non-sequitur—that Civil Code section 56.10, subdivision (c)(2) and Civil Code section 56.36, subdivision (b)(1) do not require that a plaintiff show that he or she suffered or was threatened with actual damages to recover nominal damages under the Confidentiality Act. To recover under a claim for negligence, a plaintiff must establish that he or she suffered damages, or in other words, that he or she was actually injured by the defendant’s conduct. ((Duarte v. Zachariah (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 1652, 1662 [finding that “actual damage” in the sense of “harm” is “necessary to a cause of action in negligence” and that “nominal damages are not awarded”].)

Therefore, the Court finds that Defendants have met their burden of showing that the negligence cause of action has no merit because the damages element of the cause of action cannot be established. The Court further finds that MacInnis has not met her burden of showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the negligence cause of action.

Punitive Damages

Defendants contend that MacInnis cannot show by clear and convincing evidence that Defendants’ conduct was fraudulent, oppressive, or malicious to warrant imposition of punitive damages.

“In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.” ((Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (a).) “’Malice’ means conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.” ((Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (c)(1).) “’Oppression’ means despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person’s rights.” ((Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (c)(2).) Here, Defendants argue that there is no evidence, much less clear and convincing evidence, of any despicable conduct on the part of Conduent or Khoshaba. As set forth by Defendants, Conduent (and Khoshaba) were motivated only by their desire to recover money for the benefit of Cigna that was paid by Cigna for the benefit of MacInnis. MacInnis offers no evidence or argument in response. Therefore, the Court finds that Defendants have met their burden of showing that the punitive damages claim has no merit, and that MacInnis has failed to raise a triable issue of material fact thereto.

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied. Defendants’ motion for summary adjudication is granted as to the cause of action for negligence and as to the claim for punitive damages. Defendants’ motion for summary adjudication is otherwise denied.

MacInnis is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

DATED: February 6, 2020 ________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court


[1] Defendants assert in their reply that Cigna’s payment records related to MacInnis were produced in discovery in this matter, but Defendants’ citation to paragraph 4 of the Declaration of Sierra Spitzer points only to MacInnis’s responses to Form Interrogatories and not to any production of Documents. (Reply, p. 4:21-22.)

Case Number: BC699972    Hearing Date: December 12, 2019    Dept: 50

The Court received the requisite declaration.  No appearance is necessary.