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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 10:06:48 (UTC).

CHRISTOPHER RAMOS ET AL VS ALAN SCHLAERTH MD ET AL

Case Summary

On 11/13/2017 CHRISTOPHER RAMOS filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against ALAN SCHLAERTH MD. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is CHRISTOPHER K. LUI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3011

  • Filing Date:

    11/13/2017

  • 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 Judge

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

RAMOS CHRISTOPHER

VILLALOBOS GILBERT

RAMOS DANIEL

RAMOS JOSE

Defendants and Respondents

SCHLAERTH ALAN M.D.

WHITE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER

DOES 1 TO 100

HUARINGA ARMANDO JORGE M.D. DOE 1

KRONEN MARIA RAQUEL M.D.

HUARINGA M.D. ARMANDO JORGE DOE 1

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

KAMPF SCHIAVONE & ASSOCIATES A.P.C.

Defendant Attorneys

BLESSEY RAYMOND L. ESQ

WEISS DAVID JAY ESQ.

SCHMID & VOILES

HOFFMAN BRIAN LEE

 

Court Documents

Declaration

7/24/2019: Declaration

Notice of Lodging

7/24/2019: Notice of Lodging

Declaration

7/24/2019: Declaration

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

1/19/2018: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

1/26/2018: AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT WHITE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER

1/29/2018: DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT WHITE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER

CIVIL DEPOSIT

1/29/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

CIVIL DEPOSIT

3/23/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

DEFENDANTS ARMANDO HUARINGA M.D.S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

5/11/2018: DEFENDANTS ARMANDO HUARINGA M.D.S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/31/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT OF DOE DEFENDANT NO. 2 MARIA RAQUEL KRONEN, M.D.

6/18/2018: ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT OF DOE DEFENDANT NO. 2 MARIA RAQUEL KRONEN, M.D.

Notice

3/26/2019: Notice

Notice

3/26/2019: Notice

Minute Order

4/5/2019: Minute Order

Judgment

6/3/2019: Judgment

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

12/26/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

12/26/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH

11/13/2017: COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH

24 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/13/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 03/09/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 02/24/2020
  • Hearingat 10:00 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 10/21/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 08/13/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 07/24/2019
  • DocketSeparate Statement; Filed by Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D. (Defendant)

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  • 07/24/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (of James Macer, M.D.); Filed by Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D. (Defendant)

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  • 07/24/2019
  • DocketNotice of Lodging (Evidence in Support of MSJ); Filed by Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D. (Defendant)

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  • 07/24/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (of Michelle A Birtja); Filed by Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D. (Defendant)

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  • 07/24/2019
  • DocketMotion for Summary Judgment; Filed by Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D. (Defendant)

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47 More Docket Entries
  • 01/19/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Alan Schlaerth, M.D. (Defendant)

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  • 01/10/2018
  • DocketANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 01/10/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by White Memorial Medical Center (Defendant)

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  • 12/26/2017
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Christopher Ramos (Plaintiff); Daniel Ramos (Plaintiff); Jose Ramos (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/26/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 12/26/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 12/26/2017
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Christopher Ramos (Plaintiff); Daniel Ramos (Plaintiff); Jose Ramos (Plaintiff) et al.

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  • 11/13/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH

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  • 11/13/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 11/13/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Christopher Ramos (Plaintiff); Daniel Ramos (Plaintiff); Jose Ramos (Plaintiff) et al.

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC683011    Hearing Date: February 10, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion for Summary Judgment

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows. opposing papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On November 13, 2017, Plaintiffs Christopher Ramos, Daniel Ramos, Jose Ramos, and Gilbert Villalobos (“Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint against Defendants Alan Schlaerth, M.D. and White Memorial Medical Center alleging negligence and wrongful death of decedent Ann Jacobsen (“Decedent”) for an inadequate surgery that occurred in November of 2016.

On January 26, 2018, Plaintiffs renamed Doe 1 as Defendant Armando Huaringa, M.D. and Doe 2 as Defendant Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D.

On October 11, 2019, Defendant Alan C. Schlaerth, M.D. filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 437c.

On January 23, 2020, the Court continued Defendant Alan C. Schlaerth, M.D.’s motion for summary judgment to February 10, 2020.

Trial is set for March 9, 2020.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant Alan C. Schlaerth, M.D. (“Moving Defendant”) asks the Court to enter summary judgment against Plaintiffs and in Moving Defendant’s favor.  Moving Defendant argues that it complied with the applicable duty of care and it did not cause Plaintiffs injuries.

LEGAL STANDARD

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, subd. (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.” (Ibid.) “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).)

DISCUSSION

The elements of medical malpractice are: “(1) the duty of the professional to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as other members of his profession commonly possess and exercise; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a proximate causal connection between the negligent conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) actual loss or damage resulting from the professional's negligence.” (Simmons v. West Covina Medical Clinic (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 696, 701-702 (citations omitted).) “Both the standard of care and defendants’ breach must normally be established by expert testimony in a medical malpractice case.” (Avivi, supra, 159 Cal.App.4th at p. 467.)

Thus, in a medical malpractice case, “[w]hen a defendant moves for summary judgment and supports his motion with expert declarations that his conduct fell within the community standard of care, he is entitled to summary judgment unless the plaintiff comes forward with conflicting expert evidence.” (Munro v. Regents of University of California (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 977, 984-985 (citations omitted).) An expert declaration, if uncontradicted, is conclusive proof as to the prevailing standard of care and the propriety of the particular conduct of the health care provider. (Starr v. Mooslin (1971) 14 Cal.App.3d 988, 999.)

Moving Defendant has submitted the declaration of Robert Bristow, M.D., who has a breadth of experience in gynecology and obstetricsDr. Bristow provided his qualifications.  (Bristow Decl., 2.)  Dr. Bristow stated he reviewed Moving Defendant’s curriculum vitae, the complaint, Decedent’s medical records from Moving Defendant, White Memorial Medical Center, and Selena Lantry, M.D., and the deposition transcripts of Maria Kronen, M.D., Armando J. Huaringa, M.D., and Amanda Dickerson, M.D.  (Bristow Decl., ¶ 4.)  Dr. Bristow listed the relevant medical facts.  (Bristow Decl., ¶¶ 6(a)-6(nn).) Dr. Bristow provided a variety of opinions delved into more detail below.

Dr. Bristow opined that Moving Defendant’s recommendation of surgery was within the applicable standard of care.  (Bristow Decl., 9.)  This is because a pathology found complex atypical endomentrial hyperplasia, which increased Decedent’s risk of cancer.  (Bristow Decl., ¶¶ 10-11.)

Dr. Bristow also opined that, contrary to Plaintiffs’ allegation in the complaint, there was no contraindication for performing surgery on Decedent.  (Bristow Decl., 13.)  Dr. Schlaerth recommended and received a pre-operative clearance from Decedent’s primary care physician, Dr. Lindsey Smith.  (Bristow Decl., 14.) Ibid)  Dr. Smith cleared Decedent to undergo the surgery.  (Ibid.)  Additionally, an anesthesiologist found no contraindication to the surgery and cleared Decedent for the surgery before its administration.  (Bristow Decl., 15.)

Dr. Bristow further opined that Decedent’s surgery was performed within the appropriate standard of care.  (Bristow Decl., 17.)  Ureteral injury is a potential risk of performing a hysterectomy surgery and happens in the absence of negligence.  (Bristow Decl., 18.)  Decedent provided informed consent to the risks of the surgery, which included unintended injury to pelvic or abdominal structures, such as tubes, ovaries, bladder, ureter, or bowel.  (Bristow Decl., 19.)  There is no evidence in the November 15, 2016 Operative Report showing the surgery was performed negligently.  (Bristow Decl., 20.)

Additionally, Dr. Bristow opined that Moving Defendant acted within his applicable standard of care in the timing of diagnosing Decedent’s ureteral injury.  (Bristow Decl., 21.)  Dr. Schlaerth was advised of Decedent’s low urine output at 6:32 p.m. on November 16, 2016, the day after the surgery.  (Bristow Decl., 22.)  Lasix was given and Decedent was started on maintenance fluids of 50 cc an hour, which was an appropriate response to the low urine output.  (Ibid.)  Moving Defendant ordered an abdominal CT scan and a nephrology consult when notified Decedent still had low urine output on the morning of November 17, 2016. 23.)  Moving Defendant ordered a CT scan that revealed Decedent’s injury to the ureter after the abdominal CT scan was interpreted by the radiologist.  (Ibid.)  A consultation with a urologist was immediately requested and a urologist saw Decedent that same afternoon after the ureter injury was discovered on November 17, 2016 at 1:48 p.m.  (Bristow Decl., 24.)  The above actions show there was no delay in Moving Defendant’s diagnosis of the ureter injury.  (Bristow Decl., 25.)

Lastly, Dr. Bristow opined that Moving Defendant complied with the applicable standard of care in performing a surgery to repair the injured ureter.  (Bristow Decl., ¶¶ 26-27.)  An injury to adjacent organs is a risk associated with ureter repair surgery.  (Bristow Decl., 27.)  The bowel is an adjacent organ to the ureter and bladder where the surgery took place.  (Ibid.)  No November 16, 2016, Dr. Fakhari discussed the risks associated with Decedent’s surgery.  (Bristow Decl., 28.)  There is no indication of negligence in the operative report and the bowel injury was a known potential risk of surgery.  (Bristow Decl., 29.)  Moving Defendant performed the surgery appropriately and within the applicable standard of care.  (Bristow Decl., 30.)

The Court finds Moving Defendant’s expert declaration is sufficient to satisfy Moving Defendant’s burden.  Dr. Bristow’s declaration shows that Moving Defendant closely monitored Decedent’s condition, order the appropriate scans and specialist reviews, and performed surgery properly. would in turn sustain.  The burden shifts to Plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs have not submitted a contradicting expert declaration.  As such, summary judgment must be granted.

CONCLUSION

The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC683011    Hearing Date: January 15, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion for Summary Judgment

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows. opposing papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On November 13, 2017, Plaintiffs Christopher Ramos, Daniel Ramos, Jose Ramos, and Gilbert Villalobos (“Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint against Defendants Alan Schlaerth, M.D. and White Memorial Medical Center alleging negligence and wrongful death of decedent Ann Jacobsen (“Decedent”) for an inadequate surgery that occurred in November of 2016.

On January 26, 2018, Plaintiffs renamed Doe 1 as Defendant Armando Huaringa, M.D. and Doe 2 as Defendant Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D.

On October 25, 2019, Defendant White Memorial Medical Center filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 437c.

Trial is set for March 9, 2020.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant White Memorial Medical Center (“Moving Defendant”) asks the Court to enter summary judgment against Plaintiffs and in Moving Defendant’s favor.  Moving Defendant argues that it complied with the applicable duty of care and it did not cause Plaintiffs injuries.

LEGAL STANDARD

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, subd. (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.” (Ibid.) “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).)

DISCUSSION

The elements of medical malpractice are: “(1) the duty of the professional to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as other members of his profession commonly possess and exercise; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a proximate causal connection between the negligent conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) actual loss or damage resulting from the professional's negligence.” (Simmons v. West Covina Medical Clinic (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 696, 701-702 (citations omitted).) “Both the standard of care and defendants’ breach must normally be established by expert testimony in a medical malpractice case.” (Avivi, supra, 159 Cal.App.4th at p. 467.)

Thus, in a medical malpractice case, “[w]hen a defendant moves for summary judgment and supports his motion with expert declarations that his conduct fell within the community standard of care, he is entitled to summary judgment unless the plaintiff comes forward with conflicting expert evidence.” (Munro v. Regents of University of California (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 977, 984-985 (citations omitted).) An expert declaration, if uncontradicted, is conclusive proof as to the prevailing standard of care and the propriety of the particular conduct of the health care provider. (Starr v. Mooslin (1971) 14 Cal.App.3d 988, 999.)

Moving Defendant has submitted the declaration registered nurse Davina Leary in support of Moving Defendant’s motion for summary judgment.  Ms. Leary provided her qualifications.  (Leary Decl., 2.)  Ms. Leary stated she reviewed Decedent’s records from Moving Defendant.  (Leary Decl., ¶ 3.)  Ms. Leary listed the relevant medical facts.  (Leary Decl., ¶¶ 5-16.)

Ms. Leary opined that Moving Defendant’s nursing staff complied with the applicable standard of care in treating Decedent.  (Leary Decl., 17.)  At 3:10 p.m. on November 16, 2016, the nursing notes indicated that Decedent was unable to void six hours after the Foley catheter was discontinued, and a bladder scan showed 0 ml.  (Leary Decl., 19.)  Decedent did not have an urge or sensation to void.  (Ibid.)  This issue was appropriately reported to a physician by the nursing staff.  (Ibid.)

Additionally, at 3:25 p.m. on November 16, 2016, the nursing staff appropriately notified a physician that decedent’s urine output from Foley reinsertion was only 80 ml, which was considered very low since it was more than six hours.  (Leary Decl., 20.)  Normal urine output is about 30 ccs an hour.  (Ibid.)

Further, on November 16, 2016, lab tests showed Decedent’s Creatinine was 2.4.  (Leary Decl., 21.)  On November 17, 2016, Decedent’s Creatinine was 3.3.  (Ibid.)  These values were not critical and therefore there was no immediate need to report to a physician.  (Ibid.)

Moreover, at 6:20 a.m. on November 18, 2016, a nursing note indicated a urine output problem.  (Leary Decl., 22.)  The physicians were aware of this issue from a urologic consultation from November 17m, 2016.  (Ibid.)  It is not within the purview of the nursing staff to make a diagnosis, including an acute kidney injury.  (Leary Decl., 23.)

The Court finds Moving Defendant’s expert declaration is sufficient to satisfy Moving Defendant’s burden of proof.  Ms. Leary’s declaration shows that Moving Defendant’s nursing staff consistently monitored Decedent’s urine outputs and reported them to the treating physician, who was responsible for diagnosing ailments.  The burden shifts to Plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs do not oppose this motion or submit a sufficiently contradictory expert declaration.  Accordingly, the motion is properly granted.

The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC683011    Hearing Date: November 07, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion for Summary Judgment

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows. opposing papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On November 13, 2017, Plaintiffs Christopher Ramos, Daniel Ramos, Jose Ramos, and Gilbert Villalobos (“Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint against Defendants Alan Schlaerth, M.D. and White Memorial Medical Center alleging negligence and wrongful death of decedent Ann Jacobsen (“Decedent”) for an inadequate surgery that occurred in November of 2016.

On January 26, 2018, Plaintiffs renamed Doe 1 as Defendant Armando Huaringa, M.D. and Doe 2 as Defendant Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D.

On July 24, 2019, Defendant Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D. filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 437c.

Trial is set for March 9, 2020.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant Maria Raquel Kronen, M.D. (“Moving Defendant”) asks the Court to enter summary judgment against Plaintiffs based on Moving Defendants expert declaration opining that Moving Defendant did not breach a duty of care or cause Plaintiffs injuries.

LEGAL STANDARD

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, subd. (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.” (Ibid.) “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).)

DISCUSSION

The elements of medical malpractice are: “(1) the duty of the professional to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as other members of his profession commonly possess and exercise; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a proximate causal connection between the negligent conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) actual loss or damage resulting from the professional's negligence.” (Simmons v. West Covina Medical Clinic (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 696, 701-702 (citations omitted).) “Both the standard of care and defendants’ breach must normally be established by expert testimony in a medical malpractice case.” (Avivi, supra, 159 Cal.App.4th at p. 467.)

Thus, in a medical malpractice case, “[w]hen a defendant moves for summary judgment and supports his motion with expert declarations that his conduct fell within the community standard of care, he is entitled to summary judgment unless the plaintiff comes forward with conflicting expert evidence.” (Munro v. Regents of University of California (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 977, 984-985 (citations omitted).) An expert declaration, if uncontradicted, is conclusive proof as to the prevailing standard of care and the propriety of the particular conduct of the health care provider. (Starr v. Mooslin (1971) 14 Cal.App.3d 988, 999.)

Moving Defendant has submitted the declaration of obstetrician and gynecologist James Macer, M.D. in support of Moving Defendant’s motion for summary judgment.  Dr. Macer provided his qualifications.  (Macer Decl., ¶¶ 2-3.)  Dr. Macer then stated that he reviewed Decedent’s records from White Memorial Center, Glendale Internal Medicine, Adventist Health Glendale, Grigor Haruntuian, M.D., and Family Medicine Center.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 5.)  Dr. Macer next listed the relevant medical facts.  (Macer Decl., ¶¶ 8-45.)

Dr. Macer opined that Moving Defendant complied with the standard of care and that no alleged violation of Moving Defendant’s standard of care caused or contributed to Decedent’s death.  (Macer Decl., ¶¶ 47, 58, 60.)  In doing so, Dr. Macer opined on several discrete points listed below.

Moving Defendant properly evaluated decedent, recorded her findings, and reported her findings to her supervising resident.  (Macer Decl, 48.)  Moving Defendant did not delay in considering the possibility of a ureter injury.  (Macer Decl., 49.)  Moving Defendant noted Decedent’s 400 ccs of urine output over a 10 hour period immediately upon the first evaluation of Decedent.  (Ibid.)  Moving Defendant appreciated this finding, considered a diagnosis of dehydration, and appropriately ordered a bolus of fluid to see if that triggered further urine output and to rule out a dehydration diagnosis.  (Ibid.)

Moving Defendant appropriately ordered a follow-up bladder scan and reported her findings to her supervising physicians.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 50.)  The decisions regarding Decedent’s low urinary output and other symptomatology were reported to her supervising residents and attending sub-specialties and was not left to the sole discretion of Moving Defendant.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 51.)  The suspicion of an acute coronary event in light of EKG changes and elevated troponin levels was handled by the internal medicine team, which Moving Defendant appropriately relied on to treat any cardiac problems.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 52.)

Moving Defendant did not unreasonably delay in making the diagnosis of the injury to the ureter because the diagnosis was made one day after Moving Defendant became involved with Decedent.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 54.)  Moving Defendant did not delay in obtaining the CT or IVP.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 55.)  There would have been no change in the outcome of Decedent’s condition if she had been diagnosed with an injury to the ureter one day prior or if the CT or IVP were obtained sooner.  (Macer Decl., ¶¶ 54-55.)  The urologist, Dr. Lee, did not find the ureteral injury to be an emergent condition and delayed treatment one day after the diagnosis.  (Ibid.)

Moving Defendant appropriately relied on the urologist’s and nephrologist’s opinions in determine the course of treatment for the ureteral injury.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 56.)  Moving Defendant was not involved with Decedent’s care after the day of the diagnosis.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 57.)  It is speculative to allege that the bowel injury would not have been sustained if Moving Defendant had diagnosed the ureteral injury earlier because Decedent would still have been required to undergo the repair surgery that was performed two days after Moving Defendant last treated Decedent.  (Macer Decl., ¶ 58.)  Thus, the complication sustained during the repair surgery was not attributable to any delay in the diagnosis, but to the surgery itself.  (Ibid.)

The Court finds Moving Defendant’s expert declaration is sufficient to satisfy Moving Defendant’s burden of proof.  The burden shifts to Plaintiff.  Plaintiff does not oppose this motion or submit a sufficiently contradictory expert declaration.  Accordingly, the motion is properly granted.

The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.