On 02/23/2018 EDUARDO SERMINO filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against THE PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP 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 ERNEST HIROSHIGE, ERNEST M. HIROSHIGE and ANTHONY MOHR. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
ERNEST M. HIROSHIGE
THE PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP INC
DOES 1 TO 20
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL
KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS
KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN INC.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL DBA KAISER PERMANENTE
CERVANTES ESPERANZA ANDERSON
PEDROZA KENNETH R.
STENVICK DANA LA RHEA
STENVICK DANA L.
CARROLL ALYSIA BRITTANI
2/5/2020: Request for Judicial Notice
2/11/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 13 CLAIMS THAT ARE TIME-BARRED
2/11/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3
2/11/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 6 OF 14 - EXCLUDE NON-PARTY WITNESSES FROM COURTROOM
2/11/2020: Reply - REPLY SUPPLEMENTAL REPLY BY DEFENDANTS TPMG, KGH, KFHP ISO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
2/11/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 8 OF 14 - EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF CONTENTS OF TRAININGS
1/16/2020: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR MONETARY SANCTION AGAINST PLAINTIFF AND HIS COUNSEL OF RECORD FOR ABUSE OF THE EX PARTE PROCESS
9/24/2019: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION, BY DEFENDANTS THE PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP, INC., KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS, AND KA
9/24/2019: Motion to Seal - MOTION TO SEAL SUPPLEMENTAL CONFIDENTIAL DECLARATION OF ESPERANZA CERVANTES ANDERSON
9/13/2019: Request for Judicial Notice
9/16/2019: Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF EDUARDO SERMINO TO DEFENDANT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDG
9/6/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION APPENDIX OF EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO SCPMG MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
8/12/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR CLARIFICATION OF THE COURT'S ORDER REGARDING FEES AND CONTINUE DEFENDANTS' HEARINGS FOR MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
7/19/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
7/5/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF ESPERANZA CERVANTES ANDERSON IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM DEFENDANT KAISER FOUNDATIONS HOSPITALS TO FORM INTERROGATORIES GENERAL
7/11/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION RE COURT'S JULY 9, 2019 MINUTE ORDER DIRECTING PARTIES TO MEET AND CONFER RE APPT OF DISC REFEREE
2/27/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)
12/7/2018: Declaration - Declaration in Support to Motion to Compel
Hearing03/09/2020 at 10:30 AM in Department 96 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearing03/06/2020 at 09:30 AM in Department 96 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Hearing02/19/2020 at 10:00 AM in Department 96 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Summary JudgmentRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:30 AM in Department 96, Anthony Mohr, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (re TPMG Deposition) - Held - Motion GrantedRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:30 AM in Department 96, Anthony Mohr, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held - Motion GrantedRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:15 AM in Department 96, Anthony Mohr, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Continued - Court's MotionRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 96, Anthony Mohr, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (re TPMG Deposition) - Not Held - Rescheduled by CourtRead MoreRead Less
DocketMotion in Limine (No. 9 of 14 - Exclude Evidence of Past Performance Deficiencies); Filed by Eduardo Sermino (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore (Vienna Nguyen #13137)Read MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by Southern California Permanente Medical Group (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/SummonsRead MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/SummonsRead MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Eduardo Sermino (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. WRONGFUL TERMINATION IN VIOLA HON OF PUBLIC POLICY ;ETCRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC695609 Hearing Date: March 25, 2021 Dept: 54
Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., et al.,
Hearing Date: March 25, 2021
Department 54, Judge Maurice A. Leiter
(1) Motion for Attorney’s Fees;
(2) Motion to Tax Costs
Moving Party: (1) Defendant The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., (2) Plaintiff Eduardo Sermino
Responding Party: (1) Plaintiff Eduardo Sermino; (2) Defendant The Permanente Medical Group, Inc.
T/R: DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES IS DENIED.
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO TAX COSTS IS GRANTED.
PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE.
The Court considers the moving papers, opposition and reply.
On February 23, 2018, Plaintiff Edward Sermino filed a complaint against Defendants The Permanente Group, Inc. and Southern California Permanente Medical Group dba Kaiser Permanente (“SCPMG”), asserting causes of action for (1) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; (2) age discrimination (FEHA); (3) gender discrimination (FEHA); (4) sexual orientation discrimination (FEHA); and (5) failure to prevent discrimination (FEHA). Plaintiff alleges he was employed by Defendants as a Medical Social Worker and was terminated due to his sexual orientation, gender and age. On February 12, 2019, Plaintiff added Kaiser Foundations Hospitals, and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. as Doe Defendants. On September 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint, providing additional details regarding Plaintiff’s joint employer theory. On February 28, 2020, the Court granted the Kaiser Entities’ motion for summary judgment.
Under FEHA and Gov. Code § 12965(b), “a prevailing plaintiff should ordinarily receive his or her costs and attorney fees unless special circumstances would render such an award unjust.” (Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire Dist. (2015) 61 Cal.4th 97, 115.) “A prevailing defendant, however, should not be awarded fees and costs unless the court finds the action was objectively without foundation when brought, or the plaintiff continued to litigate after it clearly became so.” (Id.)
A. Defendants’ Motion for Attorney’s Fees
Defendant TPMG moves for attorney’s fees in the amount of $481,705.59 under FEHA and costs of proof. As noted above, under FEHA a prevailing Defendant only will be awarded fees if the action was objectively without foundation. The Court concludes the action does not rise to a level of “objectively without foundation.” Kaiser is web of entities which interact in several ways. This web was sufficiently complex that Plaintiff did not know who his employer was -- only that he worked for “Kaiser.” (Decl. Andersen ¶ 2.) In addition, joint employer liability is a complicated area of the law, with little clear synthesis. It was neither objectively unreasonable nor frivolous for Plaintiff to pursue claims against the Kaiser Entities. Litigation is unpredictable and subject to various factors. (See Decl. Andersen.) The Court finds no basis for fees under FEHA.
TPMG also seeks fees under CCP § 2033.420, which provides:
(a) If a party fails to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter when requested to do so under this chapter, and if the party requesting that admission thereafter proves the genuineness of that document or the truth of that matter, the party requesting the admission may move the court for an order requiring the party to whom the request was directed to pay the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
(b) The court shall make this order unless it finds any of the following:
(1) An objection to the request was sustained or a response to it was waived under Section 2033.290.
(2) The admission sought was of no substantial importance.
(3) The party failing to make the admission had reasonable ground to believe that that party would prevail on the matter.
(4) There was other good reason for the failure to admit.
TPMG asserts Plaintiff failed to admit TPMG was not his employer. Plaintiff had reasonable ground to believe he would prevail on a joint enterprise theory given the interconnectedness of the Kaiser Entities. The Court will not award fees under CCP § 2033.420. TPMG’s motion for attorney’s fees is DENIED.
B. Motion to Tax Costs
Plaintiff moves to tax TPMG’s memorandum of costs, arguing TPMG is not entitled to costs under FEHA. For the reasons stated with respect to TPMG’s motion for attorney’s fees, the Court agrees. Plaintiff’s action was not objectively without foundation. The motion to tax costs is GRANTED.
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