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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:11:15 (UTC).

ERIN LOEB VS WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH MD ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/24/2017 ERIN LOEB filed a Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice lawsuit against WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH 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 JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3637

  • Filing Date:

    08/24/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

LOEB ERIN

Defendants and Respondents

WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH JR MD INC

KEITH WILLIAM DANIEL M.D.

DOES 1 TO 100

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

AGHAEIAN ANI ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

DUNN HANNAH ROSE

DEANE RYAN PATRICK

 

Court Documents

Notice of Ruling

6/13/2019: Notice of Ruling

Answer

6/13/2019: Answer

Stipulation - No Order

6/24/2019: Stipulation - No Order

Minute Order

2/7/2019: Minute Order

Certificate of Mailing for

2/25/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

Minute Order

2/25/2019: Minute Order

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

4/5/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Proof of Service - No Service

4/5/2019: Proof of Service - No Service

Minute Order

4/8/2019: Minute Order

Declaration

4/26/2019: Declaration

Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

4/26/2019: Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

4/26/2019: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

Notice of Deposit - Jury

4/26/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury

Minute Order

5/9/2019: Minute Order

Opposition

5/16/2019: Opposition

Reply

5/22/2019: Reply

Minute Order

5/30/2019: Minute Order

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

9/21/2017: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/24/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 3 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; : OSC RE Dismissal

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  • 11/20/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 3 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 11/06/2019
  • Hearingat 10:00 AM in Department 3 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketJoint Stipulation to Continue Trial; Filed by WILLIAM DANIEL M.D. KEITH (Defendant); WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH JR MD, INC (Defendant)

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  • 06/18/2019
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Ryan Patrick Deane (Attorney)

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by WILLIAM DANIEL M.D. KEITH (Defendant); WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH JR MD, INC (Defendant)

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by WILLIAM DANIEL M.D. KEITH (Defendant); WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH JR MD, INC (Defendant)

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  • 05/30/2019
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Held

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  • 05/30/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10))); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/22/2019
  • DocketReply (Reply to Opposition to Demurrer); Filed by WILLIAM DANIEL M.D. KEITH (Defendant); WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH JR MD, INC (Defendant)

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9 More Docket Entries
  • 04/05/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by ERIN LOEB (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2019
  • DocketProof of Service - No Service; Filed by ERIN LOEB (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/25/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 02/25/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Jury Trial)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/25/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Jury Trial) of 02/25/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/07/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 02/07/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/21/2017
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

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  • 09/21/2017
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by ERIN LOEB (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/24/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by ERIN LOEB (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC673637    Hearing Date: March 18, 2021    Dept: 31

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

ERIN LOEB,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH, M.D., ET AL.,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO: BC673637

[TENTATIVE] ORDER CONTINUING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO QUASH

Dept. 31

1:30 p.m.

March 18, 2021

Plaintiff, Erin Loeb (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendants, William Daniel Keith, M.D. (“Dr. Keith”) and William Daniel Keith, Jr., M.D., Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) for damages arising out of Defendants’ removal of a birthmark from Plaintiff’s left cheek. Plaintiff alleges Defendants left the birthmark uneven, discolored, and looking worse than it did prior to treatment.

Plaintiff, at this time, moves to quash 8 subpoenas for production of business records served by Defendant Dr. Keith.

Plaintiff filed the motion to quash on 10/27/20. Defendants filed an opposition on 3/5/21. Plaintiff then filed a separate statement and supplemental declaration by Plaintiff’s counsel on 3/11/21. Plaintiff’s counsel provides it inadvertently did not file the separate statement with the motion and did not serve it on Defendants until 3/11/21. Plaintiff’s counsel states it intends to seek a continuance to allow Defendants sufficient time to review the separate statement.

The court will continue the motion so that Defendants may respond to the separate statement. Any response to the separate statement must be served at least 9 court days before the hearing. Any reply must be served at least 5 court days before the continued hearing.

Plaintiff’s motion to quash is continued to _________________________.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at sscdept31@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If the parties do not submit on the tentative, they should arrange to appear remotely.

Dated this 18th day of March, 2021

Hon. Thomas D. Long

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BC673637    Hearing Date: June 25, 2020    Dept: 31

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

ERIN LOEB,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

WILLIAM DANIEL KEITH, M.D., ET AL.,

Defendant(s).

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)

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CASE NO: BC673637

[TENTATIVE] ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Dept. 31

1:30 p.m.

June 25, 2020

I. Background

Plaintiff, Erin Loeb filed this action against Defendants, William Daniel Keith, M.D. (“Dr. Keith”) and William Daniel Keith, Jr., M.D., Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) for damages arising out of Defendants’ removal of a birthmark from Plaintiff’s left cheek. Plaintiff alleges Defendants left the birthmark uneven, discolored, and looking worse than it did prior to treatment. Plaintiff alleges causes of action for negligence and medical negligence, and seeks to recover general damages, special damages, interest on economic damages, and costs of suit.

II. Motion for Summary Judgment

  1. Moving Argument

Defendants argue they are entitled to summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim because Defendants’ evidence establishes that Defendants’ care and treatment of Plaintiff was at all times within the applicable standard of care, and nothing they did caused or contributed to Plaintiff’s alleged injuries and damages. Defendants support their motion with the expert declaration of Keith A. Marcus, M.D. Dr. Marcus opines that Defendants did not breach the standard of care owed to Plaintiff and also that Defendants did not cause or contribute to any of Plaintiff’s claimed damages.

  1. Opposing Argument

Plaintiff argues that Defendants failed to comply with the standard of care, and the breach caused Plaintiff damages. Plaintiff supports her opposition with the declaration of Stephen P. Grifka, M.D. Dr. Grifka opines that Defendants breached the standard of care, and that the breach caused or contributed to Plaintiff’s injuries and damages

  1. Law Governing Standard of Care

The standard of care against which the acts of health care providers are to be measured is a matter within the knowledge of experts. Elcome v. Chin (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 310, 317. Unless the conduct required by the particular circumstances is within the common knowledge of the layman, the standard of care in a malpractice action can only be proved by an expert’s testimony. Id. If the “common knowledge” exception does not apply to a medical malpractice action, expert evidence is conclusive and cannot be disregarded. Id.

A medical practitioner is not necessarily negligent just because he chooses one medically acceptable method of treatment or diagnosis and it turns out that another medically accepted method would have been a better choice. CACI 506. Likewise, a medical practitioner is not necessarily negligent just because his efforts are unsuccessful or he makes an error that was reasonable under the circumstances. CACI 505.

Whether the standard of care in the community has been breached presents the basic issue in a malpractice action and can only be proved by opinion testimony unless the medical question is within the common knowledge of laypersons. See Jambazian v. Borden (1994) 25 Cal.App4th 836, 844. “‘When 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.)

  1. Law Governing Causation

    In order to establish that defendant's negligence was a “substantial factor” in causing injury or death, the plaintiff must prove the negligence was of itself sufficient to bring about that harm. “The law is well settled that in a personal injury action causation must be proven within a reasonable medical probability based upon competent expert testimony. Mere possibility alone is insufficient to establish a prima facie case. [Citations.] That there is a distinction between a reasonable medical ‘probability’ and a medical 'possibility' needs little discussion. There can be many possible ‘causes,’ indeed, an infinite number of circumstances which can produce an injury or disease. A possible cause only becomes ‘probable’ when, in the absence of other reasonable causal explanations, it becomes more likely than not that the injury was a result of its action. This is the outer limit of inference upon which an issue may be submitted to the jury.” Bromme v. Pavitt (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 1487, 1498; citing Jones v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. (1985) 163 Cal.App.3d 396, 402 403.

  2. Basic Undisputed Facts

    The basic facts relating to this matter are undisputed. Plaintiff presented to Defendants on May 26, 2016, for a consultation concerning removing Plaintiff’s birthmark on her left cheek. Following the consultation, Defendants locally anesthetized and prepped to remove the birthmark. Defendants then attempted to shave the mole. Following the procedure, the lesion was dressed with membrane waterproof dressing, and Defendants explained that Plaintiff needed to keep the dressing for 4 to 7 days before removing it. Defendants then gave Defendant postop care instructions.

    However, the parties dispute whether Plaintiff had her birthmark shaved by a prior physician, and what, if any, risks and benefits to the procedure were discussed by Defendants with Plaintiff.

  3. Objections

Defendants, in reply, submit five objections to Dr. Grifka’s declaration attached to Plaintiff’s opposition. In particular, Defendants object to paragraphs 9-14 of Dr. Grifka’s declaration.

In ruling on the remaining objections, the Court is guided as follows: an expert opinion must be supported “by a reasoned explanation connecting the factual predicates to the ultimate conclusion” or it lacks evidentiary value. See, e.g., Sanchez v. Kern Emergency etc. (2017) 8 Cal.App.5th 146, 155.

In Powell v. Kleinman (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 112, 123-124, the court of appeals considered this issue at length. It held:

Simply because the defendant doctor provides an unopposed declaration by an expert does not necessarily mean the court should grant summary judgment. In Kelley v. Trunk (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 519, 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 122 (Kelley), Division Seven of the Second District Court of Appeal held that “a defendant doctor is not entitled to obtain summary judgment based on a conclusory expert declaration which states the opinion that no malpractice has occurred, but does not explain the basis for the opinion.” (Id. at p. 521, 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 122.)

The court of appeals went on to discuss a case where the plaintiff’s expert declaration was less than a model of clarify. It noted that the standard of review for the plaintiff’s opposing declaration was lower than the standard of review for the defendant’s moving declaration. Specifically, it held:

We, however, can reconcile Kelley and Hanson. The court in Kelley was considering the sufficiency of the declaration of the defendant's expert in support of the defendant's motion for summary judgment. In such cases, the defendant “bears the burden of persuasion that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (See, e.g., Aguilar, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 845, 107 Cal.Rptr.2d 841, 24 P.3d 493, fn. omitted.) Thus, the Kelley court was considering the burden of production to make a prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any genuine issue of material fact. To meet such a burden, the Kelley court concluded the declaration of the defendant's expert had to be detailed and with foundation. (Kelley, supra, 66 Cal.App.4th at p. 524, 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 122.) In contrast, the court in Hanson was considering the sufficiency of the declaration of the plaintiff's expert in opposition to the defendant's summary judgment motion. In such a case, the declaration submitted by the plaintiff did not have to be detailed, was entitled to all favorable inferences and was deemed sufficient to defeat the summary judgment motion. (Hanson, supra, 76 Cal.App.4th at pp. 607–608, 90 Cal.Rptr.2d 396.)

We conclude that both the Kelley and Hanson courts properly applied the rule that, when considering the declarations of the parties' experts, we liberally construe the declarations for the plaintiff's experts and resolve any doubts as to the propriety of granting the motion in favor of the plaintiff. (See, e.g., Zavala v. Arce, supra, 58 Cal.App.4th at p. 935, 68 Cal.Rptr.2d 571.)2 Accordingly, we apply this well-settled rule of evidence when considering Powell's expert's declaration.

Here, Defendants’ objections Nos. 1-5 are overruled in their entirety.

  1. Analysis

    The Court finds Defendants met their moving burden to show they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the ground that they complied with the standard of care at all times and did not cause Plaintiff’s injuries.

    Plaintiff, however, through the declaration of Dr. Grifka, raises triable issues of material fact in both regards. Specifically, Dr. Grifka opines that Defendants breached their duties to Plaintiff by (a) allegedly failing to inform Plaintiff of any risks or complications associated with the shaving procedure, and thus failing to obtain informed consent from Plaintiff, (Opp. Grifka Decl. ¿ 11); (b) by particularly failing to inform Plaintiff of Dr. Keith’s trembling hand, which more likely than not led to the extension of hypopigmented deformity, (Id. ¿ 12); and (c) by failing to provide any post-procedure follow-up care despite Plaintiff contacting Defendants’ office to express concern. (Id. ¿ 13.) Dr. Grifka opines that this conduct caused harm or injury to Plaintiff by leaving the mole with a mottled appearance, leaving the mole with an inconsistent hyperpigmented border, and leaving hypopigmentation extending beyond the mole. (Id. ¿ 14.)

    Because Plaintiff raises triable issues of material fact concerning standard of care and causation, the motion for summary judgment is denied.

    Defendants are ordered to give notice.

    Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at sscdept31@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the parties do not submit on the tentative they should arrange to appear remotely. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative.

    Dated this 25th day of June, 2020

Hon. Thomas D. Long

Judge of the Superior Court

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