This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/26/2020 at 05:42:03 (UTC).

EUN AH KIM ET AL VS PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM SOUTHERN CALIFO

Case Summary

On 03/26/2018 EUN AH KIM filed a Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice lawsuit against PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM SOUTHERN CALIFO. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS, JON R. TAKASUGI, HOLLY E. KENDIG and DEIRDRE HILL. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9440

  • Filing Date:

    03/26/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Torrance Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MARC D. GROSS

JON R. TAKASUGI

HOLLY E. KENDIG

DEIRDRE HILL

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Guardian Ad Litems and Not Classified By Court

BUSH TRACY

KIM EUN AH

Plaintiff and Petitioner

KIM EUN AH

Defendants, Respondents and Not Classified By Court

TAHA NIMA M.D.

ESTOLAS AIMEE R.N.

PROVIDENCE LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY MEDICAL

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM-SOUTHERN

DOES 1-100

CLAUDE HEBERT D.O.

TARNAY MICHAEL M.D.

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM-SOUTHERN DBA PROVIDENCE LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY MEDICAL CENTER TORRANCE

Minors and Not Classified By Court

BUSH-LEWIS MADISON

LEWIS SHARLEMAGNE II

BUSH TRACY

PROVIDENCE LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY MEDICAL

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Minor, Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

HOWARD NEIL M. ESQ.

HOWARD NEIL MACY

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

CARROLL RICHARD D. ESQ.

LAW YUK KWONG

CARROLL RICHARD DOUGLAS

 

Court Documents

Brief - BRIEF DEFENDANTS NIMA TAHA, M.D. AND HEBERT CLAUDE, D.O.'S STATEMENT RE ISSUE OF DISCOVERY REFEREE

9/4/2020: Brief - BRIEF DEFENDANTS NIMA TAHA, M.D. AND HEBERT CLAUDE, D.O.'S STATEMENT RE ISSUE OF DISCOVERY REFEREE

Order - [PROPOSED] ORDER RE EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY LITIGATION

7/27/2020: Order - [PROPOSED] ORDER RE EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY LITIGATION

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - PLAINTIFFS NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO DEMAND FOR IDENTIFICATION, PRODUCTION AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE (1), PROP

7/28/2020: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - PLAINTIFFS NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO DEMAND FOR IDENTIFICATION, PRODUCTION AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE (1), PROP

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS, SET THREE

7/17/2020: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS, SET THREE

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

4/23/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF DEFENDANT HERBERT CLAUDE D.O

3/6/2020: Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF DEFENDANT HERBERT CLAUDE D.O

Declaration - DECLARATION OF YUK K. LAW, ESQ. IN SUPPORT OF NIMA TAHA, M.D.S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

3/6/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF YUK K. LAW, ESQ. IN SUPPORT OF NIMA TAHA, M.D.S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW DEPO TO TAKE PLACE IN JURY ROOM.)

2/28/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW DEPO TO TAKE PLACE IN JURY ROOM.)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER; HEARING ON MOTION FOR...)

12/12/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER; HEARING ON MOTION FOR...)

Motion for Protective Order - PLAINTIFFS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER, ORDER COMPELLING JESSICA WELLMAN, R.N. TO APPEAR FOR A SECOND DEPOSITION

10/15/2019: Motion for Protective Order - PLAINTIFFS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER, ORDER COMPELLING JESSICA WELLMAN, R.N. TO APPEAR FOR A SECOND DEPOSITION

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER)

8/7/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER)

Order - ORDER [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

7/24/2019: Order - ORDER [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF NEIL M. HOWARD IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL

7/24/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF NEIL M. HOWARD IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL; DECLARATION OF ELIZABETH A. EVANS, ESQ.

7/25/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL; DECLARATION OF ELIZABETH A. EVANS, ESQ.

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5) and...)

11/19/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5) and...)

Legacy Document -

9/21/2018: Legacy Document -

NOTICE OF FILING AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE RE DEFENDANT, NIMA TAHA, M.D.

8/22/2018: NOTICE OF FILING AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE RE DEFENDANT, NIMA TAHA, M.D.

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVIL

4/2/2018: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVIL

112 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/11/2021
  • Hearing05/11/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Jury Trial

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  • 05/04/2021
  • Hearing05/04/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Final Status Conference

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  • 02/25/2021
  • Hearing02/25/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 02/25/2021
  • Hearing02/25/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 11/13/2020
  • Hearing11/13/2020 at 09:30 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 11/04/2020
  • Hearing11/04/2020 at 09:30 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition

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  • 10/28/2020
  • Hearing10/28/2020 at 11:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 10/28/2020
  • Hearing10/28/2020 at 11:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 10/28/2020
  • Hearing10/28/2020 at 11:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 10/28/2020
  • Hearing10/28/2020 at 11:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Informal Discovery Conference (IDC)

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167 More Docket Entries
  • 05/03/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 04/06/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 04/06/2018
  • DocketSummons Issued; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/06/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/02/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVIL

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  • 04/02/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/02/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/02/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVIL

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  • 03/26/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Eun Ah Kim (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/26/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC699440    Hearing Date: October 21, 2020    Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

EUN AH KIM, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.:

BC699440

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA,

Defendant.

Hearing Date: October 21, 2020

Moving Parties: (1) Plaintiff Eun Ah Kim, (2) plaintiff Madison Bush-Lewis

Responding Party: Defendant Providence Health System-Southern California

(1) Motion to Compel Further Answers to Demand for Identification, Production and Inspection of Documents, Set No. 7

(2) Motion to Compel Further Answers to Demand for Identification, Production and Inspection of Documents, Set No. 1

The court considered the moving and untimely-filed opposition.

RULING

The motions are GRANTED. Defendant Providence is ordered to further respond and to produce responsive documents to plaintiffs’ demands for identification, production, and inspection of documents, within 30 days.

BACKGROUND

On March 26, 2018, plaintiffs Eun Ah Kim, Sharlemagne Lewis, II, a minor, and Madison Bush-Lewis, a minor filed a complaint against Providence, Aimee Estolas, R.N., and Nima Taha, M.D. for wrongful death. Plaintiffs allege that Sharlemagne Lewis was a patient at hospital. Defendants breached their duty of care by allowing him to leave the hospital on July 29, 2017, when he was a danger to himself and others. On August 1, 2017, he took his life. Defendants’ negligence was a substantial factor in the death of Lewis.

On May 3, 2018, plaintiffs filed a FAC.

On July 30, 2020, the court stayed the action for six-months.

On September 1, 2020, the court granted plaintiff’s motion for a trial preference. The stay was lifted as of October 1, 2020.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

45-Day Rule: This motion must be served within 45 days after service of the response in question (extended if served by mail, overnight delivery, or fax; see CCP § 1013); otherwise, the demanding party waives the right to compel any further response to the CCP §2031.010 demand. CCP §§2031.310(c), 2016.050; see Sperber v. Robinson (1994) 26 Cal. App. 4th 736, 745. The 45-day time limit is mandatory and jurisdictional. Sexton v. Superior Court (1997) 58 Cal. App. 4th 1403, 1410. The parties, however, can also agree in writing on a specific later date by which to file the motion to compel. CCP §2031.310(c).

Meet-and-Confer Requirement: The motion to compel further responses must be accompanied by a declaration showing “a reasonable and good faith attempt” to resolve the issues outside of court (so-called “meet and confer”). CCP §§2016.040, 2031.310(b)(2).

Separate Statement: Any motion involving the content of a discovery request or the responses to such a request shall be accompanied by a separate statement. This includes a motion to compel further responses to demand for inspection of documents or tangible things. CRC Rule 3.1020(a)(3).

Request for Production of Documents

On receipt of a response to an inspection demand, the demanding party may move for an order compelling further responses to the demand if the demanding party deems that any of the following apply: (1) a statement of compliance with the demand is incomplete; (2) a representation of inability to comply is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive; or (3) an objection in the response is without merit or too general. CCP § 2031.310(a). A statement of compliance shall state that the production, inspection, and related activity demanded will be allowed either in whole or in part, and that all documents or things in the demanded category that are in the possession, custody, or control of that party and to which no objection is being made will be included in the production. CCP § 2031.220. “A representation of inability to comply with [a] particular demand for inspection . . . shall affirm that a diligent search and reasonable inquiry has been made in an effort to comply with that demand. This statement shall also specify whether the inability to comply is because the particular item or category has never existed, has been destroyed, has been lost, misplaced, or stolen, or has never been, or is no longer, in the possession, custody, or control of the responding party. This statement shall set forth the name and address of any natural person or organization known or believed by that party to have possession, custody, or control of that item or category of item.” CCP § 2031.230.

A motion to compel further response to requests for production “shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought by the inspection demand.” CCP § 2031.310(b)(1). “To establish ‘good cause,’ the burden is on the moving party to show both: [1] Relevance to the subject matter (e.g., how the information in the documents would tend to prove or disprove some issue in the case); and [2] Specific facts justifying discovery (e.g., why such information is necessary for trial preparation or to prevent surprise at trial). The fact that there is no alternative source for the information sought is an important factor in establishing ‘good cause’ for inspection. But it is not essential in every case.” Weil & Brown, Civil Procedure Before Trial, 8:1495.6 (citations omitted). “Declarations are generally used to show the requisite ‘good cause’ for an order to compel inspection. The declarations must contain ‘specific facts’ rather than mere conclusions.” Id. at 8:1495.7 (citation omitted). “The declarations may be on information and belief, if necessary. However, in such cases, the ‘specific facts’ supporting such information and belief (the sources of the information) must also be alleged.” Id. at 8:1495.8 (citation omitted). “Most declarations are made by the attorney for the moving party, who is usually more familiar with the relevancy and ‘specific facts’ constituting ‘good cause’ for inspection.” Id. at 8:1495.9.

“If ‘good cause’ is shown by the moving party, the burden is then on the responding party to justify any objections made to document disclosure (the same as on motions to compel answers to interrogatories or deposition questions. . . ).” Id. at 8:1496 (citation omitted).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff Eun Ah Kim requests that the court compel defendant Providence to respond further to her Demand for Identification, Production, and Inspection of Documents, Set Seven, Nos. 1-7.

Plaintiff Madison Bush-Lewis requests that the court compel defendant Providence to respond further to her Demand for Identification, Production, and Inspection of Documents, Set One, Nos.1-9.

On March 6, 2020, plaintiff Eun Ah Kim served her demand. On April 10, 2020, defendant served objections and no documents.

On March 10, 2020, plaintiff Madison Bush-Lewis served her demand. On April 13, 2020, defendant served objections and no documents.

Defendant objected on the grounds that the requests were not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and were vague, ambiguous, and overbroad. Defendant also responded that under the current circumstances of the pandemic, there were not sufficient resources of the hospital to respond to such discovery. Counsel met and conferred.

In an untimely-filed opposition, defendant asserts that its opposition is “based upon disruption and interference on” its “ability to participate in litigation and discovery because of the burdens resulting” from the pandemic. Defendant contends that it “has not yet regained its balance to have complied with the outstanding discovery requests.” Defendant asserts that since the September 1, 2020 order, defense counsel has been seeking responses from defendant, but that defendant’s efforts are “still hindered” as it continues to suffer the consequences of furloughs, restructuring, and layoffs. Defendant requests an additional 30 days to respond further to plaintiffs’ demands.

Plaintiffs have shown good cause. Defendant’s objections lack merit, and the opposition does not address them. Defendant has agreed to produce responsive documents but seeks additional time. The court finds that 30 days is sufficient as requested by defendant.

The court denies plaintiffs’ requests for sanctions.

The motions are GRANTED.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC699440    Hearing Date: September 01, 2020    Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

EUN AH KIM, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.:

BC699440

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DBA PROVIDENCE LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY MEDICAL CENTER, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: September 1, 2020

Moving Parties: Plaintiff Madison Bush-Lewis, by and through her guardian ad litem

Responding Party: Defendants Providence Health System-Southern California, Aimee Estolas, R.N., Nima Taha, M.D., and Hebert Claude, D.O.

Motion for Trial Preference

The court considered the moving, oppositions, and reply papers.

RULING

The motion is GRANTED. The stay is lifted as of November 1, 2020. The FSC is set for May 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Trial is set for June 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. The court sets an OSC re why a discovery referee should not be appointed for November 2, 2020, at 8:30 a.m.

BACKGROUND

On March 26, 2018, plaintiffs Eun Ah Kim, Sharlemagne Lewis, II, a minor, and Madison Bush-Lewis, a minor filed a complaint against Providence, Aimee Estolas, R.N., and Nima Taha, M.D. for wrongful death. Plaintiffs allege that Sharlemagne Lewis was a patient at hospital. Defendants breached their duty of care by allowing him to leave the hospital on July 29, 2017, when he was a danger to himself and others. On August 1, 2017, he took his life. Defendants’ negligence was a substantial factor in the death of Lewis.

On May 3, 2018, plaintiffs filed a FAC.

On July 27, 2020, the court granted defendants’ ex parte application to stay the entire case for six months. A trial setting conference was set for January 15, 2021.

On July 31, 2020, plaintiffs filed the herein motion.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

CCP §36(b) states: “A civil action to recover damages for wrongful death or personal injury shall be entitled to preference upon the motion of any party to the action who is under 14 years of age unless the court finds that the party does not have a substantial interest in the case as a whole. . . .”

Under CCP 36(g), “Upon the granting of a motion for preference pursuant to subdivision (b), a party in an action based upon a health provider's alleged professional negligence, as defined in Section 364, shall receive a trial date not sooner than six months and not later than nine months from the date that the motion is granted.”

“We hold that section 36, subdivision (b) is mandatory.” Peters v. Superior Court (1989) 212 Cal. App. 3d 218, 224.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff Madison Bush-Lewis, by and through her guardian ad litem, requests that the court grant preference in trial setting pursuant to CCP §36(b) on the ground that this action is a civil action to recover damages for wrongful death brought by a minor under the age of 14 who has a substantial interest in the outcome of the case as a whole. Minor is 12 years old.

In opposition, defendants argue that the motion is improper because the case is stayed. Defendants assert that plaintiffs did not seek reconsideration of the stay order dated July 30, 2020. Further, General Order dated August 10, 2020 states that, “the Court will not set any Civil jury trials to commence before January 2021.” General Order, 9.c.i. Defendants also argues that plaintiff does not have a “substantial interest” in the action because in a wrongful death suit, all heirs, all persons of interest, must be joined in a single action, i.e., “only one action for wrongful death may be brought . . . and . . . that action is indivisible. . . .” Adams v. Superior Court (2011) 196 Cal. App. 4th 71, 76-77 (citation omitted). Thus, defendants argue, all plaintiffs are considered one party.

The motion is GRANTED as CCP §36(b) is mandatory.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC699440    Hearing Date: December 12, 2019    Dept: SWB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

EUN AH KIM, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.:

BC666440

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: December 12, 2019

Moving Parties: Defendants Providence Health System-Southern California and Aimee Estolas, R.N.

Responding Party: Plaintiffs Eun Ah Kim, et al.

Application for Order Appointing Discovery Referee to Supervise Depositions and Motion for Protective Order

The court considered the moving and opposition papers.

RULING

The motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

BACKGROUND

This is a wrongful death case. On March 26, 2018, plaintiffs Eun Ah Kim, Sharlemagne Lewis, II, a minor by and though his guardian ad litem, Tracy Bush, and Madison Bush-Lewis, a minor by and through her guardian ad litem, Tracy Bush filed a complaint against Providence Health System-Southern California dba Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, Aimee Estolas, R.N., and Nima Taha, M.D. for negligence. Plaintiffs allege that defendants owed Sharlemagne Lewis a duty of care to provide him with competent and adequate medical care and services, including talking all appropriate steps to prevent him from injuring himself. Defendants breached the duty of care by allowing him to leave the medical center when he was a danger to himself and others.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

Discovery referee

The court has power to appoint a referee to supervise the deposition, if necessary, to hear and determine any and all discovery motions and disputes relevant to discovery in the action, and to report findings and make recommendations thereon. CCP §639(a)(5). Under §639(d), all appointments of referees pursuant to this section shall be by written order and shall include the following: “When the referee is appointed pursuant to paragraph (a)(5), the exceptional circumstances requiring the reference, which must be specific to the circumstances of the particular case.” “Exceptional circumstances” are required to appoint a referee to hear and determine any and all discovery motions and disputes relevant to discovery in the action and to report findings and make a recommendation thereon. CCP §639(d)(2). A discovery referee may be appointed to monitor depositions where antagonism between the parties and/or counsel might otherwise prolong the proceedings and frustrate discovery. Cal. Practice Guide: Civ. Proc. Before Trial, ¶8:1804.5. “Where either party anticipates that the other will try to frustrate legitimate discovery at a deposition, the referee’s presence can curtail such conduct.” Id., ¶8:873.

Under CCP §645.1(b), when a referee is appointed pursuant to section 639, at any time after a determination of ability to pay is made as specified in section 639(d)(6), the court may order the parties to pay the fees of referees who are not employees or officers of the court at the time of appointment, as fixed pursuant to section 1023, in any manner determined by the court to be fair and reasonable, including an apportionment of the fees among the parties. Under §639(d)(6)(A), the written order shall include “[e]ither a finding that no party has established an economic inability to pay a pro rata share of the referee’s fee or a finding that one or more parties has established an economic inability to pay a pro rata share of the referee’s fees and that another party has agreed voluntarily to pay that additional share of the referee’s fee. A court shall not appoint a referee at a cost to the parties if neither of these findings is made.”

Protective Order

Under CCP §2025.420, “(a) Before, during, or after a deposition, any party, any deponent, or any other affected natural person or organization may promptly move for a protective order. The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040. (b) The court, for good cause shown, may make any order that justice requires to protect any party, deponent, or other natural person or organization from unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, or oppression, or undue burden and expense. This protective order may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following directions: . . . .”

The burden is on the moving party to establish “good cause” for whatever relief is requested. Generally, a deponent seeking a protective order will be required to show that the burden, expense, or intrusiveness involved in the discovery procedure clearly outweighs the likelihood that the information sought will lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Emerson Electric Co. v. Superior Court (1997) 16 Cal. 4th 1101, 1110.

DISCUSSION

Defendants request an order appointing a discovery referee to supervise the depositions of certain hospital personnel from Providence and any percipient witnesses produced by defendants. Defendants also request a protective order related to the scheduling of these depositions so that they are rescheduled to allow for the appointment of a discovery referee to attend the depositions.

Defendants explain that eight depositions were noticed for August 2020. Before the motion was heard, the case was transferred to Dept. B from the Personal Injury Hub and scheduled for this date. Defendants contend that they reasonably anticipate that plaintiffs’ counsel’s conduct will frustrate the legitimate purpose of discovery based on his conduct at Jessica Wellman, R.N.’s deposition on July 26, 2019. Defendants assert that plaintiffs’ counsel engaged in conduct and lines of questioning that were harassing and intimidating to the witness and engaged in aggressive conduct, including repetitive and argumentative lines of questions that were designed to, and had the effect of, embarrassing, humiliating, and badgering the witness to the point where she began crying. Defendants argue that plaintiffs’ counsel failed to adhere to the Guidelines for Civility in Litigation.

In opposition, plaintiffs argue that a referee is not necessary because any future deposition can be terminated and a protective order sought based on the conduct that occurred.

The court finds that the appointment of a discovery referee is premature. Although there is antagonism between counsel, defense counsel can utilize CCP §2025.470 to suspend a deposition and to seek a protective order if plaintiffs’ counsel’s conduct causes “annoyance, embarrassment, or oppression.”

The motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of the ruling.

*********************************************************************************

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

EUN AH KIM, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.:

BC666440

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: December 12, 2019

Moving Parties: Defendants Providence Health System-Southern California and Aimee Estolas, R.N.

Responding Party: Plaintiffs Eun Ah Kim, et al.

Motion for a Qualified Protective Order

RULING

BACKGROUND

DISCUSSION

Defendants request a HIPAA-Compliant Qualified Protective Order (“QPO”) to facilitate the exchange of Protected Health Information (“PHI”) contained in decedent Sharlemagne Lewis’ medical records and the law enforcement records.

Defendants contend that they have been unable to obtain subpoenaed medical records and pertinent records from multiple providers, including the Torrance PD and Torrance Fire Department.  Defendants argue that the subpoenaed records at issue are highly relevant to plaintiffs’ claims.

In opposition, plaintiffs do not oppose a QPO.  Rather, they oppose the release of certain documents and records, which is not before the court at this time.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of the ruling.