On 05/25/2018 JAMES THOMAS filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL
KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN INC.
KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS
WHITE TWILA S. ESQ.
PEDROZA KENNETH ROBERT
7/3/2019: Separate Statement
7/3/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
8/9/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER DENYING DEFENDAN...)
10/11/2019: Notice - NOTICE PLAINTIFFS ERRATA RE: MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT JAMILA DAINTYS RESPONSES AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS TO PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE
10/11/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
10/15/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
10/16/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO SEPARATE STATEMENT ISO MTC - SCPMG RFP1
10/16/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO SEPARATE STATEMENT ISO MTC - DAINTY RFP1
10/21/2019: Separate Statement
12/2/2019: Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT AMENDED/SUPPLEMENTAL
12/10/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore
12/11/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER)
1/16/2020: Reply - REPLY PLAINTIFFS REPLY TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO QUASH DEFENDANTS SUBPOENAS FOR PRODUCTION OF EMPLOYMENT RECORDS TO CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS 1)UCLA RECORDS MANAGEMENT; 2) ALTAMED HE
1/24/2020: Order - RULING-MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA
9/20/2018: AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS
12/11/2018: Case Management Order
6/26/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF PLAINTIFFS COUNSEL REGARDING PERSONAL/MEDICAL LEAVE
9/6/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT
Hearing02/01/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearing01/26/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Hearing12/17/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Post-Mediation Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Hearing04/28/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Summary JudgmentRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Clerical ErrorRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by CourtRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Quash (Subpoenas) - Held - Motion DeniedRead MoreRead Less
DocketRuling-Motion to Quash Subpoena; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Quash Subpoenas)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketStipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter; Filed by James Thomas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR: VIOLATION OF FEHA, CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE 12900 SEQ: 1. DISCRINIINATION BASED ON DISABILITVIMEDICAL CONDITION; ECT.Read MoreRead Less
DocketSecond Amended Complaint; Filed by James Thomas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketFIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR: VIOLATION OF FEHA, CALIIORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE 12900 ET SEQ: 1. DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DISABILITY/MEDICAL CONDITION; ECT.Read MoreRead Less
DocketFirst Amended Complaint; Filed by James Thomas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketSummons; Filed by James Thomas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by James Thomas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: VIOLATION OF FEHA, CAL[ORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE 12900 ET SEQ: 1. DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DISABILITY/MEDICAL CONDILION; ETCRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC707843 Hearing Date: January 24, 2020 Dept: 47
James Thomas v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al.
MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF EMPLOYMENT RECORDS TO CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS (1) UCLA RECORDS MANAGEMENT;
(2) ALTAMED HEALTH NETWORK, INC.; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,060.00
MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff James Thomas
RESPONDING PARTY(S): Defendants Southern California Permanente Medical Group and Jamila Dainty
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
This is a disability discrimination action. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant Kaiser Permanente as a licensed vocational nurse and alleges that he was terminated based on pretext after injuring his ankle on slippery stairs that he had complained about before his injury.
Plaintiff moves to quash subpoenas for production of employment records to (1) UCLA Records Management and (2) Altamed Health Network, Inc. and requests $8,060 in sanctions.
Plaintiff James Thomas’s motion to quash subpoenas for production of employment records to (1) UCLA Records Management and (2) Altamed Health Network, Inc. is DENIED.
Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is DENIED.
Defendant’s cross-request for sanctions is DENIED.
Motion To Quash Deposition Subpoenas To (1) UCLA Records Management and (2) Altamed Health Network, Inc.
Two Motions in One
At the outset, the Court notes that this motion is two motions in one: Plaintiff is seeking to quash two different deposition subpoenas. In the future, moving party is ordered to obtain separate hearing reservations and pay separate filing fees. Combining multiple motions under the guise of one motion with one hearing reservation manipulates the Court Reservation System and unfairly jumps ahead of other litigants. Moreover, combining motions to avoid payment of separate filing fees deprives the Court of filing fees it is otherwise entitled to collect.
Be that as it may, the Court will still exercise its discretion to hear both motions, but moving party is to obtain separate hearing reservations and pay separate filing fees in the future.
Plaintiff moves to quash two different deposition subpoenas to two of his post-termination employers on the grounds that they are overbroad and seek irrelevant information in light of his right to privacy.
If a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by any person described in subdivision (b), or upon the court's own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders. In addition, the court may make any other order as may be appropriate to protect the person from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person.
(CCP § 1987.1(a).)
There is no meet and confer requirement set forth in CCP § 1987.1, but a motion to quash does require a separate statement:
(a) Separate statement required
Any motion involving the content of a discovery request or the responses to such a request must be accompanied by a separate statement. The motions that require a separate statement include a motion:
. . .
(CRC Rule 3.1345(a)(5) (bold emphasis added.)
Plaintiff has filed a separate statement in connection with this motion, and the Court will therefore consider the argument set forth therein.
The requests at issue are for the following information:
1. EMPLOYMENT. Any and all documents evidencing, relating to or pertaining to James Thomas’ employment by the deponent, including but not limited to personnel records, employment applications, resumes, performance evaluations, records of disciplinary actions, disability claims, workers compensation claims, and medical records pertaining to James Thomas’ employment, from 1/1/2017 to the present [as to Altamed Health Network, Inc., and from 1/1/2018 to the present as to UCLA Records Management].
2. COMPENSATION. Any and all documents evidencing, relating to or pertaining to James Thomas’ compensation from the deponent, including but not limited to payroll records (including W-2 forms), salary, wages, commissioners [sic] or other remuneration paid or held by the employer, time sheets and records of time off or absences and reasons therefore, including sick leave, disability leave and vacation leave, from 1/1/2017 to the present [as to Altamed Health Network, Inc., and from 1/1/2018 to the present as to UCLA Records Management].
Plaintiff argues that these requests are overbroad and seek irrelevant information in light of his right to privacy. Defendants respond that these documents are relevant to their defenses and to Plaintiff’s claim for economic and noneconomic damages.
Here, the documents sought are not irrelevant and may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants’ actions caused him to suffer a loss of earnings, including loss of future earnings and promotions, and he also alleges that he suffered emotional distress and damage to his reputation (2AC ¶ 142 & p. 25 [prayer for relief].) Plaintiff’s employment records, including his compensation records, are relevant to these claims.
The question, then, is whether Plaintiff’s privacy rights are violated by this request.
In ruling upon a privacy objection in the contact of discovery, the party asserting a privacy right must establish a legally protected privacy interest. (Williams v. Superior Court (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 552.) The party asserting a privacy right must also establish an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in the given circumstances. (Id.) Further, the party asserting a privacy right must establish a threatened intrusion that is serious. (Id.) The Court need not proceed to the fourth step of balancing competing interests if all three of the above are not satisfied. (Id. at 555.) If the Court reaches the fourth step, the Court must balance these competing considerations: The party seeking information may raise whatever legitimate and important countervailing interests disclosure serves. (Id. at 552.) The party seeking protection may identify feasible alternatives that serve the same interests or protective measures that would diminish the loss of privacy. (Id.) Courts may not require the party seeking discovery to demonstrate a “compelling need” simply because discovery of any facially private information is sought. (Id. at 556-557.)
The constitutional right of privacy protects documents and communications in one’s employment files. (Board of Trustees v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County (1981) 119 Cal. App. 3d 516, 528.) Moreover, although there may be an implicit partial waiver of the right of privacy in bringing suit, “the scope of such waiver must be narrowly, rather than expansively construed, so that plaintiffs will not be unduly deterred from instituting lawsuits by fear of exposure of private activities. . . . An implicit waiver of a party’s constitutional rights encompasses only discovery directly relevant to the plaintiff’s claim and essential to the fair resolution of the lawsuit.” (Davis v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal. App. 4th 1008, 1014 (italics in original, bold emphasis added).)
Although Plaintiff has established a legally protected, objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in his employment records, he has not established that the threatened intrusion is serious. In the context of employment litigation, it is not a serious intrusion of privacy to require Plaintiff to produce his employment records of previous or subsequent employers. Thus, the Court need not engage in the balancing of interests. (Williams, supra, 3 Cal.5th at 555.)
However, even were the Court to engage in the balancing of interests, Defendants have articulated an important countervailing interest disclosure serves: these documents are likely to lead to evidence regarding Plaintiff’s damages claims and are also relevant to Plaintiff’s defamation claim. The information being sought is relevant and at least reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence (CCP § 2017.010), if not constituting admissible evidence itself.
On the other hand, Plaintiff has not identified feasible alternatives that serve the same interests or protective measures that would diminish the loss of privacy. Defendants have, on the other hand, offered to enter into a protective order to alleviate Plaintiff’s privacy concerns.
Accordingly, the motion to quash is DENIED.
As Plaintiff’s motion was unsuccessful, Plaintiff’s request for sanctions in the amount of $8,060.00 is DENIED. (CCP § 1987.2.)
Defendants’ cross-request for sanctions in the amount of $3,380.00 is also DENIED. Plaintiff’s motion was not frivolous or an abuse of the discovery process. (CCP § 2023.010(e), (h).) In addition, Defendants’ request does not specify whom sanctions are sought against in any notice of opposition; this information does not appear until page 10 of their 11-page brief. To satisfy due process, the notice of opposition must expressly identify “each person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought.” (CCP § 2023.040.) Burying this information at the end of the brief is insufficient.
Moving party to give notice, unless waived.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: January 24, 2020 ___________________________________
Randolph M. Hammock
Judge of the Superior Court
Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org