This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/30/2019 at 05:01:08 (UTC).

KRISTIN BEDFORD VS JOAQUIN SALVADOR CASTALLENOS VS EM PIZZA

Case Summary

On 11/09/2017 KRISTIN BEDFORD filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against JOAQUIN SALVADOR CASTALLENOS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2980

  • Filing Date:

    11/09/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

BEDFORD KRISTIN

Defendants and Respondents

E.M. PIZZA INC

CASTALLENOS JOAQUI SALVADOR

DOES 1 TO 50

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

SHAVER THOMAS W.

Defendant Attorney

SANTA ROMANA MARK V. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Motion to Compel

1/15/2019: Motion to Compel

Notice

2/5/2019: Notice

Stipulation and Order

3/18/2019: Stipulation and Order

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

12/22/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

1/5/2018: NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

1/5/2018: DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

1/5/2018: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

Unknown

1/5/2018: Unknown

SUMMONS

11/9/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

11/9/2017: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/09/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 04/25/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 03/18/2019
  • Stipulation and Order ([PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC [AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES]); Filed by KRISTIN BEDFORD (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/14/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (DEFENDANTS. NOTICE OF MOTION & MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION ATTENDENCE OF PLAINTIFF KRISTIN BEDFORD; REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS & FOR SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $660.00) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Notice ( OF TAKING OFF CALENDAR DEFENDANT"S MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION ATTENDANCE OF PLAINTIFF KRISTIN BEDFORD); Filed by JOAQUI SALVADOR CASTALLENOS (Defendant); E.M. PIZZA, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • Motion to Compel (Notice of motion and motion to compel deposition); Filed by JOAQUI SALVADOR CASTALLENOS (Defendant); E.M. PIZZA, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/05/2018
  • DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

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  • 01/05/2018
  • ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 01/05/2018
  • Notice; Filed by JOAQUI SALVADOR CASTALLENOS (Defendant); E.M. PIZZA, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/05/2018
  • Answer; Filed by JOAQUI SALVADOR CASTALLENOS (Defendant); E.M. PIZZA, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/05/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by JOAQUI SALVADOR CASTALLENOS (Defendant); E.M. PIZZA, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/05/2018
  • Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by JOAQUI SALVADOR CASTALLENOS (Defendant); E.M. PIZZA, INC (Defendant)

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  • 01/05/2018
  • NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

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  • 01/05/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 12/22/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 12/22/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 11/09/2017
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 11/09/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 11/09/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by KRISTIN BEDFORD (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC682980    Hearing Date: January 17, 2020    Dept: A

Bedford v Castellanos

Motion to Quash Subpoena

Calendar:

10

Case No.:

BC682980

Hearing Date:

January 17, 2020

Action Filed:

November 09, 2017

Trial Date:

June 22, 2020

MP:

Defendants E.M. Pizza, Inc.; Joaquin Salvador Castallenos

RP:

Plaintiff Kristen Bedford

ALLEGATIONS:

The instant action arises from a car collision, which Plaintiff Kristen Bedford (“Plaintiff”) alleges occurred on April 18, 2016, caused by the negligent driving of Defendant Joaquin Salvador Castallenos (“Castallenos”), and during the course of his employment with Defendant E.M. Pizza, Inc. (“EM Pizza” and together with Castallenos the “Defendants”).

Plaintiff filed her Complaint on November 09, 2017, alleging causes of action sounding in Negligence.

PRESENTATION:

Defendants’ motion to quash document subpoena was filed on December 17, 2019. Plaintiff filed opposition on January 06, 2020, 2 days late pursuant to Code of Civ. Proc. §1005.

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Defendants move to quash deposition subpoena of Dr. Peter B. Anderson, M.D.

ANALYSIS:

Standard of Review – Quash Subpoena – Code Civ. Proc. §1987.1 grants the trial court authority to quash a subpoena when necessary. Code Civ. Proc. §1987.1 provides, “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.”

Defendants move to quash the instant deposition of Dr. Peter B. Anderson, M.D. (“Anderson”) on the grounds that it is too early in the proceedings to go forward with expert witness depositions, and Anderson has not been so designated in these proceedings. Motion, 4:7-5:16. On opposition, Plaintiff argues that Anderson is available for deposition at any time by reason of Anderson taking the medical examination of Plaintiff during the course of these proceedings, such that Plaintiff is entitled to a report of the examination within 30 days under Code of Civ. Proc. §2032.610(b).

On review, the Court concludes that Plaintiff is not entitled to take Anderson’s deposition at the present time. First, Defendant correctly points out that the deposition of Anderson falls within the ambit of the statutes providing for expert witness depositions following a mutual exchange of expert witness lists. Code of Civ. Proc. §§2034.210 et seq. Second, the portions of the code that are both relevant and applicable to the instant circumstances of Plaintiff’s ability to obtain information following a medical examination does not provide for depositions of examining physicians following a medical examination. See Chapter 15, Article 6 of the Civil Discovery Act. As such, Plaintiff’s reliance on Code of Civ. Proc. §2032.610 does not militate in favor of permitting the deposition, but rather militates against such deposition, as the Legislature could have provided for such depositions, but instead only permitted the discovery of reports.

The cases cited by Plaintiff, and in particular Kennedy v. Superior Court (1998) 64 Cal. App. 4th 674 and Shooker v. Superior Court (2003) 111 Cal. App. 4th 923, are factually distinguishable from the instant circumstances and inapplicable to the instant motion. In Kennedy, the court made its determination following the mutual exchange of expert witness lists, and upon an attempt to withdraw an expert from the list in order to reinstate the work product privilege. Shooker similarly relates to post-designation issues that are not present in the instant action, as expert witness lists have not been exchanged. By contrast, County of L.A. v. Superior Court (1990) 224 Cal. App. 3d 1446, cited by Defendants, discusses the right of parties to depose potential experts prior to the exchange of expert witness lists, reasoning that the code prohibits the deposition of experts prior to the exchange of lists under Code of Civ. Proc. §2034(i), and that the time to exchange lists are clearly provided under Code of Civ. Proc. §2034(b). Re-codified as Code of Civ. Proc. §§2034.410 and 2034.220, respectively.

Accordingly, the Court will grant the motion to quash.

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RULING: below

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Defendants E.M. Pizza, Inc.; Joaquin Salvador Castallenos’ Motion to Quash came on regularly for hearing on January 17, 2020, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION IS GRANTED.

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE

Case Number: BC682980    Hearing Date: January 03, 2020    Dept: A

Bedford v Castellanos

Discovery Motions

Calendar:

09

Case No.:

BC682980

Hearing Date:

January 03, 2020

Action Filed:

November 09, 2017

Trial Date:

Not Set

MP:

Plaintiff Kristen Bedford

RP:

Defendants E.M. Pizza, Inc.; Joaquin Salvador Castallenos

ALLEGATIONS:

The instant action arises from a car collision, which Plaintiff Kristen Bedford (“Plaintiff”) alleges occurred on April 18, 2016, caused by the negligent driving of Defendant Joaquin Salvador Castallenos (“Castallenos”), and during the course of his employment with Defendant E.M. Pizza, Inc. (“EM Pizza” and together with Castallenos the “Defendants”).

Plaintiff filed her Complaint on November 09, 2017, alleging causes of action sounding in Negligence.

PRESENTATION:

The motion to quash document subpoena and motion to compel further responses were filed by Plaintiff on October 27, 2019, and December 04, 2019, respectively. Defendants opposed each motion on November 15, 2019, and December 18, 2019, respectively. Plaintiff filed reply briefs on November 21, 2019, and December 27, 2019 (1 day late due to the New Year’s Holiday).

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Plaintiff moves to quash Defendants’ document subpoena to Plaintiff’s healthcare providers.

Plaintiff moves to compel further responses to Requests for Admission, Set Two, Nos. 4-13, 15-25, & 28.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review – Quash Subpoena – Code Civ. Proc. §1987.1 grants the trial court authority to quash a subpoena when necessary. Code Civ. Proc. §1987.1 provides, “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.”

On review of the moving papers, there appears to be no material dispute as to the merits underlying the motion to quash, as Plaintiff and Defendants both agree that the documents should not be produced. Defendants, however, represent that they already withdrew the document subpoenas at issue, (Opposition, ¶8), while Plaintiff contends that some of the records were nonetheless received by the parties, requiring additional representations that the records were not reviewed by Defendants, (Reply, ¶6).

As the parties agree that the documents should not be subject to discovery, the Court may issue an order quashing their production.

Sanctions – On the issue of sanctions, the Court will need to hear explanations from the parties during oral argument prior to deciding whether sanctions are warranted.

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Standard of Review – Compel Further Responses to Requests for Admission – Code Civ. Proc. §2033.290 provides that a party may bring a motion to compel further responses to requests for admission where the responding party provides evasive or incomplete responses, or the objections are too general or without merit. The propounding party must submit a declaration under Code Civ. Proc. §2016.040 stating facts demonstrating a good faith and reasonable effort to informally resolve all issues raised by the motion. Code Civ. Proc. §2033.290(b). The motion must be brought within 45 days of service of verified responses or supplemental verified responses. Code Civ. Proc. §2033.290(c). Sanctions are mandatory against the party or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further unless the party acted with substantial justification or the circumstances make imposition of sanctions unjust. Code Civ. Proc. §2033.290(d). Additionally, if a party fails to obey an order compelling further response to the requests for admission, the Court may deem those requests admitted and impose monetary sanctions. Code of Civ. Proc. §2033.290(e).

Here, Defendants have submitted objections to the Requests for Admission based on (1) relevance objections for RFA Nos. 4-13, 15-25, and 28; and (2) attorney work product objections for RFA Nos. 18-25 and 28. Under Code of Civ. Proc. §2033.290(a)(2), the Court will determine whether the objections are meritorious.

Relevance Objections – Defendants object to the relevance of Requests for Admission Nos. 4-13, 15-25, and 28. As provided in Code of Civ. Proc. §2017.010 “any party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action or to the determination of any motion made in that action, if the matter either is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Admissible evidence, of course, is “relevant evidence”, and the test for relevancy to the action is “determined in each case according to the teaching of reason and judicial experience.” See Evid. Code §§350 & 351; Traxler v. Thompson (1970) 4 Cal. App. 3d 278, 286. Here the ‘relevant evidence’ proffered by Plaintiff that the RFAs are calculated to obtain is “to ascertain the truth between the conflicting reasons given for Dr. Young’s purported and sudden inability to conduct the plaintiff’s independent medical examination.” See, Plaintiff’s Separate Statement, “Plaintiff’s Response” sections. On this proffer, the Court finds that the discovery sought is not reasonable calculated to lead to admissible evidence in the instant matter, which is a negligence action for a car collision. The relevancy objection, however does not apply to each and every RFA objected to by Defendants, and the Court finds that the instant relevancy objection applies only to RFA Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, & 17.

Accordingly, the Court will sustain Defendants’ objections and deny the motion as to Requests for Admission Nos. 4-13, & 15-17.

Attorney Work Product – The work-product doctrine is designed to protect writings that reflect “an attorney's impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal research or theories.” Code of Civ. Proc. § 2018.030. Defendants object to RFA Nos. 18-25 and 28 on the grounds that the discovery requests disclosure of such attorney impressions, conclusions, opinions, legal research, or theories, and that the doctrine protects the discovery of information exchanged between counsel and experts under Dowden v. Superior Court (1999) 73 Cal. App. 4th 126, 135, and similar cases. Here, the remaining RFAs seek to discover (1) [RFAs Nos. 18, 20-22] whether Defendants’ counsel provided certain documents to Dr. Peter-Brian Anderson prior to his examination of Plaintiff, (2) [RFAs Nos. 19, 23-25] whether Dr. Peter-Brian Anderson reviewed certain records prior to his examination of Plaintiff, and (3) [RFA No. 28] whether Dr. Peter-Brian Anderson formed an opinion regarding Plaintiff’s neck “tenderness”.

The Court finds that while the inquiries into Dr. Peter-Brian Anderson’s review of records and conclusions fall within the permissible scope of discovery, the discovery sought regarding Defendants’ attorney’s communications with Dr. Peter-Brian Anderson fall under the work-product exception to discovery, as there is a substantial danger that information about attorney communications with their own expert will reveal the attorney’s impressions, conclusions, opinions, legal research, or theories. Plaintiff’s argument on reply, that Code of Civ. Proc. §2032.610 permits Plaintiff to request a report is inapplicable here, as the production of a report is not before the Court. Finally, the substance of the information sought – what documents Dr. Peter-Brian Anderson reviewed prior to the examination, can be obtain without intruding into the communications of Defendants’ attorneys through other discovery devices.

Accordingly, the Court will sustain Defendants’ objections as to RFA Nos. 18, 20, 21, & 22, and overrule the objections as to RFA Nos. 19, 23, 24, 25, & 28.

In sum, the Court will grant the motion to compel further responses as to RFA Nos. 19, 23, 24, 25, & 28, and deny the motion as to the remainder.

Sanctions – Under the circumstances presented in this motion, the Court finds that both parties were substantially justified in making and opposing the motion, and sanctions will be denied.

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RULING: below, in caps.

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Plaintiff Kristen Bedford’s Motions to Compel Further and Quash Subpoena came on regularly for hearing on January 03, 2020, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION TO QUASH IS GRANTED, BUT THE RULING ON SANCTIONS IS RESERVED PENDING ORAL ARGUMENTS; AND

THE MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION IS GRANTED IN PART, AS TO NOS. 19, 23, 24, 25, & 28, AND DENIED AS TO THE REMAINDER, AND AS TO SANCTIONS.

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE

Case Number: BC682980    Hearing Date: November 27, 2019    Dept: 2

AFTER REVIEW OF THE COURT FILE, THE COURT MAKES THE FOLLOWING ORDER:

Department 2 of the Personal Injury Court has determined that the above-entitled action is complicated based upon the number of pretrial hearings and/or the complexity of the issues presented.

AT THE DIRECTION OF DEPARTMENT 1:

This case is hereby transferred and reassigned to the following Independent Calendar Court in the North Central District, Burbank, JUDGE WILLIAM D. STEWART, presiding in Department A for all purposes except trial. Department 1 hereby delegates to the Independent Calendar Court the authority to assign the cause for trial to that Independent Calendar Court.

The Order is signed and filed this date, and incorporated herein by reference. Any pending motions or hearings, including trial and status conferences, will be reset, continued or vacated at the direction of the newly assigned Independent Calendar court.

Upon receipt of this notice, counsel for Plaintiff shall give notice to all parties of record.

Case Number: BC682980    Hearing Date: October 30, 2019    Dept: 2

Bedford v. Castallenos et al.

Plaintiff’s Motion to Quash Defendants’ Subpoenas for Plaintiff’s Records, filed on 90/26/2019 is GRANTED. The request for sanctions is DENIED.

This action arises out of an automobile accident. Plaintiff alleges that she suffered significant injuries, including injuries to her back and neck and post-concussion syndrome, vestibular dysfunction, sound sensitivity, head pain, nausea and vertigo. She has not identified any specific mental injuries in her interrogatory responses, and her counsel represents in connection with this motion that she is seeking only “garden variety emotional distress” and “has not and is not seeking damages for any mental injury.”

Defendants have served a subpoena on the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, where Plaintiff has obtained psychiatric treatment, seeking “any and all” medical records and documentation unlimited in time and scope. Plaintiff seeks to quash this subpoena.

Defendant first argues that the motion was untimely. That argument is not well taken. The motion is required to be brought “prior to the date for production.”  Cal. Code Civil Procedure § 1985.3(g). The date for production of records was 10/01/2019.  Motion, Ex. C.  The motion was filed on 09/26/2019. Defendant claims that the motion is improper because notice was not given to the witness and deposition at least five days prior to the date for the production, but the statute specifically states that “the failure to provide notice to the deposition officer shall not invalidate the motion to quash or modify the subpoena.” Id.

Moving on to the merits, the Court may quash a subpoena to protect a party from unreasonable or oppressive demands including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy. Cal Code Civ Procedure § 1987.1

Litigants have a right to constitutionally protected right to privacy in their medical records. Davis v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1014; Harris v. Superior Court, (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 661, 665. However, there is an implicit waiver of a plaintiff’s constitutional rights to privacy for medical records directly relevant to a plaintiff’s claim. By filing a personal injury action plaintiffs place in issue their past and present physical and/or mental conditions related to the injury sued upon. All medical and/or psychological records that are directly related to the claimed injuries are discoverable. Ev.C. §§ 996, 1016; Britt v. Sup.Ct. (San Diego Unified Port Dist.) (1978) 20 C3d 844, 862-864, 143 CR 695, 706-708.

Discovery of medical records limited to conditions placed in controversy by the lawsuit. The patient can still prevent disclosure of his or her medical history that is not directly relevant to the action.” Davis v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1014; Harris v. Superior Court, (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 661, 665. Britt v. Sup.Ct. (San Diego Unified Port Dist.) (1978) 20 Cal. 3d 844, 864; Palay v. Sup.Ct. (County of Los Angeles) (1993) 18 Cal. App. 4th 919, 928-935.

Here, Defendant claims that Plaintiff’s psychiatric records are relevant to causation. Discovery thus far has disclosed that Plaintiff has been diagnosed in the past with certain psychiatric conditions. Defendant contends that those conditions may account for the symptoms that Plaintiff claims she is experiencing. Defendant claims that it is entitled to discovery into her treatment for those psychiatric conditions to obtain support for its causation theory.

In support of this argument, Defendant presents a letter from a psychologist in which the psychologist states that there is an overlap in symptoms caused by post-concussive syndrome and those caused by depression and anxiety. Plaintiff has not objected to the admissibility of this letter for purposes of this motion and therefore the Court considers it.

The Court does not find the letter sufficient to justify compelling the production of the records here. The letter describes in general terms symptoms such as headaches, irritability, and fatigue that are shared by both post-concussive syndrome and psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety. But Defendant has not linked this opinion to any specific claims regarding symptoms that Plaintiff is alleging in this case. Moreover, the Court finds the description of the overlap in symptoms in the letter from the purported expert to be far too vague to justify the compelled disclosure of the broad scope of records that the Defendant seeks here.

The Court thus GRANTS the motion to quash the subpoena. The Court declines to award sanctions in the exercise of its discretion under Code Civil Proc. Section 1987.2(a). The Court does not find that the opposition was made in bad faith or without substantial justification or that the subpoena was so oppressive so as to justify sanctions.

The Moving Party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC682980    Hearing Date: October 29, 2019    Dept: 2

Bedford v. Castallenos et al.

Plaintiff’s Motion to Quash Defendants’ Subpoenas for Plaintiff’s Records, filed on 9/26/2019 is GRANTED. The request for sanctions is DENIED.

This action arises out of an automobile accident. Plaintiff alleges that she suffered significant injuries, including injuries to her back and neck and post-concussion syndrome, vestibular dysfunction, sound sensitivity, head pain, nausea and vertigo. She has not identified any specific mental injuries in her interrogatory responses, and her counsel represents in connection with this motion that she is seeking only “garden variety emotional distress” and “has not and is not seeking damages for any mental injury.”

Defendants have served a subpoena on the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, where Plaintiff has obtained psychiatric treatment, seeking “any and all” medical records and documentation unlimited in time and scope. Plaintiff seeks to quash this subpoena.

Defendant first argues that the motion was untimely. That argument is not well taken. The motion is required to be brought “prior to the date for production.” Cal Code Civil Procedure § 1985.3(g). The date for production of records was 10/1/19. Motion, Ex. C. The motion was filed on 9/26/19. Defendant claims that the motion is improper because notice was not given to the witness and deposition at least five days prior to the date for the production, but the statute specifically states that “the failure to provide notice to the deposition officer shall not invalidate the motion to quash or modify the subpoena.” Id.

Moving on to the merits, the Court may quash a subpoena to protect a party from unreasonable or oppressive demands including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy. Cal Code Civ Procedure § 1987.1

Litigants have a right to constitutionally protected right to privacy in their medical records. Davis v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1014; Harris v. Superior Court, (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 661, 665. However, there is an implicit waiver of a plaintiff’s constitutional rights to privacy for medical records directly relevant to a plaintiff’s claim. By filing a personal injury action plaintiffs place in issue their past and present physical and/or mental conditions related to the injury sued upon. All medical and/or psychological records that are directly related to the claimed injuries are discoverable. Ev.C. §§ 996, 1016; Britt v. Sup.Ct. (San Diego Unified Port Dist.) (1978) 20 C3d 844, 862-864, 143 CR 695, 706-708.

Discovery of medical records limited to conditions placed in controversy by the lawsuit. The patient can still prevent disclosure of his or her medical history that is not directly relevant to the action.” Davis v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1014; Harris v. Superior Court, (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 661, 665. Britt v. Sup.Ct. (San Diego Unified Port Dist.) (1978) 20 Cal. 3d 844, 864; Palay v. Sup.Ct. (County of Los Angeles) (1993) 18 Cal. App. 4th 919, 928-935.

Here, Defendant claims that Plaintiff’s psychiatric records are relevant to causation. Discovery thus far has disclosed that Plaintiff has been diagnosed in the past with certain psychiatric conditions. Defendant contends that those conditions may account for the symptoms that Plaintiff claims she is experiencing. Defendant claims that it is entitled to discovery into her treatment for those psychiatric conditions to obtain support for its causation theory.

In support of this argument, Defendant presents a letter from a psychologist in which the psychologist states that there is an overlap in symptoms caused by post-concussive syndrome and those caused by depression and anxiety. Plaintiff has not objected to the admissibility of this letter for purposes of this motion and therefore the Court considers it.

The Court does not find the letter sufficient to justify compelling the production of the records here. The letter describes in general terms symptoms such as headaches, irritability, and fatigue that are shared by both post-concussive syndrome and psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety. But Defendant has not linked this opinion to any specific claims regarding symptoms that Plaintiff is alleging in this case. Moreover, the Court finds the description of the overlap in symptoms in the letter from the purported expert to be far too vague to justify the compelled disclosure of the broad scope of records that the Defendant seeks here.

The Court thus GRANTS the motion to quash the subpoena. The Court declines to award sanctions in the exercise of its discretion under Code Civil Proc. Section 1987.2(a). The Court does not find that the opposition was made in bad faith or without substantial justification or that the subpoena was so oppressive so as to justify sanctions.