Pending - Other Pending
Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice
AMY D. HOGUE
WILLIAM A. CROWFOOT
WILKER MOSHE M.D.
FOSTER RICHARD M.
FRASER STEPHEN CLARK
1/25/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)
1/29/2021: Notice - NOTICE OF PROCEEDINGS
2/17/2021: Notice - NOTICE SOGOMONYAN - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF MTQ DEPO SDT OF JENNY GUERRERO
3/19/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO QUASH MOTION TO QUASH THE DEPOSITION SUB...)
3/22/2021: Notice of Ruling
7/22/2021: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE
7/26/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER TO CONTINUE THE ...)
7/28/2021: Notice - NOTICE OF RULING RE: STIPULATED EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE AND RELATED DATES
12/13/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION SOGOMONYAN - OPPO TO PLT MIL 3 RE CUMULATIVE DEFENSE EXPERTS
12/14/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION SOGOMONYAN - OPPO TO MIL 2
12/14/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION SOGOMONYAN - OPPO TO MIL 1 BINDING DEFENSE EXPERTS TO DEPO TESTIMONY
12/27/2021: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL
12/29/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (-HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL;)
12/29/2021: Notice of Ruling
1/26/2022: Notice of Rejection Of Electronic Filing
2/1/2022: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL
2/2/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL)
2/3/2022: Ex Parte Application - JOINT EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL
Hearing05/23/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Hearing05/09/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketMotion in Limine (Sogomonyan - MIL No. 13 re Expert Testimony on Opinions of Others); Filed by Moshe Wilker, M.D. (Defendant)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 27, William A. Crowfoot, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 27, William A. Crowfoot, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Moshe Wilker, M.D. (Defendant)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 27, William A. Crowfoot, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (Joint Ex Parte Application to Continue Trial) - Held[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Joint Ex Parte Application to...)); Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketOrder Continuing The February 22, 2022Trial Date And Extending The Time To Bring The Matter To Trial To Monday September 12,2022; Filed by Moshe Wilker, M.D. (Defendant)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketJoint Ex Parte Application to Continue Trial; Filed by Moshe Wilker, M.D. (Defendant)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Shoghakat Sogomonyan (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 7; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 7; Final Status Conference (Final Status Conference; Off Calendar) -[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketMinute order entered: 2018-08-24 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketMinute Order[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Shoghakat Sogomonyan (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketSUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Shoghakat Sogomonyan (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DICAL MALPRACTICE[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketSUMMONS[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Case Number: ****3144 Hearing Date: July 8, 2022 Dept: 27
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT
MOSHE WILKER, MD,
) ) ) )
CASE NO.: ****3144
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEFENDANT MOSHE WILKER, M.D.’S MOTIONS TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES (SET FOUR) AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS (SET FIVE)
July 8, 2022
At issue before the Court are Defendant Moshe Wilker, M.D.’s (“Defendant”) motions for orders compelling Plaintiff Shoghakat Sogomonyan (“Plaintiff”) to serve further responses to Special Interrogatories (Set Four) and Request for Production of Documents (Set Five). The parties attended an IDC on June 21, 2022. The minute order reflects that the issues were not resolved and set a deadline for an opposition and reply brief for June 27, 2022, and July 5, 2022, respectively.
Plaintiff filed a single opposition brief to Defendant’s motions on June 27, 2022. Defendant filed a single reply brief on July 1, 2022.
It is undisputed that verified amended responses to Special Interrogatory (“SROG”) Nos. 93 to 94 and Request for Production Nos. 1 to 3 have been served. However, Defendant submits that the amended responses to SROG Nos. 93 and 94 remain evasive because Plaintiff admits to being involved in subsequent car accidents and to have filed an action or made a claim for each of those accidents, yet fails to state the name, address, or telephone number of any other person involved those incidents or provide any information about any lawsuits or claims which have been filed. This appears to be pretextual ignorance, as Plaintiff admits being represented by an attorney for each of those subsequent accidents and identifies counsel as “Sardabegian Law.”
Based on the foregoing, it appears that Plaintiff’s amended responses have not resolved the issues raised in Defendant’s motion for an order compelling further responses to Special Interrogatories (Set Five). Accordingly, this motion is GRANTED.
As Defendant takes no issue with Plaintiff’s amended responses to Request for Production Nos. 1 to 3, the motion to compel further responses is taken off calendar as moot.
Pursuant to California Rules of Court rule 3.1348, a court may award sanctions under the Discovery Act in favor of a party who files a motion to compel discovery, even though the requested discovery was provided to the moving party after the motion filed.
Here, defense counsel states she spent 6 hours preparing each motion and its accompanying separate statement and exhibits, and anticipates spending 3 hours to review opposition papers and draft a reply brief, as well as an additional hour to attend the hearing. The Court GRANTS Defendant’s request for sanctions in part and imposes sanctions against Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel, jointly and severally, in the reduced amount of $1,245, consisting of 6 hours at a reasonable hourly rate of $225 and $120 in filing fees.
Defendant’s motion to compel Plaintiff’s further responses to Special Interrogatories (Set Five) is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide further verified responses within 20 days of the date of this order.
Defendant’s motion to compel Plaintiff’s further responses to Request for Production (Set Four) is moot.
Sanctions are imposed against Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel in the amount of $1,245, to be paid within 20 days of the date of this order.
Moving party to give notice.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. Please be advised that if you submit on the tentative and elect not to appear at the hearing, the opposing party may nevertheless appear at the hearing and argue the matter. Unless you receive a submission from all other parties in the matter, you should assume that others might appear at the hearing to argue. If the Court does not receive emails from the parties indicating submission on this tentative ruling and there are no appearances at the hearing, the Court may, at its discretion, adopt the tentative as the final order or place the motion off calendar.
Case Number: ****3144 Hearing Date: March 19, 2021 Dept: 27
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT
MOSHE WILKER, M.D., et al.,
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEFENDANT MOSHE WILKER, M.D.’S MOTION TO QUASH DEPOSITION TO JENNY GUERRERO; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS
On March 10, 2017, plaintiff Shoghakat Sogomonyan filed this action against defendant Moshe Wilker, M.D. for medical malpractice. Defendant seeks to quash Plaintiff’s deposition subpoena to Jenny Guerrero (“Ms. Guerrero”), who is the office manager of Defendant’s expert witness, Dr. Domenick Sisto, M.D. (“Dr. Sisto”). Ms. Guerrero was served on July 24, 2020 to appear for deposition on August 24, 2020. Defendant served an objection on August 3, 2020 and filed this Motion on August 19, 2020.
A deposition subpoena may request (1) only the attendance and testimony of a deponent, (2) only the production of business records for copying, or (3) the attendance and testimony, as well as the production of business records. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2020.020.) The court, upon motion or the court’s own motion, “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.
“‘[F]or discovery purposes, information is relevant if it might reasonably assist a party in evaluating the case, preparing for trial, or facilitating settlement’ and ‘[a]dmissibility is not the test and information, unless privileged, is discoverable if it might reasonably lead to admissible evidence.’ These rules are applied liberally in favor of discovery . . . and (contrary to popular belief) fishing expeditions are permissible in some cases.” (Cruz v. Superior Court (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 646, 653, citations omitted.)
Defendant argues the subpoena should be quashed because as defense expert Dr. Sisto’s office manager, Ms. Guerrero has no information or evidence that would lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Defendant states the deposition subpoena has been served in order to harass Defendant and defense counsel.
In opposition, Plaintiff argues that Ms. Guerrero’s testimony is necessary because Ms. Guerrero has been defense counsel’s main contact to arrange the expert deposition and document production and Plaintiff needs to ensure that the document production is complete. Plaintiff’s counsel proceeds to describe in detail various affronts he claims he has encountered while attempting to conduct expert discovery.
Plaintiff originally issued a deposition subpoena for Dr. Sisto for March 13, 2020 which was rescheduled to March 16, 2020. (Foster Decl., ¶ 5, Ex. 2.) Plaintiff complains that Defendant did not produce Dr. Sisto’s expert file on March 13, 2020 as required by CCP section 2034.415. (Opp. at 2:24-5:12; Foster Decl., ¶¶ 7, 10, 12, 13, 17. ) However, Defendant’s deposition did not take place until July 13, 2020, and section 2034.415 requires the deponent produce the requested documents no later than three business days before the deposition, not the date of the first noticed deposition. Thus, Plaintiff’s complaint that he did not receive the expert file in time is invalid.
Plaintiff next complains that defense counsel refused to allow Plaintiff to depose Dr. Sisto on March 16, 2020 due to “priority.” short notice, only for defense counsel to cancel the deposition in order to go on vacation. When defense counsel returned, Dr. Sisto’s deposition (and all expert depositions) were taken off calendar due to defense counsel’s representation that he had to quarantine and that Dr. Sisto’s office was closed until the end of March 2020. Then, between March and July, Plaintiff’s counsel repeatedly requested Dr. Sisto’s document production and deposition appearance.
Dr Sisto was finally deposed on July 13, 2020 but his deposition was limited to two hours. After the two-hour deposition concluded, Plaintiff sought a second deposition session with Dr. Sisto. Sisto and Ms. Guerrero.
Plaintiff contends Ms. Guerrero would be the best person to know anything in connection with document productions and whether Dr. Sisto produced his entire expert file. Plaintiff expresses concern that Defendant is not being truthful with producing Dr. Sisto’s entire expert file. In support, Plaintiff recounts that during the deposition, Dr. Sisto allegedly could not answer questions about his document production or what he reviewed before preparing his reports.
On reply, Defendant attaches a single page from Dr. Sisto’s deposition transcript which reflect his testimony that he has provided the totality of the opinions he intends to offer at the time of trial. (Kogen Decl., Ex. A.)
The Court does not understand why Ms. Guerrero’s deposition needs to be taken. Plaintiff already possesses the opinions Dr. Sisto intends to offer at trial. Plaintiff’s counsel claims he cannot be sure whether the entire expert file was produced, what other documents may remain, and what documents were provided for his review. However, Ms. Guerrero’s knowledge of which files were sent over for review is irrelevant if Dr. Sisto does not review them or rely on them to form an opinion; she does not have personal knowledge regarding which documents Dr. Sisto looked at. Furthermore, if Dr. Sisto fails to produce or mention a pertinent document that he reviewed or relied on, Plaintiff can handle any potential problem through motions in limine. Ultimately, whether defense counsel has acted in bad faith when representing Dr. Sisto’s limited availability is properly addressed by a motion for sanctions, not by summoning irrelevant third-parties for a deposition.
Defendant’s Motion to quash is GRANTED.
The court may in its discretion award the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in making or opposing the motion, including reasonable attorney’s fees, if the court finds the motion was made or opposed in bad faith or without substantial justification or that one or more of the requirements of the subpoena was oppressive. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 1987.2, subd. (a).)
After reviewing the many pages of evidence that were submitted, the Court is dismayed that the parties have brought such a squabble before the bench. Defense counsel’s failure to deny Plaintiff’s claims of bad faith in representing Dr. Sisto’s availability is concerning while Plaintiff’s retaliatory measure of subpoenaing Ms. Guerrero is equally disturbing. Accordingly, the Court declines to impose sanctions in connection with this Motion.
Moving party to give notice.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.
Dated this 19th day of March 2021
Hon. Edward B. Moreton, Jr.
Judge of the Superior Court
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