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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/03/2019 at 01:02:43 (UTC).

VICTORIA JIN LEE VS JAMES C AHN DDS

Case Summary

On 11/03/2017 VICTORIA JIN LEE filed a Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice lawsuit against JAMES C AHN DDS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS, DAN THOMAS OKI and GLORIA WHITE-BROWN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1886

  • Filing Date:

    11/03/2017

  • 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 Judges

MARC D. GROSS

DAN THOMAS OKI

GLORIA WHITE-BROWN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

LEE VICTORIA JIN

Defendants and Respondents

AHN JAMES C. D.D.S

DOES 1 TO 100

AHN D.D.S. JAMES C.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

ROY RAJ D. ESQ.

ROY ESQ. RAJ D.

ROY RAJ DIPANKAR ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

KAMEL BRIAN P. ESQ.

KAMEL BRIAN P. ESQ

KAMEL BRIAN PATRICK ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL

8/28/2019: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL

Notice of Court Hearing -

9/7/2018: Notice of Court Hearing -

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

1/14/2019: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

1/14/2019: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Order - Order Tentative Ruling

10/29/2018: Order - Order Tentative Ruling

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Sta...)

10/29/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Sta...)

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) of Notice of Status Hearing

10/12/2018: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) of Notice of Status Hearing

Notice of Court Hearing -

9/7/2018: Notice of Court Hearing -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

4/18/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

Motion to Strike (not initial pleading) - Portions of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

7/26/2018: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading) - Portions of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike -

7/26/2018: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike -

Declaration - of Keith Rossman in Support of Defendant James C. Ahn, D.D.S.' Demurrer to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

7/26/2018: Declaration - of Keith Rossman in Support of Defendant James C. Ahn, D.D.S.' Demurrer to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

Opposition - to Defendants' Motion to Strike

8/8/2018: Opposition - to Defendants' Motion to Strike

Reply - to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Demurrer to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

8/14/2018: Reply - to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Demurrer to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint

ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT

8/17/2018: ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT

Minute Order -

8/17/2018: Minute Order -

SUMMONS -

11/3/2017: SUMMONS -

COMPLALINT: 1. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE DUE TO PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

11/3/2017: COMPLALINT: 1. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE DUE TO PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

10 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/12/2020
  • Hearing05/12/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department J at 400 Civic Center Plaza, Pomona, CA 91766; Jury Trial

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  • 05/04/2020
  • Hearing05/04/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department J at 400 Civic Center Plaza, Pomona, CA 91766; Final Status Conference

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  • 10/01/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department J, Gloria White-Brown, Presiding; Jury Trial ((5-7 day estimate)) - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 09/23/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department J, Gloria White-Brown, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 08/28/2019
  • DocketStipulation and Order (to Continue Trial); Filed by James C. Ahn D.D.S. (Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department J, Gloria White-Brown, Presiding; Jury Trial ((5-7 day estimate)) - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 05/24/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department J, Gloria White-Brown, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 01/14/2019
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/14/2019
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/19/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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29 More Docket Entries
  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Victoria Jin Lee (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 03/27/2018
  • DocketAmended Complaint (FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT ); Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/27/2018
  • DocketAmended Complaint; Filed by Victoria Jin Lee (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/27/2018
  • DocketDefendant's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (Small Claims) (First)

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  • 11/03/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Victoria Jin Lee (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/03/2017
  • DocketComplaint

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  • 11/03/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 11/03/2017
  • DocketCOMPLALINT: 1. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE DUE TO PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC681886    Hearing Date: November 03, 2020    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

NOTICE: OK

RE: Lee v. Ahn (BC681886)

______________________________________________________________________________

Defendant James C. Ahn, D.D.S.’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Responding Party: Plaintiff, Victoria Jin Lee

Tentative Ruling

Defendant James C. Ahn, D.D.S.’ Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

Background

Plaintiff Victoria Jin Lee (“Plaintiff”) alleges that Defendant James C. Ahn D.D.S. (“Defendant”) failed to or negligently performed a root canal.

On March 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), asserting causes of action against Defendant and Does 1-100 for:

  1. Medical Malpractice Due to Professional Negligence

  2. Intentional Misrepresentation (Fraud)

  3. Negligent Misrepresentation (Fraud)

On August 17, 2018, this matter was transferred from Department 3 of the Personal Injury Court to this instant department. On October 29, 2018, the court sustained Defendant’s demurrer to the second and third causes of action without leave to amend.

The Final Status Conference is set for April 12, 2021. Trial is set for April 20, 2021.

Legal Standard

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119 [emphasis theirs].)

“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D.B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.) A defendant moving for summary judgment or summary adjudication “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).) “Once the defendant . . . has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action of a defense thereto.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).) “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467.)

“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Id. at 467; Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).)

Discussion

Defendant moves the court for an order granting summary judgment in his favor and against

Plaintiff pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 437c on the ground that no triable issue of

material fact exists and Defendant is therefore entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Evidentiary Objections

The court declines to rule on Defendant’s objections as having been rendered moot (see below).

Merits

On March 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a FAC against Defendant for (1) Medical Malpractice Due to Professional Negligence, (2) Intentional Misrepresentation (Fraud) and (3) Negligent Misrepresentation (Fraud).[1] Plaintiff alleges as follows: On October 20, 2015, Plaintiff saw Defendant for the pain in her teeth. (FAC, ¶4.) Defendant prescribed Plaintiff with Amoxicillin and Motrin. (Id.) On or around December 2015, Defendant charged Plaintiff for a root canal that Defendant allegedly performed on her tooth #11 and tooth #14. (Id., ¶5.) On June 18, 2016, Plaintiff saw Defendant for the pain in her teeth. (Id., ¶7.) Defendant again prescribed Plaintiff with Amoxicillin and Motrin. (Id.) On July 22, 2016, Plaintiff consulted with Dr. August (Hong-Ming) Tang (“Tang”) regarding the continued pain and discomfort she felt in her tooth #11 and tooth #14. (Id., ¶8.) Plaintiff informed the dentist that she had a previous root canal done by Defendant in tooth #14. (Id.) Tang recommended that tooth #14 be retreated but Plaintiff was advised to see Defendant first because the bridge on the tooth was new. (Id.) On October 2, 2016, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. U.J. Mistry D.D.S. (Mistry”) for the continuous and severe pain she felt in tooth #11 and tooth #14 and Mistry noted in writing that the x-ray of Plaintiff’s mouth does not show that the root canal on tooth #11 and tooth #14 was completed. (Id., ¶9.) On October 8, 2016, Jeremiah Shaw, D.D.S. (“Shaw”) notes that he did not see root canal #14 done in the x-ray. (Id., ¶10.) Plaintiff was advised to return to Defendant to confirm the status of her root canal, which she did on or about October 15, 2016. (Id.) Defendant assured Plaintiff that a root canal was performed on both tooth #11 and tooth #14. (Id.) On or about November 4, 2016, Plaintiff was given a proposed treatment plan by Tang which included the retreatment of her previous root canal on tooth #14. (Id., ¶11.) On or around November 8, 2016, Plaintiff returned to Tang to re-evaluate tooth #14 since the bridge was removed by her dentist. (Id., ¶12.) Plaintiff was advised that tooth #14 had a guarded prognosis due to the large build-up, large infection and a short root. (Id.) Since there was no more bridge on the tooth, this was the first time that a dentist was able to confirm earlier suspicions that a root canal was not performed on tooth #14. (Id.) Extraction of the tooth was recommended; however, since Plaintiff wanted to save the tooth retreatment was thereafter recommended. (Id.) Plaintiff then had to undergo a root canal. (Id.) Tooth #11 was also re-treated on or about the same time tooth #14 was. (Id., ¶13.) Defendant did not do or did not complete a root canal on tooth #11 and tooth #14 despite informing Plaintiff that a root canal was performed and charging her for it. (Id., ¶14.) Further, Defendant failed to refer Plaintiff to an endodontist either before or after his alleged root canal treatment on Plaintiff, despite Plaintiff’s complaints of continuous pain and discomfort in tooth #11 and tooth #14. (Id.)

Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s sole remaining cause of action for Medical Malpractice Due to Professional Negligence is time-barred.

Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5 provides that “[i]n an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence, the time for the commencement of action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first . . .”

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5, “the statute of limitations begins to run when the plaintiff suspects or should suspect that her injury was caused by wrongdoing . . .” (Jolly v. Eli Lilly & Co. (1988) 44 Cal.3d 1103, 1110.) “This rule sets forth two alternate tests for triggering the limitations period: (1) a subjective test requiring actual suspicion by the plaintiff that the injury was caused by wrongdoing; and (2) an objective test requiring a showing that a reasonable person would have suspected the injury was caused by wrongdoing. The first to occur under these two tests begins the limitations period.” (Kitzig v. Nordquist (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1384, 1391.)

If a plaintiff serves a Notice of Intention to Commence Action pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 364 within 90 days of the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, the time for the commencement of the action is extended 90 days from the service of the notice. (Code Civ. Proc., § 364, subd. (d).)

Defendant submits, inter alia, the following evidence: Plaintiff alleges that in or around December 2015, Defendant charged Plaintiff for root canal treatment that he allegedly performed on Plaintiff’s teeth numbers 11 and 14. (Lam Decl., ¶2, Exh. A, ¶5.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant was negligent in his performance of root canal treatment on Plaintiff’s teeth numbers 11 and 14. (Id., ¶2 Exh. A, ¶¶17-19.) Plaintiff alleges that she continued to feel pain in her teeth numbers 11 and 14 despite the alleged root canal treatment performed by Defendant. ¶2, Exh. A, ¶6.) On July 28, 2016, Plaintiff presented to Mistry with complaints of pain in her teeth numbers 11 and 14. (Id., ¶4, Exh. C, p. 9.) Mistry’s records state, “refer to endodontist for #11 & #14 to complete root canal” and indicate that Plaintiff was provided a written referral to an endodontist. (Id., ¶4, Exh. C, pp. 6 and 9.) On August 2, 2016, Plaintiff returned to Mistry complaining of pain and infection in her teeth numbers 11 and 14. (Id., ¶4, Exh. C, p. 5.) Mistry’s records reflect, on that date, that “patient states she had root canal done on #11 and #14 but on x-ray it does not show root canal completed . . .” (Id.)

In Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant’s Requests for Admissions, Set No. Two, Plaintiff denied No. 20 (i.e., “[a]dmit that in 2016, no one informed you that any of the dental treatment provided to you by this Propounding Party fell below the standard of care.”) (Id., ¶¶5-6, Exhs. D and E.) In Plaintiff’s concurrent response to Form Interrogatories, Set No. Two, No. 17.1, Plaintiff conceded that “[i]n July and August 2016, U.J. Mistry, D.D.S. informed Plaintiff that the dental treatments provided by Defendant to Plaintiff for tooth #11 and tooth #14 fell below the standard of care.” (Id., ¶7, Exh. F.) Additionally, in Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant’s Requests for Admissions, Set No. Two, Plaintiff denied No. 21 (i.e., “[a]dmit that in 2016, no one informed you that any of the dental treatment provided to you by this Propounding Party was negligent.”) (Id., ¶¶5-6, Exhs. D and E.) In Plaintiff’s concurrent response to Form Interrogatories, Set No. Two, No. 17.1, Plaintiff conceded that “[i]n July and August 2016, U.J. Mistry, D.D.S. informed Plaintiff that the dental treatments provided by Defendant to Plaintiff for tooth #11 and tooth #14 were negligent.” (Id., ¶7, Exh. F.) In Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant’s Requests for Admissions, Set No. Two, Plaintiff denied No. 24 (i.e., “[a]dmit that you needed to have the root canal on tooth #14 re-treated regardless of the treatment by this Propounding Party.”) (Id., ¶¶5-6, Exhs. D and E.) In Plaintiff’s concurrent response to Form Interrogatories, Set No. Two, No. 17.1, Plaintiff stated that “[i]n July and August 2016, U.J. Mistry, D.D.S. informed Plaintiff that had Defendant properly performed a root canal on Plaintiff’s tooth #14, Plaintiff would not have required any re-treatment of tooth #14 . . ..” (Id., ¶7, Exh. F.) On May 20, 2017, Plaintiff’s counsel served a Notice of Intent pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 364. (Id., ¶2 and Exh. G.) Plaintiff filed her complaint on November 3, 2017. (Id.) Plaintiff filed her operative FAC on March 27, 2018. (Id.)

Defendant argues that, even if the statute of limitations started to run on July 28, 2016 (i.e., the date Plaintiff presented to Mistry), Plaintiff’s one year statute of limitations would have run on July 28, 2017. Since Plaintiff’s Notice of Intent was served on May 10, 2017 (i.e., within the last 90 days of the statute of limitations), it would serve to toll the statute of limitations by 90 days. Even so, 90 days from July 28, 2017 would be October 26, 2017; since Plaintiff did not file her instant complaint until November 3, 2017, it is time-barred.

“Any matter admitted in response to a request for admission is conclusively established against the party making the admission in the pending action, unless the court has permitted withdrawal or amendment of that admission under Section 2033.300.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.410, subd. (a).) “There is a vast difference between written discovery admissions, which are a studied response, made under sanctions against easy denials, that occur under the direction and supervision of counsel, who has full professional realization of their significance, and glib, easily misunderstood answers given by a lay opponent in a deposition.” (Scalf v. D.B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1522.) Additionally, “the D’Amico rule permits a trial court to disregard declarations by a party which contradict his or her own discovery responses (absent a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy.)” (Id. at 1524-1525.)

Plaintiff’s declaration makes no attempt to provide a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy between her verified discovery responses and the information provided therein. Plaintiff’s contention in her opposition that her own verified responses to the requests for admissions “are not supported by Dr. Mistry’s records” and “are likely based upon Plaintiff’s misunderstanding” (Opposition, 9:20-24) is nonsensical and does not counteract the legal effect of Plaintiff’s verified discovery responses, which were prepared with input from Plaintiff and assistance from her legal counsel. Plaintiff’s declaration is thus disregarded.

The court therefore finds that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that Defendant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. The motion is granted.


[1] Again, on October 29, 2018, the court sustained Defendant’s demurrer to the second and third causes of action without leave to amend.

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