Ehrlich Law Firm provides law-and-motion support for $28 million medical-malpractice verdict against Kaiser

Ehrlich Law Firm provides law-and-motion support for $28 million medical-malpractice verdict against Kaiser

SBEB filed the complaint July 15, 2010 as an insurance bad faith case.

DEFENSE COUNSEL
Denise Taylor and Jennifer Scher of Taylor Blessey.

ARBITRATION
Motion to compel arbitration. Tentative ruling was against us but Mike overturned there tentative. They didn’t appeal.

In order for an arbitration clause in a health care service plan to be enforceable and comply with Health and Safety Code section 1363.1 (d), the clause must include a prominent arbitration disclosure that “shall be displayed immediately before the signature line for the representative of the group contracting with a health care service plan” and must be signed by the individual whose jury trial rights are being waived or by an authorized group representative.

Since neither plaintiff nor a representative from the Los Angeles Police Relief Association (LAPRA) signed the Binding Arbitration clause contained in Kaiser’s 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 group health care plans with LAPRA, this clause is not enforceable against plaintiff. Accordingly, defendants’ Petition to Compel Arbitration and Motion to Stay Action is denied.

DEMURRER
Demurrer granted for negligent infliction of emotional distress claim. The remaining causes of action for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of contract, and intentional infliction of emotional distress remain.

MOTION TO STRIKE
Motion to strike punitive damages. We won at trial court. They took a writ relating to CCP section 425.13, which was denied on June 23, 2011. They then filed a petition for review to the Supreme Court, which was granted.

The Court of Appeal issued a decision on February 15, 2012 in our favor. They filed another Petition for Review to the Supreme Court, which was denied.

FIRST MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Kaiser filed a motion for summary judgment on the three remaining causes of action for bad faith, breach of contract and emotional distress. This motion was granted on September 11, 2012. There were no remaining causes of action after this motion.

MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND
Within 8 days of losing the MSJ, we filed a motion for leave to amend the complaint to add a cause of action for medical negligence. The court granted our motion to amend. They filed a Writ, which was denied. Then they filed a Petition for Review, which was also denied.

They filed a Motion for Payment of a Portion of the Costs, asking that we pay them $52,720 to proceed with the medical negligence case. The court granted this motion.

OTHER
Our causation expert tells us he will not participate in a medical malpractice case. We then search and find an alternative expert out of state.

We have over $700K in costs.

SECOND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
SCPMG filed a second motion for summary judgment in the case, this time relating to the medical negligence claims. We opposed it and they took it off calendar.

BAD FAITH APPEAL
We file a notice of appeal as to the bad faith claims.

In spring 2014, the Court of Appeal upheld the MSJ ruling in the bad faith case and issued an unpublished opinion against us. We took it up to the Supreme Court, but that court denied review. The bad faith case concluded in late July 2014.

EXPERTS
Kaiser had two orthopedic oncologist that testified the surgery would have been the same if she had been diagnosed the first day she appeared at Kaiser: Dr. Lawrence Menendez from USC and Dr. Chris Helmstedter. Dr. Menendez is one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the state and Dr. Helmstedter was the treating surgeon that removed Anna’s right leg and pelvis, and a portion of her spine.

Kaiser also had a board-certified radiologist, Dr. John Crues, that testified the surgery would have been the same.

TRIAL
It was a four week trial. We lost the MIL ruling against us saying we cannot use evidence of training regarding cost containment in the medical malpractice case.