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Mane v. Tri-City Healthcare Dist.

March 21, 2007

ANGELINA MORGAN MANE, A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER GUARDIAN AD LITEM, ZSUZSI BUMGARNER; JANA LARSEN MANE; AND GEORGE MANE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
TRI-CITY HEALTHCARE DISTRICT; RAHELE MAZAREI; AND UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR EXPENSES AND FEES (Doc. # 63)

Pending before the Court is Defendant United States' "Motion for United States' Award of Expenses and Attorneys' Fees in Proving Requests for Admissions Established at Summary Judgment" ("Motion for Expenses and Fees"). (Doc. # 63.)

BACKGROUND

On October 27, 2004, Plaintiffs filed the instant action in the Superior Court of California, alleging medical malpractice against, inter alia, the Vista Community Clinic ("Vista") and Mary Meyers, M.D.*fn1 Plaintiffs alleged that due to the negligence of Defendants, Plaintiff Jana Larsen Mane's uterus ruptured during her labor and her baby suffered brain damage.

At her deposition on August 23, 2004, Plaintiff Jana Larsen Mane ("Ms. Mane") testified: I had broken out with a virus and I told [Dr. Meyers] that I wanted a cesarean. And [Dr. Meyers] said that she thought that it was still a good idea to have the baby vaginally, anyway . . . and she thought there would be no problem with still having the baby vaginally, even though I broke out with the virus. And I was very upset, and [Dr. Meyers] said, 'Okay, I'll give you the cesarean if you want one.' (Mem. Supp. Mot. Expenses & Fees, Ex. 1 ("Mane Dep.") at 54-55 (emphasis added).) Ms. Mane also testified as follows:

Q: So on one visit approximately two weeks before the delivery, [Dr. Meyers] 'Okay, I'll give you a cesarean section,' but the next visit she reassured you that vaginally would be okay?

A: Yes.

Q: And did you agree, 'Okay, we'll do it vaginally'?

A: Yes. . . . (Mane Dep. at 55 (emphasis added).)

On December 19, 2005 (after the United States removed the case to this Court), Plaintiffs served on the United States the report of Plaintiffs' only designated obstetrical expert witness, James Balducci, M.D. In his report, Dr. Balducci alleged only one breach of the standard of care by Dr. Meyers and Vista:

Based on Ms. Mane's testimony, I believe that the Vista Community Clinic and Dr. Meyers were below the standard of care for not offering Ms. Mane an elective c-section as an option for delivery of referring her to another obstetrician who would offer her that option. Had Mrs. Mane undergone an elective c-section rather than an induction and subsequent crash c-section as she did, there would have been no uterine rupture with resulting injuries to Angelina Morgan (neurologic) and Jana (hysterectomy). (Mem. Supp. Mot. Expenses & Fees, Ex. 3 at 1-2.)

On January 20, 2006, the United States served its Second Request for Admissions Propounded To Plaintiffs. On February 23, 2006, Plaintiffs served their Response to the Second Request For Admissions Propounded To Plaintiffs. The pertinent requests and responses are as follows:

Request No. 12:

Dr. Mary Meyers offered Plaintiff Jana Larsen Mane the option of delivering her ...


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