United States District Court, S.D. California
YARET MORALES, as next friend of ESTELA LOREDO MORALES, the real party in interest, Plaintiffs,
PALOMAR HEALTH; et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION APPROVING MINOR'S
PETITION AND COMPROMISE AND FOR FEES AND COSTS [ECF NO.
Mitchell D. Dembin United States Magistrate Judge
January 23, 2014, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Rady
Children's Hospital and Health Center
(“Rady”) and Children's Specialists of San
Diego, a Medical Group, Inc.
(“Specialists”). (ECF No. 1). The parties reached
a settlement and on May 30, 2017, Plaintiff Yaret Morales,
Estela Loredo Morales' next friend
(“Plaintiff”) filed a Petition for Compromise of
the Claim of minor and real party in interest, Estela Loredo
Morales. (ECF No. 182).
well settled that the district court has a special duty,
rising out of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17(c), to
safeguard the interests of litigants who are minors within
the context of settlements proposed in civil suits with
minors and plaintiffs. The duty obliges the court to
“conduct its own inquiry to determine whether the
settlement serves the best interests of the minor.”
Dacanay v. Mendoza, 573 F.2d 1075, 1080 (9th Cir.
1978). The Ninth Circuit has held that this “duty
requires only that the district court determine whether the
net amount distributed to [a] minor plaintiff in the proposed
settlement is fair and reasonable, without regard to the
proportion of the total settlement value. . . .”
Robidoux v. Rosengren, 638 F.3d 1177, 1179 (9th Cir.
2011). Here, the Court has considered the Petition, the
supplemental information and after conducting an independent
inquiry and evaluation of the proposed settlement, the Court
finds that the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable and
serves the best interest of Estela Loredo Morales, a minor.
HEREBY RECOMMENDED that the settlement between defendant Rady
Children's Hospital and Health Center, and defendant
Children's Specialist of San Diego, A Medical Group, Inc.
and Plaintiff (including Estela Loredo Morales, real party in
interest) be approved.
Settlement as to defendants “Rady” and
“Specialists” is set forth in Plaintiff's
Ex Parte Motion. (ECF No. 182). The amount to be
paid to Plaintiff by defendant Rady is $150, 000.00.
(Id. at 2). The amount to be paid to Plaintiff by
defendant Specialists is $150, 000.00. (Id.). The
proceeds of the settlement shall be disbursed in the
Children's Hospital and Health Center shall pay to the
Casey Gerry Trust Account the amount of $150, 000.00;
Children's Specialists of San Diego, a Medical Group,
Inc., shall pay to the Casey Gerry Client Trust Account the
amount of $150, 000.00;
$128, 031.50 from the settlement funds shall be paid to the
Special Needs Trust, First Party Master Trust II, on behalf
of Estela Loredo Morales pursuant to the San Diego Superior
Court order dated May 9, 2017, (ECF No. 182-1, Exhibit1)
approving the establishment of a special needs trust for
Estela Loredo Morales for the settlement funds from this
$107, 069.11 shall be paid from the settlement funds to
Plaintiff's attorneys for litigation costs they have
advanced in this action;
899.39 shall be paid from the settlement funds to
Plaintiff's attorneys for their attorney's fees in
litigating this action for Plaintiff; 6. $5, 000.00 shall be
paid to the law firm of Battaglia and Waltari for preparing a
special needs trust for Plaintiff's settlement funds.
Plaintiff be authorized and directed to execute any and all
documents reasonably necessary to carry out the terms of the
Plaintiff shall be responsible for maintaining a current
address on behalf of Estela Loredo Morales with the Special
Needs Trust and defendants “Rady” and
“Specialists” until such time as the above
payment schedule is completed.
Plaintiff shall have seventy-five days from the date that
this report and recommendation is adopted to submit proof of