Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Esterces v. Southern Mono Healthcare

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 26, 2019

DEBRA ESTERCES, Plaintiff,
v.
SOUTHERN MONO HEALTHCARE, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF NO. 27.)

          KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRA JUDGE

         On September 25, 2019, the Court entertained oral argument regarding Defendant’s motion to compel discovery responses. (ECF No. 27.) At the hearing, attorney Torin Dorros appeared on behalf of Plaintiff, and attorney Bill Keith appeared on behalf of Defendants. Defendant raises five distinct issues with Plaintiff’s responses to the Set One Interrogatories and Set One Request for Production of Documents. (ECF No. 27.)

I. Plaintiff failed to state her damages for her California Customer Records Act claim;
II. Plaintiff fails to offer a clear response on her emotional distress damages;
III. Plaintiff’s response regarding attorney fees is open–ended
IV. Plaintiff cannot reserve the right to add new damages claims; and
V. Plaintiff has failed to produce relevant emails and texts

         The Court has carefully considered the written briefing, the oral argument, and the applicable law. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendant’s Motion to Compel.

         Analysis

         I. Damages Calculation for Plaintiff’s CCRA claim.

         Plaintiff has asserted multiple state–law claims regarding Defendant’s alleged release of her personal health information. Relevant here, one of Plaintiff’s claims is brought under the California Customer Records Act, Cal. Civ. Code ¶ 1798.82. Defendant argues Plaintiff’s response to Interrogatory 19 is deficient, in that it seeks to know Plaintiff’s damages calculation for the CCRA claim. A review of Plaintiff’s response shows that she provided an extensive breakdown of many of her claims––as copied and pasted from her other Interrogatory responses, but appears to have left off any calculation for the CCRA claim. (See ECF No. 27–2 at pp. 93– 107.) When asked about this at the hearing, counsel for Plaintiff stated on the record that Plaintiff will dismiss the CCRA claim; Defense counsel expressed no reservation to this claim being dismissed. Thus, the Court takes these representations as a stipulation to dismiss Plaintiff’s third claim for relief under the CCRA (see ECF No. 1 at ¶¶ 132–148.), pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1)(A)(ii). See Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1472 at fn.3 (9th Cir. 1986) (affirming district court’s construing of parties’ oral representations at a hearing to be a stipulated dismissal).

         II. Emotional Distress Damages

         Plaintiff seeks emotional distress damages for her PHI (personal health information) claims as well as her retaliation claims under FEHA (Cal. Civ. Code. § 12940) and her intentional/negligent infliction claims. In Interrogatories 12–15 and 18–19 (which, taken together, request damages calculations for each and every one of the claims), Plaintiff copied/pasted a paragraph entitled “emotional distress damages.” (See, e.g., ECF No. 27–2 at pp. 66–67.) Plaintiff provided a total figure based on a “per diem” rate––her former hourly rate of pay multiplied by the number of days that had passed since she was fired. (Id.) Plaintiff also states that “such number may increase significantly based upon expert review, analysis, opinion, or testimony.” (Id.)

         Defendant contends this response is incomplete, as it “leaves the door open for her to provide a completely different and higher number at trial.” (ECF No. 27–1 at p. 16.) However, the Court notes that Defendant’s interrogatories request that she provide a total figure and the methodology, which Plaintiff does. The fact that Plaintiff intends to argue these damages are ongoing comports with the law of emotional distress damages. See Ritchie v. Sempra Energy, 2014 WL 12637955, at *7 (S.D. Cal. 2014) (“A computation of emotional distress damages is required if the plaintiff intends to assign a specific dollar figure to their emotional distress damages at trial.”); E.E.O.C. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 276 F.R.D. 637, 639 (E.D. Wash. 2011) (“Courts ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.