The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Sutter, or any skilled nursing facility.
(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this elder abuse case and its proceedings.)
The issues in each action are intertwined and incapable of being severed. A single overlapping issue is sufficient to require imposition of a stay of court proceedings pending arbitration. Id. at 1153. In Heritage, an independent practice association (“IPA”) sued a healthcare provider network (“Heritage”), two medical groups, and four individual physicians who had terminated their relationship with the IPA and entered into agreements with Heritage. Id. at 1150-1151. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
The IPA alleged causes of action for (i) breach of contract against the medical groups and the physicians, (ii) inducement of breach of contract against Heritage and one of the medical groups, and (iii) improper disclosure of confidential information and trade secrets against the medical groups. Id. While the physicians successfully moved to compel arbitration of the IPA’s breach of contract claims, the trial court denied Heritage’s motion to stay the proceedings because there was not enough similar issues to stay the civil litigation while the arbitration’s pending. Id. at 1151-1152. The appellate court reversed because it found that at least one issue in the IPA’s breach of contract claim against the physicians, which was subject to arbitration, overlapped with issues in its remaining claims against Heritage, such that Heritage was entitled to a stay pending the outcome of arbitration. Id. at 1152-1153.
The Heritage case dictates that a stay must be issued as to the instant superior court action. Here, the Second Amended Complaint for Damages involves the same two causes of action against each defendant in connection with the same, principle injuries. Thus, the issues in Plaintiff’s claims against JFK and JFK are directly overlapping. Therefore, JFK is entitled to a stay.
Finally, notwithstanding that a stay of the proceedings is the subject of this motion, JFK requests that (i) the discovery proceedings in the above-entitled action should proceed commensurate with the arbitration, but (ii) expert discovery and deadlines for discovery should be tied to the trial date assigned by the Court once the stay has been lifted. Joint discovery would best serve the interests of judicial economy.
Based upon the foregoing discussion, JFK respectfully requests that this Court grant a stay to the superior court action until the JFK arbitration is completed, while contemporaneously allowing discovery to proceed jointly so as to avoid redundant discovery proceedings.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.