Case Number: BC590762??? Hearing Date: December 06, 2016??? Dept: 98
SHANNON LOFFREDO, et al.,
ROBERT MORRISON, M.D., et al.,
CASE NO: BC590762
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEFENDANT?S PETITION FOR AN ORDER APPOINTING NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR
December 6, 2016
On August 7, 2015, Plaintiffs Shannon Loffredo (?Mrs. Loffredo?) and Carlo Loffredo (?Mr. Loffredo?) (collectively, ?Plaintiffs?) filed this action against Defendants Robert Morrison, M.D. (?Dr. Morrison?); Specialty Surgical Center of Arcadia, LP; and Maureen E. Li, M.D. for medical malpractice. On January 12, 2016, this Court granted Dr. Morrison?s Petition compelling Plaintiffs to participate in contractual arbitration. Pursuant to the Arbitration Agreement, each party shall select an arbitrator (party arbitrator) and a third arbitrator (neutral arbitrator) shall be selected by the arbitrators appointed by the parties. On February 17, 2016, Dr. Morrison sent Plaintiffs a letter appointing his arbitrator, James D. Nichols, and requested that Plaintiffs appoint their party arbitrator. On September 2, 2016, Dr. Morrison again requested that Plaintiffs appoint their party arbitrator so that a neutral arbitrator could be selected. Plaintiffs have failed to do so.
Dr. Morrison therefore now petitions this Court for an order appointing a neutral arbitrator. Dr. Morrison has submitted the following persons: Hon. Jacqueline Connor (ret.); Randolph Even, Esq.; Hon. Joe Hilberman (ret.); Hon Victor Person (ret.); and Hon. Robert Letteau (ret.).
If the agreed method for appointing an arbitrator fails, the court, on petition of a party to the arbitration agreement, shall appoint the arbitrator. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. ? 1281.6. When a petition is made to the court to appoint a neutral arbitrator, the court shall nominate five persons from lists of persons supplied jointly by the parties to the arbitration. Id. The parties to the agreement may within five days of receipt of notice of the nominees from the court jointly select the arbitrator. Id. If the parties fail to select an arbitrator within the five-day period, the court shall appoint the arbitrator from the nominees. Id.
The Court finds that the agreed method for appointing an arbitrator has failed. Dr. Morrison?s Petition is GRANTED. The Court nominates the five persons submitted by Dr. Morrison to serve as a neutral arbitrator. If the parties fail to select an arbitrator within five days of receipt of notice of these nominees, the Court will appoint an arbitrator.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT98@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.
Dated this 6th day of December, 2016
Hon. Holly J. Fujie
Judge of the Superior Court