Case Number: 19STCV19808    Hearing Date: January 21, 2021    Dept: 78

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 78

GOLDEN STATE EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS, INC., et al.;

 

Plaintiff,

 

vs.

 

ANGELES-IPA, and DOES 1-50, inclusive;

 

Defendant

 

 

Case No.: 19STCV19808
Hearing Date: January 22, 2021
   
[TENTATIVE] RULING RE:

 

PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint is GRANTED.¿¿

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This is an action for damages. The Complaint alleges as follows. Plaintiffs Golden State Emergency Physicians, Inc. (“Golden State”), Victory Emergency Physicians Medical Group, Inc. (“Victory”), Palm Drive Emergency Physicians Medical Group, Inc. (“Palm”), Ridgeline Emergency Physicians Medical Group (“Ridgeline”), San Joaquin Emergency Medical Associates (“San Joaquin”), VEP MLK Emergency Medical Group, Inc. (“VEP”), Inland Empire Emergency Medical Group, Inc. (“IE”), Terrace Emergency Physicians Medical Group, Inc. (“Terrace”), Mountain Emergency Physicians Medical Group, Inc. (“Mountain”) allege that Defendant Angeles-IPA (“Angeles”) failed to fully reimburse their physicians for emergency services provided to Angeles’ enrollees over the last four years. (Compl. ¶¶ 5, 30.)

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on June 6, 2019, alleging four causes of action:

  1. Quantum meruit
  2. Unfair competition
  3. Open book account
  4. Services rendered

On August 7, 2019, Angeles filed an Answer to the Complaint.

On January 13, 2020, this Court sustained Plaintiffs’ Demurrer to Angeles’s Answer with leave to amend.

On January 16, 2020, Angeles filed a First Amended Answer (“FAA”) to the Complaint.

On August 27, 2020, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint.

On October 14, 2020, this Court denied Defendant Angeles’ Motion for Summary Adjudication.

On January 8, 2021, Angeles filed an Opposition.

On January 14, 2021, Plaintiffs filed a reply.

DISCUSSION

  1. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLAINT 

Plaintiffs move to file a supplemental complaint pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 464. (Motion, Notice at p. 2.)

Code Civ. Proc. Section 464, subd. (a) states: (a) The plaintiff and defendant, respectively, may be allowed, on motion, to make a supplemental complaint or answer, alleging facts material to the case occurring after the former complaint or answer. (Code Civ. Proc., § 464.) “It is the general policy that courts should exercise liberality in permitting the filing of supplemental pleadings when the alleged ‘occurring-after’ facts are pertinent to the case.” (Flood v. Simpson (1975) 45 Cal.App.3d 644, 647.) A motion is properly denied when it seeks to introduce new causes of action. (Id.)

Here, Plaintiffs seek leave to supplement the complaint with three identical changes. (Motion at pp. 2-3.) The changes are: in paragraphs 30, 56, and 65’ They change “Over the last four years” to “For four years prior to when this complaint was filed on June 6, 2019, and continuing through February 29, 2020.” (Motion at pp. 2-3.) Plaintiffs argue that these changes are needed because “Angeles has continued its ongoing practice of underpaying Plaintiffs’ claims and reimbursing Plaintiffs at rates far lower than the amounts to which they are entitled.” (Motion at p. 1.) They contend that on June 26, 2020, they provided Defendant Angeles “with a supplemental list of claims on which Plaintiffs had not been fully paid,” which included claims through February 29, 2020. (Motion at p. 2.)

In Opposition, Angeles argues that these changes “seek[] to add what are in essence new causes of action.” (Oppo. at p. 3.) The Court disagrees. The contents of the allegations remain unchanged. These changes expand only the range of time for Angeles’ alleged conduct beyond the filing of the Complaint. As Angeles-itself states: “A supplemental complaint addresses only matters occurring after the filing of the complaint and only matters that are consistent with and in aid of the allegations in the original complaint.” (Oppo. at p. 3 citing Code Civ. Proc. § 464(a).) Angeles does not demonstrate how allegations of continuing conduct are not consistent with the allegations in the original Complaint.

Further, Angeles has not presented any argument or evidence as to why granting this Motion would prejudice them, such as a delay in the trial of the case, the loss of critical evidence, or added costs of trial preparation. Plaintiffs declare that they provided Angeles more than six months ago with a list of the supplemental claims for the period up to February 29, 2020. (Fisher Decl., ¶ 4.) Trial is currently scheduled August 31, 2021.

Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint is GRANTED.

DATED:  January 22, 2021

                                   ______________________________

Hon. Robert S. Draper

Judge of the Superior Court