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• FILED
Los Angeles Superior Court
THE MATHEWS LAW GROUP q \ \'8' 8
OCT 17 2012
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2 ZACK I. DOMB (SBN 265185) (I \.-.... \ v'\111\n\ S •
JEFFREY NAKAO (SBN 265330) f""IU"\\'l • 'B't
3
2596 Mission Street, Suite 204
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San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 683-8291
Fax: (626) 683-8295
5 Email: George@Mathewslawgroup.corn
6 Attorneys for Plaintiff
JOAN ELKINS, M.D.
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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
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JOAN ELKINS, M.D., an individual
Plaintiff,
v.
KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN
INC., a corporation; KAISER
FOUNDATION HOSPITALS, a
corporation; SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP. a
partnership; STEVEN GOLDBERG, M.D.,
an individual; DANIEL MELTZER, M.D.,
an individual; and DOES 1 through 10
inclusive,
Defendants.
CASENO. •

I. VIOLATIONS OF CALIFORNIA
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE §
2056
2. VIOLATIONS OF CALIFORNIA
HEALTH & SAFETY CODE§ 1278.5
3. VIOLATIONS OF CALIFORNIA
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE §
510
4. DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION IN
VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA
GOV'T CODE §12490(a)
5. GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN
VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA
GOV'T CODE § 12490(a)
6. SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN
VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA
GOVERNMENT CODE§ 12940
7. RETALIATION IN VIOLATION OF
CALIFORNIA GOV'T CODE § 12490
8. VIOLATIONS OF GOV'T CODE ., "' "n
SECTION 12490(1) r.i 'i
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9. RETALIATION IN VIOLATION Q,F\P. .,, ;;:
CALIFORNIA GOV'T ;s
("CALIFORNIA FAMIL ;;· ' "'
ACT
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10. WRONGFUL CONSTRUcTIVE g :::; t
TERMINATION IN VIOLATION. OF :o 0! •o
PUBLIC POLICY i;1 '·' ;;_;
11. INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF
EMOTIONAL DISTRESS . ·;1
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED BY ..

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PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
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Plaintiff Joan Elkins, M.D. ("Plaintiff') alleges as follows on knowledge as to herself and
2 her own acts/interactions, and on information and belief as to all other matters:
3 INTRODUCTION & NATURE OF ACTION
4 L Plaintiff is an accomplished and licensed female Medical Doctor who started
5 working for Kaiser (defined below) over twenty years ago. From the time Plaintiff was hired by
6 Kaiser until her tennination, Plaintiff was an outstanding doctor and adequately perfonned her
7 duties.
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2. Plaintiff was subjected to a cruel and hostile working environment in which
female physicians were routinely referred to by a group of male physicians as "cunt," "bitch,"
and "walking vaginas." Kaiser's clear bias towards male doctors resulted in tolerating grossly
inadequate patient care if the physician was part of the "good ol' boys club." After Plaintiff
began reporting this gender discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as a violation of the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA''), Plaintiffs supervisors began
taking adverse actions to make her working life intolerable so that she would quit Specifically,
Plaintiffs supervisor stripped Plaintiff of her regional position as the head of the Family
Violence Prevention Program and removed her from the Physician Leadership Program, which
reduced her annual compensation by 20%. In addition, despite her seniority, Plaintiff was
disproportionately assigned the most complex cases in her department and unfairly scrutinized.
While other male physicians were given leeway regarding their use of sick leave, Plaintiff was
told she would have to obtain a doctor's note if she ever took one day of sick leave. In addition,
Plaintiff's supervisor referred to her as "another slow bitch."
3. Following Plaintiffs complaints regarding gender discrimination, inadequate
patient care, and HIP AA violations, and subsequent hostile work environment created by her
supervisors, Plaintiff suffered from major depression and took sick leave from November 2011
to June 2012.
4. On March 30, 2012, while she was on sick leave, Plaintiff provided truthful
deposition testimony in a case brought against Kaiser by another female physician, Nancy J.
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PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
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Goodman, M.D., whom she worked alongside at Kaiser's medical facility in San Diego. During
2 that deposition, Plaintiff provided testimony regarding Kaiser's blatant gender discrimination
3 and hostile working environment towards female physicians.
4 5. When her doctor approved her return to work, Plaintiffs supervisors took actions
5 to prevent her from going back to work, specifically not letting her return to work in the same
6 department that she had previously worked at and falsely telling her that she had to take
7 additional training and obtain additional certifications. Plaintiffs psychiatrist even wrote to
8 Kaiser "in my 37 years of practice, I have not encountered such obstacles for a patient or doctor
9 to be re-integrated back into their workplace once they have recovered." Finally, Plaintiff
1 0 demanded that Kaiser conduct an investigation and take corrective measures to ensure that she
11 would not be subjected to the same hostile working environment that caused her major
12 depression.
13 6. Rather than take any corrective measures to prevent further retaliation, Kaiser
14 gave Plaintiff an ultimatum: either return to work under the same supervisors who had retaliated
15 against her and who made her working conditions intolerable, or resign. Having no other choice,
16 on August 13, 2012, Plaintiff was constructively terminated from her position at Kaiser.
17 JURISDICTION AND VENUE
18 7. This Court has personal jurisdiction over each of the defendants because they are
19 residents of and/or doing business in the State of California.
20 8. Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 395(a), venue is proper in this
21 county because the defendants, or some of them, reside in Los Angeles County; and/or the injury
22 occurred in Los Angeles County.
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EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS
9. Plaintiff exhausted her administrative remedies by timely filing a complaint for
the issues required to be raised herein against defendants with the California Department of Fair
Employment & Housing (''DFEH") and thereafter receiving a "Right to Sue" letter from the
DFEH, which allowed Plaintiff one year from June 20, 2012 to file this action.
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PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
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PARTIES
Plaintiff, at all times relevant hereto, has been a resident of the State of California.
Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendant Dr. Daniel Meltzer, M.D. ("Dr.
4 Meltzer") is, and at all times relevant was, a resident of the State of California and Chief of
5 Service for the Emergency Department of the Kaiser medical facility in San Diego where
6 Plaintiff worked. At all times relevant, Dr. Meltzer was Plaintiffs supervisor.
7 12. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendant Dr. Steven Goldberg, M.D. ("Dr
8 Goldberg") is, and at all times relevant was, a resident of the State of California and Assistant
9 Area Medical Director for Kaiser's San Diego Service Area where Plaintiff worked. At all times
10 relevant, Dr. Goldberg was Plaintiffs supervisor.
11 13. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendants Kaiser Foundation Health Plan,
12 Inc. ("KFHP") and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals ("KFH") are corporations organized and
13 existing under the laws of California, with their principal place of business located at I Kaiser
14 Plaza, Oakland, California.
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14. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendant Southern California Permanente
Medical Group ("SCPMG") is organized in form only as a partnership under the laws of
California, with its principal place of business located at 393 East Walnut Street, Pasadena,
California.
15. Plaintiff is informed and believes KFHP, KFH and SCPMG do business jointly,
and with other entities owned and controlled by KFHP under the name "Kaiser Permanente."
16. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Kaiser Permanente is an "integrated" health
care delivery system comprised of the insurance company, KFHP, its doctors, organized as
SCPMG, and its hospitals, which are wholly owned and/or controlled by KFHP through its
captive entity, KFH, which has no separate existence or identity apart from KFHP.
17. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Defendant KFHP is an
insurance company which purports to provide comprehensive total medical care to its members.
KFHP describes itself as the largest Health Maintenance Organization in the country. KFHP
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PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

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