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RICHARD D. CARROLL (State Bar No. 116913) COl'\>
2 JOHN S. HINMAN (State Bar No. 265581) ",,,!.I&1fV,IM1iJ'iJ&O .
111 West Ocean Boulevard, 14th Floor
3 Post Office Box 22636
Long Beach, California 90801-5636 JUN 06 2012
4 Telephone No. (562) 432-5855 / Facsimile No. (562) 432-87R, 'CI" .
.fiffihn, )\f,,!:, Exec tlve Officer/Clerk
5 Attorneys for Plaintiff GAIL V. ANDERSON, JR., MD. BY Co,"o, ,,,,,: n'PU'"
CASE NCBC 486014
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
3 DEFAMATIONILIBEL SLANDER
(4) INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF
(5) NEGLIGENCE AND
NEGLIGENCE PER SE (Civil
Code Section 1714)
(6) FALSE LIGHT
(7) FALSE IMPRISONMENT
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
INTHE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
GAIL V. ANDERSON, JR., MD.,
MITCHELL KATZ, M.D.; HAL YEE, JR.,
IS MD.; and DOES I through 10, inclusive,
21 COMES NOW Plaintiff GAIL V. ANDERSON, JR., MD. and complaints and alleges
22 against Defendants, and each of them, as follows:
24 I. Plaintiff GAIL V. ANDERSON, JR., MD. is a resident of Los Angeles County.
25 Since 1998, DR. ANDERSON has been the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Harbor-UCLA
26 Medical Center ("Harbor-UCLA" or "the hospital"). He also serves as Associate Dean of the
27 UCLA School ofMedicine. As Harbor-UCLA's CMO, which carries the class specification of
28 "Medical Director II," DR. ANDERSON's administrative responsibilities relate to overseeing
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1 and maintaining high standards of patient care delivery, including, but not limited to,
2 participating in: formulating and executing short and long-term medical plans and policies;
3 directing, overseeing, and maintaining the academic intern and residency training programs;
4 coordinatingprofessional services within the hospital; coordinating with other County hospitals
5 and divisions within the County; and resolving problems relating to patient care.
6 2. DR. ANDERSON graduated from Dartmouth College and earned his doctorate in
7 medicine at the University of Southern California ("USC"). He completed an internship in
8 obstetrics and gynecology at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and his residency in
9 emergency medicine at Emory University, Grady Memorial Hospital. He received a master's
10 degree in business administration from Emory University in 1988. DR. ANDERSON has been
II certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Medical
12 Management. Prior to becoming CMO of Harbor-UCLA, DR. ANDERSON served as Senior
13 Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief of the Medical Staff of Grady Health System in
14 Atlanta, Georgia.
IS 3. As CMO of Harbor-UCLA, DR. ANDERSON has guided the hospital through
16 many challenges. He was pivotal in helping to avert Harbor-UCLA's closure in the face of
17 budget crises, and worked to alleviate patient crowding in the wake ofthe closure ofthe fonner
18 MLKJDrewMedical Center. DR. ANDERSON's leadership for many years has assistedHarbor-
19 UCLA maintain an excellent reputation for the high quality medical care provided to patients,
20 irrespective ofincome or insurance. Harbor-UCLA has served as an important training ground
21 for many distinguished doctors and nurses. The hospital is avaluable asset to the County ofLos
22 Angeles, and for over a decade, DR. ANDERSON has dedicated himself to ensuring that it
23 continues to achieve its mission to provide essential services to the community and surrounding
24 region. DR. ANDERSON also has served the County by acting as the Acting Chief Medical
25 Officer for the County ofLos Angeles Department ofHealth Services ("DHS") from 2000-2002,
26 and then in 20I0 served as the Interim ChiefMedical Officer ofDHS. Through hard work and
27 diligent service to the residents of Los Angeles County, DR. ANDERSON has acquired a
28 reputation as a reliable leader in the Los Angeles County health system.
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1 4. On 8/29/11, DR. ANDERSONwas personally escorted out ofHarbor-UCLA after
2 being delivered a letter ofOrdered Absence from Defendant MITCHELL H. KATZ MD. DR.
3 KATZ's letter did not provide any reasons or supporting facts for the action taken against DR.
4 ANDERSON, rather, it stated that there was a pending administrative investigation and, until
5 such time as it is completed, DR. ANDERSON was to remain at home from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00
6 p.m. Monday through Friday "for any job-related communication or instructions." The letter
7 also noted that "Administrative Leave is not a disciplinary action."
8 5. Defendant DR. KATZ, is, and at all times relevant was, the Director of Health
9 Services ("DHS") for Los Angeles County. Defendant HAL YEE, JR., M.D. ("DR. YEE") is,
10 and at all times relevant was, Chief Medical Officer for the DHS.
11 6. Defendants DOES 1through 10, inclusive, are sued under fictitious names because
12 their true names and capacities are unknown to Plaintiff. When their true names and capacities
13 are ascertained, Plaintiffwill amend this Complaint by inserting their true names and capacities
14 herein. Plaintiffis informed and believe and thereon alleges that each ofthe fictitiously named
15 Defendants are responsible in some manner for the occurrences herein alleged, and that
16 Plaintiffs damages as herein alleged were proximately caused by each ofthose Defendants.
17 7. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that at all times herein
18 mentioned, each of the Defendants named herein, including those fictitiously named as DOES,
19 were the agents, employees, servants, partners, joint venturers, co-conspirators, aiders, and
20 abettors of each of the other Defendants named herein, including those fictitiously named as
21 DOES, and that in doing the things hereinafter alleged, each ofthe Defendants was acting within
22 the course and scope of said agency, employment, master servant-relationship, venture,
23 conspiracy, and criminal act.
24 8. On or about 8/29/2011, DR. KATZ and DR. YEE, formed and agreement, and
25 thereupon acting in concert, ordered Greg Polk, administrative deputy, and hospital security
26 officers, ifnecessaty, to remove DR. ANDERSON from his assigned office as CMO at Harbor-
27 UCLA. DR. ANDERSON was provided little time to gather professional and personal
28 belongings and was escorted to the hospital exit in full view of fellow physicians, staffers,
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1 nurses, other hospital employees, patients, and visitors. DR. KATZwrongfully and without due
2 cause placed DR. ANDERSON on administrative leave and assigned him to his home.
3 9. Despite the action being a confidential personnel matter, DR. KATZ and/or DR.
4 YEE then deliberately, maliciously, and in conscious disregard for DR. ANDERSON's rights,
5 leaked a news story to the Los Angeles Times regarding the humiliating public expulsion from
6 his office of nearly thirteen years. This deliberate action jeopardized DR. ANDERSON's
7 well-establishedprofessional and personal reputation in the international, national, regional, and
8 local medical andprofessional communities, as well as the residential communitywhere he lives
9 and socializes. The news article was libelous per se in several respects by implying that he was
lOa criminal and a danger to hospital staff and patients.
II 10. On information and belief, DR. KATZ and/or DR. YEE leaked a second story to
12 the Daily Breeze newspaper in DR. ANDERSON's hometown continuing the same defamatory
13 statements and innuendo. Local television stations picked up the story and ran spots repeating
14 the same defamatory statements and innuendo. Local reports were then run on national and
15 international wire services resulting in additional defamatory publications.
16 II. Defendants' actions have invaded DR. ANDERSON's professional and personal
17 privacy, caused him severe emotional distress, have pervasively and irrevocably destroyed his
18 professional and personal reputation in the international, national, regional, and local medical
19 and professional communities, as well as in the community in which he resides. Defendants,
20 without cause or due process oflaw, have further deprived DR. ANDERSONofhis federal and
21 state constitutional rights to freedom of movement.
22 12. Each and every action ofDefendants was carefully and maliciously calculated to
23 injure and damage DR. ANDERSON. The injuries and damages DR. ANDERSON has and
24 continues to endure are to his mental and physical health, his reputation, and his future ability
25 to financially support himself. His losses are both non-economic and economic. Claimant also
26 seeks exemplary damages.
27 13. Plaintiffhas timely filed a claimwith the County ofLos Angeles, DR. KATZ and
28 DR. YEE's employer. The County ofLos Angeles is not named in this lawsuit. The claim was
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Plaintiffincorporates paragraphs I througb 13 ofthis Complaint as if fully set forth 14.
1 rejected by operation of law.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
7 15. In doing the acts alleged herein, Defendants fonned an agreement and operated
8 a conspiracy to defame, inflict emotional distress, and falsely imprison Plaintiff, and to place
9 Plaintiff in a false light. Defendants, and each of them, did so conspire to commit these
10 violations with knowledge that such conspiracy was wrongful and would cause Plaintiffto suffer
11 damage to his reputation, interference and disruption of his economic benefits and advantage,
12 loss of profits, inconvenience, and emotional distress.
13 16. In addition to the agreement alleged herein, Defendants, and each of them,
14 engaged in wrongful actions in furtherance ofthe conspiracy.
15 17. Defendants' conduct was intentional, outrageous, malicious, fraudulent,
16 oppressive, and despicable and carried out with a wilful and conscious disregard of the rights
17 ofPlaintiff, thus entitling Plaintiffto punitive damages to punish and make example ofhim and
18 prevent him from engaging in such practice in the future.
19 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment as set forth below.
20 SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
22 18. Plaintiffincorporates paragraphs I through 17 ofthis Complaint as iffully set forth
24 19. As set forth in the preliminary allegations above, Defendants deliberately leaked
25 libelous and slanderous false and defamatory statements regarding Plaintiffwith the knowledge
26 and intent that they would be published, broadcast, put on the Internet, and otherwise
27 communicated to Plaintiffs colleagues in the international, national, state, regional, and local
28 medical communities, to his fellow medical professional employees in the DHS, and to the
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1 public at-large.
2 20. The defamatory statements are slanderous and libelous per se.
3 21. Additionally, as a result ofthe publication ofsaid defamatory statements, Plaintiff
4 suffered injury to his reputations as well as annoyance, inconvenience, and emotional distress.
5 22. Defendants' conduct was intentional, outrageous, malicious, fraudulent,
6 oppressive, and despicable and carried out with a wilful and conscious disregard of the rights
7 ofPlaintiff, thus entitling Plaintiffto punitive damages to punish and make example ofthem and
8 prevent them from engaging in such practice in the future.
9 WHEREFORE, Plaintiffprays for judgment as set forth below.
10 THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
11 DEFAMATIONILIBEL SLANDER PER SE
12 23. Plaintiffincorporates paragraphs I through 22 ofthis Complaint as iffully set forth
14 24. As set forth in the preliminary allegations above, Defendants fabricated and
15 deliberately leaked slanderous and libelous statements in an attempt to injure and damage
16 Plaintiffs reputation and force him to resign as CMO of Harbor-UCLA. The publications
17 included, but were not limited to, news stories in the Los Angeles Times and Daily Breeze
18 newspapers. In statements to agents of these newspapers, Defendants defamed Plaintiff by
19 relaying his humiliating public expulsion from his office of nearly thirteen years, and falsely
20 asserting that Plaintiff was a criminal and a danger to hospital staff and patients.
21 25. In making these statements, Defendants possessed the knowledge and intent that
22 such statements would be published, broadcast, put on the Internet, and otherwise communicated
23 to Plaintiffs colleagues in the international, national, state, regional, and local medical
24 communities, to his fellow medical professional employees in the DHS, and to the public at-
26 26. The statements made by Defendants were false and unprivileged at the time they
27 were made.
28 27. The statements were published to others than Plaintiff.
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1 28. The statements directly injured Plaintiff in both his personal and professional
2 capacities. and his ability to earn a living in his occupation.
3 29. The defamatory statements are libelous and slanderous per se.
4 30. As a proximate result ofDefendant's defamation ofPlaintiff, Plaintiffhas suffered
5 and continues to suffer pervasive and irrevocable injury to his reputation and occupation, and
6 suffered and continues to suffer embarrassment, humiliation, and severe motional distress all to
7 his damage in an amount according to proof.
8 31. Defendants committed the acts alleged herein maliciously, fraudulently and
9 oppressively, with the wrongful intention ofinjuring Plaintiff, from an improper and evil motive
10 amounting to despicable conduct, and in conscious disregard ofPlaintiff's rights. Plaintiffis thus
11 entitled to recover punitive damages from Defendants in an amount according to proof.
12 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment as set forth below.
13 FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
14 INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
15 32. Plaintiffincorporates paragraphs I through 31 ofthis Complaint as iffully set forth
17 33. Defendants' conduct as alleged in the preliminary allegations was outrageous and
18 extreme in that it went beyond all bounds of decency and was atrocious and utterly intolerable
19 in a civilized society.
20 34. Defendants engaged in this conduct with the specific intent to cause Plaintiff
21 severe and extreme emotional distress and/or with the reckless disregard of the probability of
22 doing so. Defendants knew or should have known that their conduct would cause extreme
23 injury, distress, and damage to the emotional and psychological health, safety, and well-being
24 of Plaintiff.
25 35. As a direct, proximate, and legal result ofthe extreme and outrageous conduct of
26 Defendants, Plaintiff sustained mental pain and suffering in a sum to be detennined according
27 to proof at trial.
28 36. The aforementioned conduct was malicious, despicable, and carried out with the
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1 wilful and conscious disregard to the rights and safety ofPlaintiff, thereby entitling Plaintiff to
2 punitive damages to punish and make an example of Defendants.
3 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment as set forth below.
4 FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
5 NEGLIGENCE AND NEGLIGENCE PER SE - Civil Code Section 1714
6 37. Plaintiffincorporates paragraphs I through 36 ofthis Complaint as iffully set forth
8 38. Pursuantto common lawand California Civil Code Section 1714, Defendants, and
9 each ofthem, were and remain responsible for injury occasioned by another as a result of their
10 lack ofordinary care in the management oftheir persons. By engaging in the acts herein alleged,
11 Defendants negligently breached said duties owed to Plaintiff.
12 39. Defendants' negligence has and continues to be a substantial factor in causing
13 injury and damages to Plaintiff.
14 40. The injuries to Plaintiff were of the nature which Civil Code Section 1714 was
15 designed to prevent. Plaintiff was of the class ofpersons for whose protection the statute was
16 adopted. Therefore, Defendants' negligence is presumedpursuant to California Evidence Code
17 Section 669.
18 WHEREFORE, Plaintiffprays for judgment as set forth below.
19 SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION
20 FALSE LIGHT
21 41. Plaintiffincorporates paragraphs 1through 40 ofthis complaint as iffully set forth
23 42. As set forth in the preliminary allegations above, Defendants invaded Plaintiffs
24 privacy by, without Plaintiffs consent, leaking a news story to various publications, including
25 but not limited to the Los Angeles Times and Daily Breeze newspapers, that Plaintiff had been
26 publicly expelled from Harbor-UCLA following his receipt ofa confidential Letter of Ordered
27 Absence. Defendant so acted with knowledge that the Letter of Ordered Absence merely
28 advised Plaintiffthat there an administrative investigation was pending against him and that the
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administrative leave was not a disciplinary action. Defendants' statements to the publications
2 implied that Defendant was involved in criminal conduct.
3 43. Defendants infonned the Los Angeles Times and/or Daily Breeze newspapers that
4 Plaintiff was being investigated by Los Angeles County for credentialing procedures, was
5 suspended andlor placed on administrative leave, and most hannfully, that he had to be escorted
6 from his office.
7 44. In disclosingthe infonnation regardingthe confidential Letter of Ordered Absence
8 in relation to Plaintiffs expulsion from his office of 13 years, Defendants possessed the
9 knowledge and intent that their statements would be published, broadcast, put on the internet,
10 and otherwise communicated to Plaintiffs colleagues in the international, national, state,
11 regional, and local medical communities, and to his fellow medical professional employees
12 within the DHS.
13 45. The Los Angeles Times and Daily Breeze newspapers served the Defendants'
14 purpose ofcommunicating their statements concerning Plaintiff's forced leave ofabsence to the
15 public at-large by publishing articles on September I and 3, 2011 that relayed the infonnation
16 given to them by Defendants.
17 46. The portrayal of Plaintiff in the Los Angeles Times and Daily Breeze
18 newspapers casted Plaintiff in a false light by implying that Plaintiff had engaged in criminal
19 conduct and or was a danger to hospital staff, patients, and/or visitors.
20 47. Defendants' communication to the Los Angeles Times and Daily Breeze
21 constituted a public disclosure to a large number ofpeople in that Defendants were aware that
22 publication in widely-read local and regional newspapers was substantially certain to make their
23 statements public knowledge.
24 48. The portrayal ofPlaintiffby defendants was highly offensive and objectionable
25 to Plaintiff and would be to a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities because it portrayed
26 Plaintiff as a criminal actor and exposed him to scorn and strong public criticism both in his
27 community of medical professionals, his patients, and the public-at-large.
28 49. Defendants exposedplaintifftothis publicity withmalice in that Defendants either
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1 had actual knowledge of the falsity of their statements or acted with reckless disregard for the
2 truth or falsity of their statements. Defendants accused Plaintiff of wrongful conduct and
3 implied that he was a dangerous figure despite the fact that the Letter of Ordered Absence did
4 not indicate that Plaintiffwas actually culpable for the conduct claimed against him. Defendants
5 made these statements for the malicious purpose ofinjuring and damaging Plaintiff and forcing
6 him to resign from his position at Harbor-UCLA.
7 50. As a direct and proximate result ofDefendant's defamation of Plaintiff, Plaintiff
8 has suffered and continues to suffer pervasive and irrevocable injury to his reputation and
9 occupation, and suffered and continues to suffer embarrassment, humiliation, and severe
10 emotional distress all to his damage in an amount according to proof.
11 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment as set forth below.
12 SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION
13 FALSE IMPRISONMENT
14 51. Plaintiffincorporates paragraphs 1through 50 ofthis complaint as iffully set forth
16 52. As alleged above, Defendants, and each of them, intentionally deprived Plaintiff
17 of his freedom of movement through the issuance of the Letter of Ordered Absence, which
18 ordered defendant to remain at home from 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday "for
19 any job-related communications or instructions."
20 53. Following the issuance of the letter, on or around August 29,2011, Defendants,
21 acting in concert, ordered Greg Polk, administrative deputy, to remove Plaintiff from his office
22 at Harbor-UCLA and to use hospital security officers in his discretion. In carrying out the order,
23 Plaintiff was given little time to collect his personal and professional belongings and was
24 escorted to the hospital exit. As a result ofDefendants' actions, and without due cause, Plaintiff
25 was deprived of his liberty and forcefully and unlawfully expelled from his office, placed on
26 administrative leave, and compelled to remain at his home.
2? 54. The issuance ofthis letter and the subsequent actions taken against him as ordered
28 by Defendants were intentionally committed for the sole and malicious purpose of injuring and
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1 damaging Plaintiff, and to force him to resign from his position as CMO of Harbor-UCLA.
2 55. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant' s defamation ofPlaintiff, Plaintiff
3 has suffered and continues to suffer pervasive and irrevocable injury to his reputation and
4 occupation, and suffered and continues to suffer embarrassment, humiliation, and severe
5 emotional distress all to his damage in an amount according to proof.
6 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment as set forth below.
7 JURY TRIAL DEMAND
8 Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury.
9 PRAYER FOR RELIEF
10 WHEREFORE, Plaintiffprays for damages as follows:
DATED: June 5, 2012
Economic damages of $10,000,000;
Non-economic damages of $20,000,000;
Exemplary damages of $20,000,000;
For interest as allowed by law;
For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
CARROLL, KELLY, TROTTER, FRANZEN & McKENNA
- D. CARROLL
Attorneys for Plaintiff
V. ANDERSON, JR., MD.
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