Central Pathology Service Medical Clinic Inc. V. Superior Court Of Los Angeles County
Real parties in interest (plaintiffs) brought suit against petitioners (defendants) alleging claims based on negligent medical practices. Subsequently, plaintiffs were permitted to amend their complaint to add two causes of action based on intentional tort theories and to claim punitive damages for those intentional torts. The trial court (respondent) concluded Code of Civil Procedure section 425.13,*fn1 restricting prayers for punitive damages in actions “arising out of the professional negligence of a health care provider,” did not apply to plaintiffs’ punitive damages claims and granted plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file a first amended complaint. Defendants sought review after the Court of Appeal summarily denied their petition for a writ of mandate to compel respondent court to vacate its order. We granted defendants’ petition for review and issued an alternative writ of mandate. For the reasons stated herein, we conclude the trial court erred; we therefore remand this case to the Court of Appeal with directions to issue a peremptory writ of mandate directing the trial court to vacate its order granting plaintiffs’ leave to amend their complaint and directing the trial court to conduct further proceedings in accordance with the views expressed herein.