Esther Tenao Atam
13621 Arcturus Ave.
Gardena, CA 90249
Natashchan1@yahoo.com
Plaintiff in Pro Per

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

ESTHER TENAO ATAM,
Plaintiff
vs.
KAISER FOUNDATION OF
HOSPITALS, et al.
Defendants

Case No.: 21STCV41538
Judge: Honorable Steven J. Kleifield

PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSE TO
DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT

COMES NOW Defendant Plaintiff ESTHER TENAO ATAM (“Plaintiff”), and hereby
files this Response to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff requests that the
Defendant’s Motion be denied, and the case proceed to hearing.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On November 10, 2021, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant alleging inter alia,
discrimination, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unlawful termination, and
defamation.
On December 22, 2021, Defendant filed an answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint. (Exhibit 1-
Answer to Complaint). In the said answer, the Defendant alleged inter alia, that Plaintiff’s

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PLAINTIFF’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
Complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; Plaintiff’s claims are barred
by statute of limitations; some of Plaintiff’s claims are barred by waiver and unclean hands; the
Plaintiff’s case is barred by laches; Defendant is entitled to an off set in the event liability is
established; Plaintiff failed to mitigate damages; attorney’s fees are not recoverable; Plaintiff’s
employment was an at-will employment; there was a legitimate business purpose for Defendant’s
actions; and Defendant failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
On April 21, 2022, Defendant filed a Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts in
Support of Defendant’s motion for Summary Judgment, or in the alternative, summary
adjudication of Plaintiff’s Complaint. (Exhibit 2- Separate Statement of Undisputed Material
Facts). In the said filing, the Defendant alleged the following undisputed facts: Southern
California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG) hired Plaintiff as a RN; SCPMG was the only
entity that hired Plaintiff within January 20, 2020 and March 18, 2021; SCPMG controlled
Plaintiff’s work; and SCPMG paid Plaintiff throughout the employment.

ARGUMENTS

i. The Complaint raises genuine issues of material fact
Code of Civil Procedure § 437c(c) states in pertinent part that, “The motion for summary
judgment shall [only] be granted if all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as
to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
(Emphasis added).
The moving party bears the initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing
that there are no triable issues of material fact. Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 25 Cal. 4th 826,
850. A prima facie showing is one that is sufficient to support the position of the party in
question. “No more is called for.” Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co., supra, 25 Cal. 4th at 851.
Plaintiff asserts that the Defendant’s burden on moving for both summary judgment and
summary adjudication is to show that, as a matter of law, Plaintiff cannot establish one or more
of the elements of each challenged cause of action. Cal. Code Civ. Pro. § 437c(o)(l), (p)(2);

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PLAINTIFF’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
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Aguilar v Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843. Only once Defendant has made a
prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any triable issue of material fact in connection with
proof of the challenged claims does the burden shift to Plaintiff to demonstrate the existence of a
triable fact question (although the burden of persuasion always remains with the moving party).
Id. at 850-51. Defendant’s declaration(s) are to be strictly construed by the Court, while evidence
put forward by the Plaintiff is to be liberally construed. Saelzler v. Advanced Group 400 (2001)
25 Cal.4th 763, 768. See also Johnson v. American Standard, Inc. (2008) 43 Cal.4th 56, 64
(moving party’s evidence strictly construed “to resolve any evidentiary doubts or ambiguities” in
plaintiff’s favor).
Since Defendant has not met its burden of showing that no triable issue of material fact
exists as to any of Plaintiff’s claims, no further showing by Plaintiff is required. Consumer
Cause, Inc. v. SmileCare (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 454, 468. However, if the Court determines that
Defendant has met its initial burden, Plaintiff herein demonstrates that there are myriad triable
questions of material fact that preclude Defendant from being entitled to judgment as a matter of
law on any of Plaintiff’s claims.

ii. The Defendant is the right party to sue
The Attorney that represented SCPMG in Plaintiff’s restraining order in SCPMG v.
Esther Atam, is the same attorney that represents Defendant in this case. Further, SCPMG knew
about Plaintiff’s lawsuit and that it was related to them and their staff. Notably, the Declaration
in Support of Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment contained declarations of individuals
from the SCPMG. (Exhibit 3- Declaration in Support of Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment). The first individual to make the declaration was Maria Hunt, the clinic president of
SCPMG, who alleged that Plaintiff had communicated in a way that made her fear for her life.
Sarah Poetter, the Clinical Director at SCPMG, alleged that Plaintiff had sent her threatening
emails that made her fear for her life. She further alleged that such emails influenced the decision
by SCPMG to require Plaintiff to undergo a fitness for duty examination. Plaintiff raises

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PLAINTIFF’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
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concerns over this decision to subject Plaintiff to a fitness for duty examination, six months after
her being suspended illegally and for no good cause. Sarah further notes that after Plaintiff
resignation, she filed a Complaint against SCPMG. Sarah asserted that Plaintiff threatened her
life. Plaintiff avers on the contrary that Sarah’s actual threat is caused by her cancer, which
Plaintiff has nothing to do with. It is also noteworthy that Sarah admits that she is named in
Plaintiff’s Complaint as one of the Defendants. Lastly, Wilbert Jones, an employee of the
Defendant made similar assertions that Plaintiff had sent threatening emails to the aforesaid
individuals.
Plaintiff further avers that Kaiser Permanente is made up of three distinct but
interdependent groups of entities to wit, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (KFHP) and its
regional operating subsidiaries; Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; and the regional Permanente
Medical Groups.
On or about March 15, 2021, Plaintiff received a letter from Wilbert Jones. (Exhibit 4-
letter from Wilbert Jones). In the letter, Wilbert stated that he was assigned to work with
Plaintiff and would be Plaintiff’s manager during the interactive process to identify whether
Plaintiff would be able to return to SCPMG West LA. Emergency Department.
For the aforesaid reasons, the Defendant is the right party to sue in this action.

DATED:
Respectfully submitted,

____________________________
ESTHER TENAO ATAM

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PLAINTIFF’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that on [ENTER DATE], a copy of the foregoing document has been
sent to the Defendant in the following address:

DATED:

____________________________
ESTHER TENAO ATAM

[ENTER DEFENDANT’S ADDRESS]

EXHIBITS

Exhibit 1- Answer to Complaint

Exhibit 2- Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts

Exhibit 3- Declaration in Support of Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment

Exhibit 4- letter from Wilbert Jones

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