Winter v. Gnaizda

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtKANE; TAYLOR, P. J., and ROUSE
Citation152 Cal.Rptr. 700,90 Cal.App.3d 750
PartiesFrank E. WINTER, M.D., Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Robert GNAIZDA, etc., Defendant and Appellant. Civ. 43558.
Decision Date23 February 1979

Page 700

152 Cal.Rptr. 700
90 Cal.App.3d 750
Frank E. WINTER, M.D., Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Robert GNAIZDA, etc., Defendant and Appellant.
Civ. 43558.
Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2, California.
Feb. 23, 1979.
As Modified March 19, 1979.

[90 Cal.App.3d 752]

Page 701

Evelle J. Younger, Atty. Gen. of Cal., Winifred Younge Smith, Deputy Atty. Gen., San Francisco, for defendant and appellant.

Hassard, Bonnington, Rogers & Huber, David. E. Willett, San Francisco, for plaintiff and respondent.

KANE, Associate Justice.

Defendant Robert Gnaizda in his capacity as Director of the California State Department of Health (hereafter appellant or DOH) appeals from a judgment rendered in an action for declaratory relief. The stipulated facts, along with the pertinent portions of the record, reveal the following background:

[90 Cal.App.3d 753]

Page 702

On or about April 8, 1972, John Roushkolb, a minor, was injured in an automobile accident. Roushkolb was eligible for medical care under the California Medical Assistance Program (Medi-Cal). He sought and received medical treatment from Dr. Frank E. Winter, a licensed California physician (hereafter respondent). Respondent presented a bill for $760 for the Medi-Cal services rendered. In accordance with the uniform fee schedule (Tit. 22, Cal.Admin.Code, § 51501, et seq.) respondent was compensated by Medi-Cal in the amount of $503.

Codefendant Henry O. Lienhard, a licensed attorney, who represented Roushkolb in the personal injury matter, recovered insurance proceeds for his client under an uninsured motorist claim. After the recovery was effected, respondent submitted a bill to Lienhard and Roushkolb for $257, the difference between the amount charged in the original bill and the sum paid by Medi-Cal.

Before honoring the new bill, Lienhard telephoned Blue Shield, the fiscal intermediary for the Medi-Cal program, seeking advice from an employee whether he should pay the differential sum of $257. When he was advised that respondent was not entitled to any additional amount under Medi-Cal regulations, Lienhard refused to pay the bill.

Thereupon, respondent initiated an action for declaratory relief against both Lienhard (who held the insurance proceeds in trust for the minor) and DOH, claiming that he was entitled to the difference between what he received from Medi-Cal and what his fee would have been had Roushkolb been a private patient. In his complaint, respondent did not demand any additional amount from Medi-Cal, nor did he challenge the application of the Medi-Cal fee schedule and/or the reasonableness of the sum that he had already received under said schedule. DOH was made a party defendant to the action solely on the basis that codefendant Lienhard refused to pay the disputed differential amount upon the advice of Medi-Cal's fiscal intermediary. 1

[90 Cal.App.3d 754] Appellant filed a timely demurrer to the complaint, claiming Inter alia that declaratory relief was unavailable against DOH because respondent failed to allege the existence of an actual controversy between himself and DOH within the meaning of the declaratory relief statute (Code Civ.Proc., 2 § 1060). The trial court overruled appellant's demurrer, and proceeded to trial against both defendants. After receiving evidence and hearing the arguments of the parties, the trial court held that respondent was entitled to recover the difference between his full fee and the lesser amount paid under the Medi-Cal program. In accordance therewith, judgment was entered ordering defendant Lienhard to deliver the sum of $257 to respondent. As to appellant, the court declared that "The State of California has no further claim to assert in this matter." 3

Although the parties address with considerable detail the substantive issues raised in, and decided by, the trial court, we are prevented from reaching those issues.

Page 703

Rather, we are compelled to dismiss the appeal for the following reasons:

At the very outset we...

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33 practice notes
  • People ex rel. Becerra v. Superior Court of Riverside Cnty., E070545
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 27 November 2018
    ...to grant such relief in the absence of a true justiciable 240 Cal.Rptr.3d 261controversy [citations]." ( Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 756, 152 Cal.Rptr. 700 [citing California Water & Telephone Co. v. County of Los Angeles (1967) 253 Cal.App.2d 16, 61 Cal.Rptr. 618 ]; accord,......
  • Green v. Travelers Indemnity Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 16 September 1986
    ...do." (Selby Realty Co. v. City of Buenaventura, supra, 10 Cal.3d 110, 117, 109 Cal.Rptr. 799, 514 P.2d 111; Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 755, 152 Cal.Rptr. In the case at bench appellants have not secured a final determination of Manville's liability which is central to deter......
  • Knight v. McMahon, No. B076098
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 5 July 1994
    ...by law in the subject matter of the judgment and whose interest is injuriously affected by the judgment...." (Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 754, 152 Cal.Rptr. 700, emphasis in original; see also In re George B. (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 1088, 1094, 279 Cal.Rptr. 388.) " '... [Appe......
  • Pacific Legal Foundation v. California Coastal Com.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 20 December 1982
    ...California Water & Telephone Co. v. County of Los Angeles (1967) 253 Cal.App.2d 16, 26, 61 Cal.Rptr. 618; cf. Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 756, 152 Cal.Rptr. 700; Zetterberg v. State Dept. of Public Health (1974) 43 Cal.App.3d 657, 662, 118 Cal.Rptr. A logical starting point ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • People ex rel. Becerra v. Superior Court of Riverside Cnty., E070545
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 27 November 2018
    ...to grant such relief in the absence of a true justiciable 240 Cal.Rptr.3d 261controversy [citations]." ( Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 756, 152 Cal.Rptr. 700 [citing California Water & Telephone Co. v. County of Los Angeles (1967) 253 Cal.App.2d 16, 61 Cal.Rptr. 618 ]; accord,......
  • Green v. Travelers Indemnity Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 16 September 1986
    ...do." (Selby Realty Co. v. City of Buenaventura, supra, 10 Cal.3d 110, 117, 109 Cal.Rptr. 799, 514 P.2d 111; Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 755, 152 Cal.Rptr. In the case at bench appellants have not secured a final determination of Manville's liability which is central to deter......
  • Knight v. McMahon, No. B076098
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 5 July 1994
    ...by law in the subject matter of the judgment and whose interest is injuriously affected by the judgment...." (Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 754, 152 Cal.Rptr. 700, emphasis in original; see also In re George B. (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 1088, 1094, 279 Cal.Rptr. 388.) " '... [Appe......
  • Pacific Legal Foundation v. California Coastal Com.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 20 December 1982
    ...California Water & Telephone Co. v. County of Los Angeles (1967) 253 Cal.App.2d 16, 26, 61 Cal.Rptr. 618; cf. Winter v. Gnaizda (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 750, 756, 152 Cal.Rptr. 700; Zetterberg v. State Dept. of Public Health (1974) 43 Cal.App.3d 657, 662, 118 Cal.Rptr. A logical starting point ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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