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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/29/2020 at 14:15:44 (UTC).

ALAN BLAKE ELIEL VS RONALD STEIN

Case Summary

On 04/16/2020 ALAN BLAKE ELIEL filed a Personal Injury - Uninsured Motor Vehicle lawsuit against RONALD STEIN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is SERENA R. MURILLO. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3426

  • Filing Date:

    04/16/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Uninsured Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ELIEL ALAN BLAKE

Defendant

STEIN RONALD

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

PALLER BRUCE B

 

Court Documents

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

4/16/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Complaint - Complaint

4/16/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

4/16/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

4/17/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/20/2023
  • Hearing04/20/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 10/14/2021
  • Hearing10/14/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 04/17/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/14/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/17/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/20/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/17/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Alan Blake Eliel (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/17/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 04/16/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Alan Blake Eliel (Plaintiff); As to: Ronald Stein (Defendant)

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  • 04/16/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Alan Blake Eliel (Plaintiff); As to: Ronald Stein (Defendant)

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  • 04/16/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC03426    Hearing Date: May 5, 2021    Dept: 26

DEMURRER; MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq., 435, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Ronald Stein’s Demurrer to the Fourth Cause of Action of the First Amended Complaint is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Defendant Ronald Stein’s Motion to Strike Portions of the First Amended Complaint is GRANTED AS TO THE REQUESTS FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY’S FEES WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND; AND DENIED AS TO ANY IRRELEVANT, FALSE OR IMPROPER MATTER.

ANALYSIS:

On April 16, 2020, Plaintiff Alan Blake Eliel (“Plaintiff”) filed the Complaint in this action against Defendant Ronald Stein (“Defendant’). Following the filing of Defendant’s demurrer to and motion to strike the Complaint, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint on March 24, 2021. The First Amended Complaint alleges causes of action for: (1) negligence; (2) strict liability based on common law; (3) strict liability based on dog bite statute; and (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Defendant filed the instant Demurrer and Motion to Strike Portions of the First Amended Complaint on April 5, 2021. Plaintiff filed oppositions on April 21, 2021.

Allegations in the First Amended Complaint

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant is the owner of a large canine (“the dog”) with dangerous propensities of which Defendant was aware and over which Defendant failed to exercise due care or skill. (FAC, ¶¶4-6.) On April 22, 2018, the dog was unrestrained inside Defendant’s motor vehicle, which was parked outside a restaurant located at 92 East Daily Drive, Camarillo, County of Ventura (“the Restaurant”). (Id. at ¶¶1, 5.) While Plaintiff was walking past Defendant’s vehicle, the dog leapt from the vehicle through the wide open back window and attacked Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶¶12-14.) After Plaintiff fought off the dog and while he was bleeding profusely, Defendant walked from the restaurant and attempted to get into his vehicle. (Id. at ¶¶15-16.) Defendant refused to provide any information, including whether the dog had a current rabies vaccine, got into his vehicle and fled the scene. (Id. at ¶¶17-18.) A waitress at the Restaurant provided Defendant’s contact information, pursuant to which Plaintiff alleges that Defendant is a licensed medical doctor. (Id. at ¶21.) 

Demurrer

The Court finds that the Demurrer is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrer, Myers Decl., ¶¶3-6 and Exhs. A-B.) Defendant demurs to the fourth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress for failure to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e).

In order to allege a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, first, the defendant’s conduct must be outrageous, that is, beyond all bounds of reasonable decency. (Cervantez v. J.C. Penney Co. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 579, 593; Cochran v. Cochran (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 488, 496 [“no occasion for the law to intervene in every case where someone’s feelings are hurt”].) Second, the conduct must be “intended to inflict injury or engaged in with the realization that injury will result.” (Davidson v. City of Westminster (1982) 32 Cal.3d 197, 210.) “The defendant’s conduct must be directed to the plaintiff, but malicious or evil purpose is not essential to liability.” (Yun Hee So v. Sook Ja Shin (2013) 212 Cal.App.4th 652, 671.) Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she suffered severe emotional distress. (Agarwal v. Johnson (1979) 25 Cal.3d 932, 946.) Severe emotional distress is “of such substantial quality or enduring quality that no reasonable [person] in civilized society should be expected to endure it.” (Hughes v. Pair (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1035, 1051.)

This cause of action cannot be premised on the dog biting incident because there are no allegations that the attack was intended by Defendant or that Defendant’s failure to manage his dangerous dog were directed at Plaintiff. To the extent Plaintiff relies on Defendant’s failure to render aid and fleeing the scene despite Plaintiff’s obvious injuries, the allegations do not demonstrate that Defendant engaged in that conduct with the intent to inflict injury or with the realization that injury would result to Plaintiff. In Carlsen v. Koivumaki (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 879, 903, the Court of Appeals found plaintiff had alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress based on defendants’ actions in (1) bringing the plaintiff to a dangerous location while he was intoxicated; (2) waiting to call for help following the plaintiff sustaining serious injuries, despite the remote location and lack of other people to render aid; and (3) making it more difficult for other people to find the plaintiff.

In this action, while Defendant failed to render aid or provide information, it is alleged that other people were already assisting Plaintiff and that the police were on the way to the scene of the attack. (FAC, ¶¶16-20.) The First Amended Complaint does not allege in what way Defendant’s post-attack conduct made Plaintiff’s injuries worse or caused other injuries. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant is a licensed doctor but offers no authority for what additional obligations this imposed on Defendant under the circumstances. Nor does Plaintiff indicate in the opposition that additional facts can be alleged to elevate Defendant’s conduct to intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Therefore, the demurrer to the fourth cause of action is sustained without leave to amend.

Motion to Strike

California law authorizes a party’s motion to strike matter from an opposing party’s pleading if it is irrelevant, false, or improper. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 435; 436, subd. (a).) Motions may also target pleadings or parts of pleadings which are not filed or drawn in conformity with applicable laws, rules or orders. (Code Civ. Proc., § 436, subd. (b).) However, in a court of limited jurisdiction, motions to strike may only be brought on grounds that the allegations do not support the request for relief or damages. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).)

Defendant moves to strike the allegations in support of the request for punitive damages in the Complaint. A request for punitive damages may be made pursuant to Cal. Civil Code 3294, which provides, as follows: “In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.” (Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (a).) Here, the only basis for a punitive damages claim is the fourth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court having sustained the demurrer to the fourth cause of action finds the punitive damages allegations are also inadequate.

Likewise, the First Amended Complaint does not include a basis for attorney’s fees, which must be sought pursuant to contract, statute or law. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1033.5, subd. (a)(10).)

Finally, to the extent Defendant moves to strike allegations in the First Amended Complaint that are purportedly irrelevant, false or improper, such a motion is not allowed in this limited jurisdiction Court.

The Motion to Strike Portions of the First Amended Complaint is granted as to the requests for punitive damages and attorney’s fees and denied as to any irrelevant, false or improper matter.

Conclusion

Defendant Ronald Stein’s Demurrer to the Fourth Cause of Action of the First Amended Complaint is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Defendant Ronald Stein’s Motion to Strike Portions of the First Amended Complaint is GRANTED AS TO THE REQUESTS FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY’S FEES WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND; AND DENIED AS TO ANY IRRELEVANT, FALSE OR IMPROPER MATTER.

Moving party to give notice.

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