This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/05/2020 at 07:31:40 (UTC).

ELSIE M. LUCAS VS COSTCO WHOLESALE

Case Summary

On 02/28/2019 ELSIE M LUCAS filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against COSTCO WHOLESALE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is WENDY CHANG. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******2121

  • Filing Date:

    02/28/2019

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

LUCAS ELSIE M.

Defendant

COSTCO WHOLESALE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

MUENCH RICHARD A

 

Court Documents

Order (name extension) - Order .

8/26/2020: Order (name extension) - Order .

Separate Statement - Separate Statement

12/11/2019: Separate Statement - Separate Statement

Motion for Summary Judgment - Motion for Summary Judgment

12/11/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment - Motion for Summary Judgment

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF DENISHA TERRELL IN SUPPORT OF COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

12/11/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF DENISHA TERRELL IN SUPPORT OF COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Notice of Lodging (name extension) - Notice of Lodging fN SUPPORT OF COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

12/12/2019: Notice of Lodging (name extension) - Notice of Lodging fN SUPPORT OF COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)

2/27/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Vernell Lucas in opposition to Costo Wholesale corporation's motion

3/3/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Vernell Lucas in opposition to Costo Wholesale corporation's motion

Objection (name extension) - Objection TO PLAINTIFF' S UNTIMELY DECLARATION OF VERNELL LUCAS IN OPPOSITION TO COSTCO'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

3/12/2020: Objection (name extension) - Objection TO PLAINTIFF' S UNTIMELY DECLARATION OF VERNELL LUCAS IN OPPOSITION TO COSTCO'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

3/20/2020: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Response (name extension) - Response by Plaintiff Elsie Lucas to Defendant Costco's Opposition to Vernell Lucas Declaration in Opposition to Costco's Motion for Summary Judgment

3/20/2020: Response (name extension) - Response by Plaintiff Elsie Lucas to Defendant Costco's Opposition to Vernell Lucas Declaration in Opposition to Costco's Motion for Summary Judgment

Minute Order - Minute Order (Ruling on Submitted Matter)

4/8/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Ruling on Submitted Matter)

Notice (name extension) - Notice Of Entry Of Judgment Or Order

4/9/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice Of Entry Of Judgment Or Order

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

4/29/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Answer - Answer

4/12/2019: Answer - Answer

Notice of Deposit - Jury - Notice of Deposit - Jury

4/12/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury - Notice of Deposit - Jury

Summons - Summons on Complaint

2/28/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/28/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

2/28/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

14 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/26/2020
  • DocketOrder . Filed by: Costco Wholesale (Defendant); As to: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/26/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Order .: Status changed from Filed to Signed and Filed

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  • 04/16/2020
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by: Costco Wholesale (Defendant); As to: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff); Total Costs: 12310.38

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketNotice Of Entry Of Judgment Or Order; Filed by: Costco Wholesale (Defendant); As to: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Ruling on Submitted Matter)

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Ruling on Submitted Matter) of 04/08/2020; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/27/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Vacated on 04/08/2020

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 03/03/2022 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Vacated on 04/08/2020

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  • 03/20/2020
  • DocketResponse by Plaintiff Elsie Lucas to Defendant Costco's Opposition to Vernell Lucas Declaration in Opposition to Costco's Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/20/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff); After Substituted Service of Summons & Complaint ?: No

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15 More Docket Entries
  • 04/12/2019
  • DocketNotice of Deposit - Jury; Filed by: Costco Wholesale (Defendant)

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  • 04/12/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Costco Wholesale (Defendant); As to: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff); As to: Costco Wholesale (Defendant)

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Elsie M. Lucas (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/27/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 03/03/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC02121    Hearing Date: February 27, 2020    Dept: 26

Lucas v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al.

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

(CCP § 437c)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation’s Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

ANALYSIS:

On February 28, 2019, Plaintiff Elsie M. Lucas (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for premises liability against Defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Defendant”). Defendant filed the instant motion for summary judgment on December 11, 2019. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Plaintiff alleges that she suffered injuries following a slip and fall at Defendant’s premises on March 2, 2019. (Compl., p. 4.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant allowed rain water to remain in the public eating area without cleaning it up, causing Plaintiff to fall and injure her hip, butt, knee and back. (Ibid.)

The elements of a cause of action for premises liability are the same as those for negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages.” (Castellon v. U.S. Bancorp (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 994, 998.) A property owner’s duty to guests is to exercise reasonable care to keep the premises safe. (Ortega v. Kmart Corp. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 1200, 1205.) A property owner breaches that duty by failing to use reasonable care, such as making regular inspections of the premises open to guests, where the care exercised is commensurate with the risk of harm. (Ibid.) Defendant now moves for summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiff cannot prove Defendant had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition on its property, thereby negating the elements of duty and breach. (See Jones v. Awad (2019) 39 Cal.App.5th 1200, 1207-1209.)

Defendant presents the following facts as undisputed: On or about March 2, 2018, Plaintiff slipped and fell at Defendant’s warehouse located at 2200 E Willow Street, Signal Hill, California. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact Nos. 1, 10-11; Exh. B, pp. 103:12-14, 113:11-16.) On the day and at the time of the incident, it was raining heavily and Plaintiff was aware of the rain and of water on the ground. (Motion, Separate Statemen, Fact Nos. 2, 4-9; Exh. B., pp. 73:19-21, 78:1-3, 84:9-16, 95:22-96:10, 111:18-25, 137:9-14.) As she approached the food court area, Plaintiff’s left foot slipped and she fell on her tailbone. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact No. 11; Exh. B, p. 113:11-16.) When she got up, Plaintiff noticed paper on the ground and stuck to her left shoe. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact No. 14; Exh. B, pp. 122:14-123:10.) The incident occurred just before 11:00 am. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact No. 27; Exh. B, p. 145:7-22.)

On the day of the incident, Defendant’s employee Tracy Torgerson performed multiple safety inspections of the premises, including one that concluded in the food court area at 10:53 am. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact Nos. 28-30; Torgerson Decl., ¶¶3, 5-6 and Exh. C.) A yellow “wet floor” sign was propped up in the food court area where customers order food. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact No. 32; Torgerson Decl., ¶8; Terrell Decl., ¶14.) Torgerson did not see anything out of the ordinary, such as paper on the ground. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact No. 33-35; Torgerson Decl., ¶¶6-11.) Torgerson completed another walk-through at 1:30 am in the food court area and again did not observe any paper on the ground. (Motion, Separate Statement, Fact Nos. 36-37; Torgerson Decl., ¶11.)

Defendant’s evidence carries its initial burden of proof regarding lack of actual or constructive notice of the allegedly dangerous condition (wet paper on the floor) that caused Plaintiff’s injuries. Defendant’s evidence demonstrates that it had no actual knowledge of wet paper on the floor based on Torgerson’s walk-through of the area without observing paper on the floor of the food court area. Defendant’s evidence also demonstrates that it lacked constructive notice of any dangerous condition. Constructive notice is that which is charged to a landowner who should discover the condition by the exercise of reasonable care. (Jones, supra, 29 Cal.App.5th at 1209.) Defendant, having demonstrated that it regularly and frequently patrolled the area where Plaintiff slipped and fell, provides evidence that it lacked constructive notice of the dangerous condition.

This evidence carries Defendant’s initial burden of proof to demonstrate that it did not have any duty of care to protect Plaintiff from the allegedly dangerous condition, and correspondingly, did not breach any duty of care to Plaintiff with respect to the safety of the premises. The burden now shifts to Plaintiff to present evidence of triable issues of material fact regarding Defendant’s breach of duty. However, as the motion is unopposed, the Court finds that no triable issues of material fact exist.

Defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation’s Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

Moving party to give notice.