This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/06/2019 at 02:48:10 (UTC).

EVANGELINA GARCIA-CABRERA VS BODEGA LATINA CORPORATION, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION, FORM UNKNOWN

Case Summary

On 02/05/2019 a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury case was filed by EVANGELINA GARCIA-CABRERA against BODEGA LATINA CORPORATION, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION, FORM UNKNOWN in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1189

  • Filing Date:

    02/05/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

GARCIA-CABRERA EVANGELINA

Defendant

BODEGA LATINA CORPORATION A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION FORM UNKNOWN DBA EL SUPER

 

Court Documents

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/5/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

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

2/5/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

2/5/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Complaint - Complaint

2/5/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

2/5/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/05/2019
  • Complaint; Filed by: Evangelina Garcia-Cabrera (Plaintiff); As to: Bodega Latina Corporation, a business organization, form unknown (Defendant)

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Summons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Evangelina Garcia-Cabrera (Plaintiff); As to: Bodega Latina Corporation, a business organization, form unknown (Defendant)

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Evangelina Garcia-Cabrera (Plaintiff); As to: Bodega Latina Corporation, a business organization, form unknown (Defendant)

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/05/2019
  • First Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/04/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 02/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Case assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC01189    Hearing Date: February 13, 2020    Dept: 25

   

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Evangelina Garcia-Cabrera’s Motion for Reclassification and Transfer of Action to Unlimited Jurisdiction is GRANTED.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On February 5, 2019, Plaintiff Evangelina Garcia-Cabrera (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for personal injury against Defendant Bodega Latina Corporation dba El Super (“Defendant”). Plaintiff has not filed a proof of service for the summons and complaint, and no answer has been filed by Defendant.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Reclassification and Transfer of Action to Unlimited Jurisdiction (the “Motion”) on October 15, 2019. Plaintiff did not file a proof of service on Defendant for the Motion.

  1. Legal Standard

A limited jurisdiction case is one in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $25,000. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 85, subd. (a).)

Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040 allows a plaintiff to file a motion for reclassification of an action within the time allowed for that party to amend the initial pleading. (Code Civ. Proc., § 403.040, subd. (a).) “A party may amend its pleading once without leave of court at any time before an answer, demurrer, or motion to strike is filed, or after a demurrer or motion to strike is filed if the amended pleading is filed and served no later than the date for filing an opposition to the demurrer or motion to strike. (Code Civ. Proc., § 472, subd. (a).) If the motion is made after the time for the plaintiff to amend the pleading, the motion may only be granted if (1) the case is incorrectly classified; and (2) the plaintiff shows good cause for not seeking reclassification earlier. (Code Civ. Proc., § 403.040, subd. (b).)

In Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257, 262, the California Supreme Court held that a matter may be reclassified from unlimited to limited only if it appears to a legal certainty that the plaintiff's damages will necessarily be less than $25,000. (Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257.) If there is a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00, the case cannot be transferred to limited. (Ibid.) This high standard is appropriate in light of “the circumscribed procedures and recovery available in the limited civil courts.” (Ytuarte v. Superior Court (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 266, 278.)

In Ytuarte, the Court of Appeals examined the principles it set forth in Walker and held that “the court should reject the plaintiff's effort to reclassify the action as unlimited only when the lack of jurisdiction as an ‘unlimited’ case is certain and clear.” (Id. at 279.) That is, the court may deny a motion to reclassify “only where it appears to a legal certainty that the plaintiff’s damages will necessarily be $25,000 or less.” (Id.) (Italics in original.) That is, a motion to reclassify a limited civil case as an unlimited civil case must be granted unless it “appears to a legal certainty that the plaintiff’s damages will necessarily be $25,000 or less.” (Id.) The plaintiff must present evidence to demonstrate a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00, then the trial court must review the record to determine “whether a judgment in excess of $25,000.00 is obtainable.” (Ibid.)

  1. Discussion

Here, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion within the time allowed to amend the initial pleading. As Defendant has not yet been served, no answer, demurer, or motion to strike has been filed.

Plaintiff’s evidence is persuasive. Plaintiff’s counsel states that, at the time the lawsuit was filed, he had a good faith belief the value of Plaintiff’s claim was within the Court’s limited jurisdiction. (Goldstein Decl., ¶ 8.) He further states he found no indication that a worker’s compensation claim existed, and, after reviewing Kaiser medical records for treatment of Plaintiff’s injuries, did not believe Plaintiff’s damages exceeded $25,000. (Id., ¶ 7.) Plaintiff’s attorney later discovered Plaintiff had, in fact, filed a worker’s compensation claim arising from the accident, which is being handled by Traveler’s Insurance Company (“Travelers”). (Id., ¶ 9.) Plaintiff’s attorney was later informed that Traveler’s filed a worker’s compensation lien totaling $35,366.72. (Id., Exh. D.) Traveler’s lien alone exceeds limited jurisdiction court limits. (Code Civ. Proc., § 85, subd. (a).) Because employers or their insurance carriers are entitled to recover any benefits paid or owed on behalf of an injured employee (Engle v. Endlich (1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 1152, 1160), the Court is persuaded that a judgment in excess of $25,000.00 is obtainable.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Evangelina Garcia-Cabrera’s Motion for Reclassification and Transfer of Action to Unlimited Jurisdiction is GRANTED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.