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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/13/2021 at 12:41:52 (UTC).

HUMBERTO ORELLANA VS JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 06/20/2019 HUMBERTO ORELLANA filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******5860

  • Filing Date:

    06/20/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant

ORELLANA HUMBERTO

Defendants, Cross Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

JAUREGUI AN INDIVIDUAL JACQUELINE

GALINDO AN INDIVIDUAL OSCAR ROLANDO

CASTELLANOS AN INDIVIDUAL JOSE ALONSO

MARTINEZ AN INDIVIDUAL MARTIN

MARTINEZ AN INDIVIDUAL VANESSA

ORELLANA HUMBERTO

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

WILDEBOER ARTA K.

Defendant, Cross Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

GONZALEZ RODOLFO

MUHTASEB IBRAHIM N.

DAVIS MONTE RAY

MARKS DONNA

PENNINGTON AMY

BARRENO ALEXANDRA

 

Court Documents

Opposition to Application for Determination of Good Faith Settlement - Opposition to Application for Determination of Good Faith Settlement

3/17/2021: Opposition to Application for Determination of Good Faith Settlement - Opposition to Application for Determination of Good Faith Settlement

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF MELANIE N. FOCA IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS JACQUELINE JAUREGUI AND JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS

3/17/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF MELANIE N. FOCA IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS JACQUELINE JAUREGUI AND JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Ex Parte Application for Good Faith Settlement Determination

2/23/2021: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Ex Parte Application for Good Faith Settlement Determination

Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (CCP 877.6) - Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (CCP 877.6)

2/26/2021: Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (CCP 877.6) - Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (CCP 877.6)

Answer - Answer

8/21/2020: Answer - Answer

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

8/21/2020: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

9/10/2020: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

9/10/2020: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Answer - Answer

9/10/2020: Answer - Answer

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

12/4/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

12/18/2019: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

Answer - Answer

12/18/2019: Answer - Answer

Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

12/18/2019: Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

12/18/2019: Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

Summons - Summons on Complaint

10/8/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

10/9/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Complaint - Complaint

6/20/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

6/20/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

30 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/23/2022
  • Hearing06/23/2022 at 10:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 10/05/2021
  • Hearing10/05/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 03/25/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement ...)

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  • 03/25/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (CCP 877.6) scheduled for 03/25/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 03/25/2021; Result Type to Held - Taken under Submission

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  • 03/18/2021
  • DocketReply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Good Faith Settlement; Filed by: OSCAR ROLANDO GALINDO, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant)

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  • 03/17/2021
  • DocketOpposition to Application for Determination of Good Faith Settlement; Filed by: JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); JACQUELINE JAUREGUI, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant)

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  • 03/17/2021
  • DocketDeclaration OF MELANIE N. FOCA IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS JACQUELINE JAUREGUI AND JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANO?S; Filed by: JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); JACQUELINE JAUREGUI, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant)

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  • 02/26/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: OSCAR ROLANDO GALINDO, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant)

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  • 02/26/2021
  • DocketMotion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (CCP 877.6); Filed by: OSCAR ROLANDO GALINDO, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); As to: HUMBERTO ORELLANA (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/26/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (CCP 877.6) scheduled for 03/25/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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37 More Docket Entries
  • 10/08/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: VANESSA MARTINEZ, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); MARTIN MARTINEZ, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); As to: HUMBERTO ORELLANA (Plaintiff); JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); JACQUELINE JAUREGUI, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant) et al.

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  • 10/08/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: VANESSA MARTINEZ, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); MARTIN MARTINEZ, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); As to: HUMBERTO ORELLANA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/21/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/17/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 06/21/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 06/23/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 06/21/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 06/20/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: HUMBERTO ORELLANA (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); JACQUELINE JAUREGUI, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); OSCAR ROLANDO GALINDO, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/20/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: HUMBERTO ORELLANA (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); JACQUELINE JAUREGUI, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); OSCAR ROLANDO GALINDO, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/20/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: HUMBERTO ORELLANA (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE ALONSO CASTELLANOS, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); JACQUELINE JAUREGUI, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant); OSCAR ROLANDO GALINDO, AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/20/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/20/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC05860    Hearing Date: March 25, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE:    Thu., March 25, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Orellana v. Castellanos, et al. COMPL. FILED: 06-29-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC05860 DISC. C/O:   09-05-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O:    09-20-21

TRIAL DATE:  10-05-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

MOVING PARTY:   Defendant Oscar Rolando Galindo

RESP. PARTY: Defendants Jacqueline Jauregui and Jose Alonso Castellanos

MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

(CCP § 877.6)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Oscar Rolando Galindo’s Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement is CONTINUED TO MAY 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Defendants Castellanos and Jauregui are ordered to file and serve supplemental papers as requested herein.

SERVICE

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: Filed on March 17, 2021 [X] Late [   ] None

REPLY: Filed on March 18, 2021 [   ] Late [   ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 29, 2019, Plaintiff Humberto Orellana (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint alleging general negligence, negligence per se, and negligent entrustment against Defendants Jose Alonso Castellanos (“Castellanos”), Jacqueline Jauregui (“Jauregui”), Oscar Rolando Galindo (“Galindo”), Vanessa Martinez (“Vanessa”), and Martin Martinez (“Martin”) (collectively, “Defendants”).

Defendants Vanessa and Martin filed an Answer and a Cross-Complaint against Plaintiff and Defendants Castellanos, Jauregui, and Galindo for comparative indemnity, contribution, and declaratory relief on October 8, 2019. Defendants Castellanos and Jauregui filed an Answer to the Complaint and to the Cross-Complaint on December 18, 2019. They also filed a Cross-Complaint for comparative indemnity, contribution, and declaratory relief against Defendants Vanessa, Martin, and Galindo. 

Defendants Vanessa and Martin filed an Answer to the Castellanos and Jauregui Cross-Complaint on January 21, 2020.

Defendant Galindo filed an Answer to the Complaint and a Cross-Complaint for apportionment of fault, indemnification, and declaratory relief against Defendants Castellanos and Vanessa on August 21, 2020.

Defendants Castellanos and Jauregui filed an Answer to the Galindo Cross-Complaint on September 2, 2020.

On February 26, 2021, Defendant Galindo filed the instant Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (the “Motion”). Defendants Castellanos and Jauregui filed a late Opposition on March 17 and Defendant Galindo filed a Reply on March 18.

  1. Legal Standard

“Any party to an action in which it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors or co-obligors on a contract debt shall be entitled to a hearing on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff or other claimant and one or more alleged tortfeasors or co-obligors,” upon giving proper notice.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 877.6, subd. (a)(1).)  “A good faith settlement under Code of Civil Procedure sections 877 and 877.6 must strike a balance between the competing public policies of encouraging settlements and the equitable sharing of liability among parties at fault.  [Citation.]”  (PacifiCare of California v. Bright Medical Associates, Inc. (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 1451, 1464.)  “Neither statutory goal should be applied to defeat the other.’” (Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.App.3d 488, 494.)

“Section 877 ‘establishes that a good faith settlement bars other defendants from seeking contribution from the settling defendant [citation], but at the same time provides that the plaintiff’s claims against the other defendants are to be reduced by ‘the amount of consideration paid for’ the settlement [citation].  [Citation.]”  (Dole Food Co., Inc. v. Superior Court (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 894, 908–909.)

There is no precise measure of a good faith settlement with one of several tortfeasors, but the settlement must be within the “ballpark” of the settling defendant’s liability taking into account the facts and circumstances of each case. (Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499.) “Good faith” depends on what the plaintiff knew about liability at the time the settlement was entered into, not on evidence that may be later acquired. (Id.) In determining whether a settlement is in good faith and within the “ballpark,” the Court may consider the following (1) a rough approximation of the plaintiff’s total recovery and the settlor’s proportionate liability; (2) the amount paid in settlement; (3) the recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than if found liable at trial; (4) the settlor’s financial condition and insurance policy limits, if any; and (5) evidence of any collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct between settlor and the plaintiff’s aimed at making nonsettling defendants pay more than their fair share. (Id.)

Another key determination is the settling tortfeasor’s potential liability for indemnity to other joint tortfeasors. (Long Beach Memorial Medical Center v. Superior Court (2009) 172 Cal.App.869, 873, 875-86.) A disproportionately low settlement for purposes of obtaining immunity from an indemnity cross-complaint creates an inference the settlement was not made in good faith. (Id.)

  1. Discussion

Here, Defendant Galindo seeks a determination that the settlement of $10,000.00 that was reached on February 16, 2021 with Plaintiff was done in good faith. (Mot., p. 1:12-15, Pennington Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.)

The action arises out of an alleged June 26, 2017, four-vehicle accident. (Compl., ¶ 10.) Plaintiff alleged that Defendant Castellanos, in a vehicle owned by Defendant Jauregui, collided with Plaintiff’s vehicle, causing Defendant Galindo to collide with Defendant Castellanos, which in turn caused Defendant Vanessa, in a vehicle owned by Defendant Martin, to collide with Defendant Galindo. (Id. at ¶¶ 11-18.) As noted above, Defendants Vanessa, Martin, Castellanos, and Jauregui filed a Cross-Complaint for indemnity against Defendant Galindo.

Defendant Galindo points out that this is a limited jurisdiction case with a maximum recovery of $25,000.00 and that this settlement represents 40% of Plaintiff’s total potential recovery. (Mot., p. 5:13-22.) Defendant Galindo’s discovery responses state that he felt an impact to the rear of his vehicle from Defendant Vanessa that caused his vehicle to collide with Defendant Castellanos in front of him. (Id., p. 4:13-19, Pennington Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. E.) Defendant Galindo also references a police report stating that Defendants Galindo, Castellanos, and Vanessa’s violation of the applicable speed limit was a factor contributing to the accident, but did not attach a copy of the report. (Id. at p. 4:19-23.)

In Opposition, Defendants Jauregui and Castellanos argue that a potential exposure of $10,000.00 (given Defendant Galindo’s proposed $10,000.00 settlement, Defendants Vanessa and Martin’s proposed $5,000.00 settlement, and this Court’s jurisdictional amount of $25,000.00) in liability is not reasonable given the proportion of fault between the Defendants. (Oppo., pp. 5:24-6:8.) Specifically, Defendants Jauregui and Castellanos state that Plaintiff testified at his deposition that he heard a collision before he felt Defendant Castellanos rear-end his vehicle. (Oppo., p. 3:21-23.) Defendants Jauregui and Castellanos further argue that Defendant Vanessa testified at her deposition that prior to the collision, she was cut off, presumably by Defendant Galindo, thereby causing the accident. (Id.) However, Defendants Castellanos and Jauregui did not submit copies of the deposition transcript for neither Plaintiff nor Defendant Vanessa. Thus, the Court cannot evaluate or determine whether these deposition transcripts contain testimony that bear on whether Defendant Galindo’s proposed $10,000.00 settlement is within the “ballpark” of his estimated liability. Indeed, “a court not only looks at the alleged tortfeasor’s potential liability to the plaintiff, but it must also consider the culpability of the tortfeasor vis-à-vis other parties alleged to be responsible for the same injury.”  (TSI Seismic Tenant Space, Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 159, 166.) 

For this reason, Defendants Jauregui and Castellanos are ordered to file and serve copies of the deposition transcripts referenced in their Opposition so that the Court may adequately evaluate their argument regarding the proportion of fault between Defendants.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Oscar Rolando Galindo’s Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement is CONTINUED TO MAY 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Defendants Castellanos and Jauregui are ordered to file and serve supplemental papers as requested herein.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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