This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/16/2021 at 08:47:30 (UTC).

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY VS JOSE MOLINA

Case Summary

On 11/18/2020 STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against JOSE MOLINA. 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:

    *******9668

  • Filing Date:

    11/18/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

MOLINA JOSE

Cross Defendant

HATIKYAN VARDAN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorneys

REESE BREANNE L

REESE BREANNE

PLEASANT JOSEPH M

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

BECK ESQ DWAYNE S

BECK DWAYNE MAILING

 

Court Documents

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

8/20/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

8/20/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Reply (name extension) - Reply TO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO CROSS COMPLAINT BY CROSS DEFENDANT

7/20/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply TO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO CROSS COMPLAINT BY CROSS DEFENDANT

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

6/14/2021: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Proof of Publication - Proof of Publication

4/19/2021: Proof of Publication - Proof of Publication

Summons - Summons Cross-Complaint

4/28/2021: Summons - Summons Cross-Complaint

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

4/28/2021: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

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

4/28/2021: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Declaration re: Due Diligence - Declaration re: Due Diligence

1/15/2021: Declaration re: Due Diligence - Declaration re: Due Diligence

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration declaration of Breanne L Reese

2/22/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration declaration of Breanne L Reese

Affidavit (name extension) - Affidavit affidavit of merit

2/22/2021: Affidavit (name extension) - Affidavit affidavit of merit

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration declaration of Breanne L Reese

2/22/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration declaration of Breanne L Reese

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF VENUE

11/18/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF VENUE

Complaint - Complaint

11/18/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

11/18/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

11/18/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

11/18/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

11/18/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

14 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/22/2023
  • Hearing11/22/2023 at 08:30 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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  • 05/18/2022
  • Hearing05/18/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 08/20/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/20/2021
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE MOLINA (Defendant)

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  • 07/27/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

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  • 07/27/2021
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 07/27/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 07/27/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 07/20/2021
  • DocketReply TO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO CROSS COMPLAINT BY CROSS DEFENDANT; Filed by: VARDAN HATIKYAN (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 07/20/2021
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by: VARDAN HATIKYAN (Cross-Defendant); As to: JOSE MOLINA (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 07/13/2021
  • DocketOpposition to Demurrer to Cross-Complaint; Filed by: JOSE MOLINA (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 06/15/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Demurrer - without Motion to Strike TO CROSS-COMPLAINT BY CROSSDEFENDANT VARDAN HATIKYAN;: Name Extension: TO CROSS-COMPLAINT BY CROSSDEFENDANT VARDAN HATIKYAN;; As To Parties: removed

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17 More Docket Entries
  • 01/15/2021
  • DocketDeclaration re: Due Diligence; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE MOLINA (Defendant)

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 05/18/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 11/22/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE MOLINA (Defendant)

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE MOLINA (Defendant)

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketDeclaration DECLARATION OF VENUE; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE MOLINA (Defendant)

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: JOSE MOLINA (Defendant)

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: 20STLC09668 Hearing Date: July 27, 2021 Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT

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MOVING PARTY: Cross-Defendant Vardan\r\nHatikyan

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RESP. PARTY: Defendant and Cross-Complainant Jose Molina

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DEMURRER

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(CCP § 430.10, et seq.)

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TENTATIVE RULING:

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Cross-Defendant\r\nVardan Hatikyan’s Demurrer to the Cross-Complaint is OVERRULED.

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SERVICE:

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[X]\r\nProof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

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[X]\r\nCorrect Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

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[X]\r\n16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

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OPPOSITION: Filed\r\non July 13, 2021 [ ]\r\nLate [ ] None

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REPLY: Filed\r\non July 20, 2021 [ ]\r\nLate [ ] None

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ANALYSIS:

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I. \r\nBackground

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On November 18, 2020, Plaintiff\r\nState Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed an action\r\nagainst Defendant Jose Molina seeking damages of $16,008.64. The Complaint\r\nalleges that on or about January 12, 2020, Defendant “caused Mery Mushegian and\r\nhis/her permissive users/or passengers” to incur monetary damages as a result\r\nof an accident Defendant negligently caused. (Compl., ¶ 6.) Plaintiff brings\r\nthis action as its insured’s subrogee. (Id. at ¶ 8.)

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Molina filed an Answer and a\r\nCross-Complaint against Cross-Defendant Vardan Hatikyan (“Hatikyan”) on April\r\n28, 2021.

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Cross-Defendant Hatikyan filed the\r\ninstant Demurrer to the Cross-Complaint on June 14, 2021. Molina filed an\r\nopposition on July 13 and Hatikyan filed a reply brief on July 20.

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II. \r\nLegal Standard

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“The primary\r\nfunction of a pleading is to give the other party notice so that it may prepare\r\nits

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case [citation], and a defect in\r\na pleading that otherwise properly notifies a party cannot be said to

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affect substantial rights.” (Harris v. City of Santa Monica (2013) 56\r\nCal.4th 203, 240.)

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“A demurrer tests the\r\nlegal sufficiency of the factual allegations in a complaint.” (Ivanoff v. Bank of

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America, N.A. (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 719, 725.) The Court looks to\r\nwhether “the complaint alleges

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facts sufficient to state a cause\r\nof action or discloses a complete defense.” (Id.) The Court does not

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“read passages from a complaint\r\nin isolation; in reviewing a ruling on a demurrer, we read the

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complaint ‘as a whole and its\r\nparts in their context.’ [Citation.]” (West\r\nv. JPMorgan Chase Bank,

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N.A. (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 780, 804.) The Court “assume[s] the\r\ntruth of the properly pleaded

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factual allegations, facts that\r\nreasonably can be inferred from those expressly pleaded and matters of

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which judicial notice has been\r\ntaken.” (Harris, supra, 56 Cal.4th p.\r\n240.) “The court does not,

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however, assume the truth of\r\ncontentions, deductions or conclusions of law. [Citation.]” (Durell v.

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Sharp Healthcare (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 1350, 1358.)

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A\r\ngeneral demurrer may be brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10,\r\nsubdivision (e) if insufficient facts are stated to support the cause of action\r\nasserted or under section 430.10, subdivision (a), where the court has no jurisdiction\r\nof the subject of the cause of action alleged in the pleading. All other\r\ngrounds listed in Section 430.10, including uncertainty under subdivision (f),\r\nare special demurrers. Special demurrers are not allowed in limited\r\njurisdiction courts. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).)

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Leave\r\nto amend must be allowed where there is a reasonable possibility of successful\r\namendment. (Goodman v. Kennedy (1976)\r\n18 Cal.3d 335, 348.) The burden is on\r\nthe complainant to show the Court that a pleading can be amended successfully.\r\n(Id.)

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Finally,\r\nCode of Civil Procedure section 430.41 requires that “[b]efore filing a\r\ndemurrer pursuant to this chapter, the demurring party shall meet and confer in\r\nperson or by telephone with the party who filed the pleading that is subject to\r\ndemurrer for the purpose of determining whether an agreement can be reached\r\nthat would resolve the objections to be raised in the demurrer.” (Code Civ.\r\nProc., § 430.41, subd. (a).) The parties are to meet and confer at least five\r\ndays before the date the responsive pleading is due. (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n430.41, subd. (a)(2).) Thereafter, the demurring party shall file and serve a\r\ndeclaration detailing their meet and confer efforts. (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n430.41, subd. (a)(3).)

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III. \r\nDiscussion

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The Demurrer is accompanied by a\r\nmeet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section\r\n430.41. (Dem., Reese Decl., ¶ 4.)

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A. First Cause of Action –\r\nIndemnification

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Molina’s Cross Complaint alleges,\r\nin pertinent part, the following: (1) that on February 18, 2017, Cross-Defendant\r\nHatikyan “negligently owned, entrusted, maintained operated and controlled\r\ntheir motor vehicle in such a fashion that they proximately caused a collision\r\nwith [Molina’s] vehicle; (2) that Cross-Defendant Hatikyan is responsible for\r\nthe damages Plaintiff sustained; (3) that Molina was not negligent or otherwise\r\nliable in any manner for Plaintiff’s damages; (4) that Molina must be\r\nindemnified and held harmless by Cross-Defendant Hatikyan for the damages\r\nsustained by Plaintiff. (Cross-Compl., ¶¶ 1-7.)

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Although the Cross-Complaint does\r\nnot specify whether Molina seeks express, implied, or equitable\r\nindemnification, the allegations make clear only the equitable kind is at\r\nissue.

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“[E]quitable indemnity requires no\r\ncontractual relationship between an indemnitor and an indemnitee. Such\r\nindemnity ‘is premised on a joint legal obligation to another for damages,’ but\r\nit ‘does not invariably follow fault.’ [Citation.]” (Prince v. Pacific Gas\r\n& Electric Co. (2009) 45 Cal.4th 1151, 1158.) Stated another way, “[a]\r\nright of equitable indemnity can arise only if the prospective indemnitor and\r\nindemnitee are mutually liable to another person for the same injury. (Fremont\r\nReorganizing Corp. v. Faigin (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 1153, 1177.)

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Cross-Defendant argues this cause\r\nof action is improper because Molina and Cross-Defendant Hatikyan are not joint\r\ntortfeasors; rather, Cross-Defendant argues he is Plaintiff’s insured. (Dem., p.\r\n7.) Indeed, Plaintiff is only bringing this action as a subrogee and simply\r\nstands in its insured’s shoes. (See Compl., ¶ 8; Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v.\r\nMaryland Cas. Co. (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1279, 1292.) However, neither the\r\nComplaint nor the Cross-Complaint allege that Cross-Defendant Hatikyan\r\nspecifically is Plaintiff’s insured or its insured’s permissive driver; the\r\nonly named insured is Mery Mushegian. (Compl., ¶ 6.)

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In ruling on a demurrer, the Court\r\nmay not consider facts in a demurrer’s supporting memorandum or other extrinsic\r\nmatters that are not disclosed on the face of the complaint or other judicially\r\nnoticed matters. (Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th\r\n968, 994; SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 902, 905; Ion Equipment Corp. v. Nelson (1980)\r\n110 Cal.App.3d 868, 881.)

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Here, Cross-Defendant Hatikyan\r\nseeks to establish he is Plaintiff’s insured by setting it forth in his\r\nsupporting memorandum of points and authorities. (Dem., pp. 4-7.) Because this\r\nfact was not alleged by the parties either in the Complaint or the\r\nCross-Complaint, and is not a fact that has been judicially noticed, the Court\r\ncannot consider it in making a ruling on the Demurrer.

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Thus, Cross-Defendant’s Demurrer as\r\nto the first cause of action is OVERRULED.

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2. Second Cause of Action –\r\nApportionment of Fault/Contribution

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In addition to the allegations\r\nnoted above, Molina’s second cause of action alleges: (1) that an actual\r\ncontroversy exists between Molina and Cross-Defendant Hatikyan regarding the\r\nrights and obligations as to each party. (Cross-Compl., ¶¶ 8-12.)

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“ ‘A claim for contribution…stems\r\nfrom a legally recognized right forged from principles of equity and natural\r\njustice. [Citation.] The right of contribution, although necessarily related to\r\nsome former transaction or obligation, exists as an entirely separate contract\r\nimplied by law. [Citation.] In situations where two or more parties are\r\njointly liable on an obligation and one of them makes payment of more than\r\nhis share, the one paying possesses a new obligation against the others for\r\ntheir proportion of what he has paid for them. [Citation.]’ [Citation.]” (Morgan\r\nCreek Residential v. Kemp (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 675, 684.) (Emphasis\r\nadded.)

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“ ‘Equitable contribution is…the\r\nright to recover not from the party primarily liable for the loss, but\r\nfrom a co-obligor who shares such liability with the party\r\nseeking contribution. [Citation.] Equitable contribution permits reimbursement\r\nto the [party] that paid on the loss for the excess it paid over its\r\nproportionate share of the obligation, on the theory that the debt it paid was equally\r\nand concurrently owed by [others] and should be shared by them pro\r\nrata in proportion to their respective coverage of the…risk.” (Id.) (Emphasis\r\nin original.)

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“ ‘Equitable contribution allows for\r\nloss sharing among [co-obligors] “that share the same level of liability on the\r\nsame risk as to the same [principal].” [Citation.]’ [Citation.] ‘The principle\r\nof equity on which the right of contribution is founded applies only where the\r\nparties are under a common burden of liability.’ [Citation.]…” (Id.)\r\n

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Cross-Defendant argues this cause\r\nof action fails to state sufficient facts because he is Plaintiff’s insured and\r\nbecause Plaintiff stands in his shoes in the action; accordingly,\r\nCross-Defendant and Molina cannot be joint tortfeasors. (Dem., pp. 6-7.) As\r\ndiscussed above, however, neither the face of the Complaint or Cross-Complaint\r\nnor any judicially noticeable matter establish that Cross-Defendant is\r\nPlaintiff’s insured.

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Thus, Cross-Defendant has not\r\ndemonstrated this cause of action is improper. Accordingly, the Demurrer as to\r\nthe second cause of action is OVERRULED.

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IV. \r\nConclusion & Order

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For the\r\nforegoing reasons, Cross-Defendant Vardan Hatikyan’s Demurrer to the\r\nCross-Complaint is OVERRULED.

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Moving party is\r\nordered to give notice.

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