This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/15/2019 at 10:09:02 (UTC).

VIGEN TSATURYAN, ET AL. VS WAWANESA INSURANCE COMPANY

Case Summary

On 05/10/2019 a Other - Arbitration case was filed by VIGEN TSATURYAN against WAWANESA INSURANCE COMPANY 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:

    *******1840

  • Filing Date:

    05/10/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Arbitration

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Petitioners

TSATURYAN VIGEN

TSATURYAN ARTIN

Respondent

WAWANESA INSURANCE COMPANY

 

Court Documents

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

8/20/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Declaration of Mark E. Farrar, Esq In Support of the Opposition to Petition to Compel Arbitration and Request for Monetary Sanctions

8/20/2019: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Declaration of Mark E. Farrar, Esq In Support of the Opposition to Petition to Compel Arbitration and Request for Monetary Sanctions

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Mark E. Farrar, Esq In Support of the Opposition to Petition to Compel Arbitration and Request for Monetary Sanctions

8/20/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Mark E. Farrar, Esq In Support of the Opposition to Petition to Compel Arbitration and Request for Monetary Sanctions

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

8/26/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

8/28/2019: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

8/30/2019: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Reply (name extension) - Reply Petitioners reply to Opposition by Respondent for Petition for Order appointing Arbitrator

9/6/2019: Reply (name extension) - Reply Petitioners reply to Opposition by Respondent for Petition for Order appointing Arbitrator

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Andrew Haling

9/6/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Andrew Haling

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Andrew Haling in Support of Petition

5/10/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Andrew Haling in Support of Petition

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

5/10/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Petition (name extension) - Petition Petition to Compel Arbitration

5/10/2019: Petition (name extension) - Petition Petition to Compel Arbitration

Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

5/10/2019: Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

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

5/10/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Notice (name extension) - Notice Notice of Related Case

5/10/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice Notice of Related Case

2 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/04/2019
  • Hearingat 10:30 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Petition (name extension)

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  • 09/06/2019
  • DocketReply Petitioners reply to Opposition by Respondent for Petition for Order appointing Arbitrator; Filed by: Vigen Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner)

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  • 09/06/2019
  • DocketDeclaration of Andrew Haling; Filed by: Vigen Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner)

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  • 08/30/2019
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/30/2019
  • DocketThere being no judge available this date, Hearing on Petition Petition to Compel Arbitration scheduled for 09/13/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion was rescheduled to 11/04/2019 10:30 AM

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  • 08/28/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by: Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent); As to: Vigen Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner)

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  • 08/26/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Vigen Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner); As to: Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent); Service Date: 08/12/2019; Service Cost: 79.40; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 08/20/2019
  • DocketDeclaration Declaration of Mark E. Farrar, Esq In Support of the Opposition to Petition to Compel Arbitration and Request for Monetary Sanctions; Filed by: Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent)

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  • 08/20/2019
  • DocketOpposition Declaration of Mark E. Farrar, Esq In Support of the Opposition to Petition to Compel Arbitration and Request for Monetary Sanctions; Filed by: Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent)

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  • 08/20/2019
  • DocketMemorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by: Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent)

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  • 05/13/2019
  • DocketHearing on Petition Petition to Compel Arbitration scheduled for 09/13/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/13/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketPetition Petition to Compel Arbitration; Filed by: Vigen Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner); As to: Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketDeclaration Declaration of Andrew Haling in Support of Petition; Filed by: Vigen Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner); As to: Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketNotice Notice of Related Case; Filed by: Vigen Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner); As to: Artin Tsaturyan (Petitioner); Wawanesa Insurance Company (Respondent)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketNotice of Hearing on Petition; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCP01840    Hearing Date: November 04, 2019    Dept: 94

Tsaturyan, et al. v. Wawanesa Ins. Co., et al.

MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY PROCEEDINGS

(CCP §§ 1281.2, et seq., 638)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Petitioners Vigen Tsaturyan and Artin Tsaturyan’s Petition to Compel Arbitration is GRANTED. THE COURT WILL NOT CONSIDER PETITIONERS’ REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 128.5 AT THIS TIME.

ANALYSIS:

On July 7, 2017, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) filed an action (“the Kutelia action”) for declaratory relief against Sergo Kutelia (“Kutelia”), Vigen Tsaturyan, Artin Tsaturyan (“Petitioners”), and Armond Tsaturyan. The Complaint in the Kutelia action alleged that State Farm insured Kutelia with respect to a BMW motor vehilce. (Kutelia Compl., ¶8.) Following an accident involving Kutelia and Petitioners on March 21, 2016, they all made claims under State Farm’s policy for property damage and injuries. (Id. at ¶¶9-11.) State Farm alleged that Kutelia and Petitioners failed to cooperate in its investigation of the accident and it ultimately determined the alleged accident did not occur as claimed and did not constitute an “accident.” (Id. at ¶¶20-26.) State Farm sought a declaration against Kutelia “that no rights, duties or obligations arose, exist, or may in the future arise or exist under and by virtue of the provisions of the State Farm Mutual policy” with respect to claims by Petitioners. (Id. at Prayer, ¶1.) State Farm also sought a declaration against Petitioners “that no rights, duties or obligations arose, exist, or may in the future arise or exist under and by virtue of the provisions of the State Farm Mutual policy” with respect to claims as a result of the alleged accident. (Id. at Prayer, ¶2.) On March 19, 2018, following Kutelia and Petitioners’ failure to respond to the Complaint, the unlimited civil court entered default judgment in State Farm’s favor, finding that it owed no further duties or responsibilities under the policy relating to the alleged accident.

On May 10, 2019, Petitioners initiated this action with a Petition to compel Respondent Wawanesa General Insurance Company (“Respondent”) to submit to arbitration. On the same date, Petitioners filed a Notice of Related Case with respect to the Kutelia action. Petitioners, however, failed to file or serve the Notice of Related Case in the Kutelia action as required by Cal. Rules of Court Rule 3.300, subdivision. A determination on the Notice of Related Case must be made by the judge who has the earliest filed unlimited civil case, which is the Kutelia action. (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.300, subd. (h)(1)(B).) Respondent filed its oppositions on August 20, 2019 and Petitioners replied on September 6, 2019.

I. Legal Standard

“On petition of a party to an arbitration agreement alleging the existence of a written agreement to arbitrate a controversy and that a party thereto refuses to arbitrate such controversy, the court shall order the petitioner and the respondent to arbitrate the controversy if it determines that an agreement to arbitrate the controversy exists, unless it determines that: (a) The right to compel arbitration has been waived by the petitioner; or (b) Grounds exist for the revocation of the agreement.” (CCP §§ 1281.2(a)-(b).) As with other types of agreements, “[t]he failure of the [party] to carefully read the agreement and the amendment is not a reason to refuse to enforce the arbitration provisions.” (Powers v. Dickson, Carlson & Campillo (1997) 54 Cal.App.4th 1102, 1115.) “California law, ‘like [federal law], reflects a strong policy favoring arbitration agreements and requires close judicial scrutiny of waiver claims.’” (Wagner Const. Co. v. Pacific Mechanical Corp. (2007) 41 Cal.4th 19, 31.) The party petitioning to compel arbitration under written arbitration agreement bears the burden of proving the existence of a valid arbitration agreement by a preponderance of the evidence, and party opposing petition must meet the same evidentiary burden to prove any facts necessary to its defense. The trial court acts as the trier of fact, weighing all the affidavits, declarations, and other documentary evidence. (CCP § 1281.2; Provencio v. WMA Securities, Inc. (2005) 125 Cal.App.4th 1028, 1031.) If the court orders arbitration, then the court shall stay the action until arbitration is completed. (See CCP § 1281.4.)

II. Discussion

Petitioners presents evidence that prior to the subject motor vehicle accident on March 21, 2016, Respondent issued an automobile policy containing uninsured motorist coverage. (Pet., Haling Decl., ¶2 and Exh. A.) Petitioners reached out to Respondent on May 24, 2018 to make a claim through their policy and were thereafter informed that Respondent believed the default judgment in the Kutelia action barred Petitioners from recovering under their underinsured coverage. (Id. at ¶7.) Respondent also refused to arbitrate this matter. (Id. at ¶8.) Any disagreement between the insurer and insured as to whether damages are recoverable under the underinsured motorist coverage shall be resolved by arbitration. (Cal. Ins. Code, § 11580.2, subd. (f).) Based on foregoing, Petitioners have carried their burden to demonstrate the existence of an arbitration agreement between the parties with respect to their claims for coverage pursuant to the underinsured policy.

The burden now shifts to Respondent to prove any facts necessary to defense to enforcement of the arbitration agreement by a preponderance of the evidence. Respondent argues that Petitioners failed to preserve their underinsured motorist claim, which must be initiated through suit against the underinsured motorist or the insurer within two years of the accident. (Cal. Ins. Code, § 11580.2, subd. (i).) Petitioners, however, did file an action for personal injuries and property damage against Kutelia on March 7, 2017 with respect to the alleged motor vehicle accident. (Reply, Haling Decl., Exh. J.) The Court finds that the instant Petition is not barred by section 11580.2, subdivision (i) of the Cal. Insurance Code.

Nor does Respondent offer any other defense to the statutory arbitration provision. Its contention that the judgment in the Kutelia action bars Petitioners’ underinsurance motorist coverage claims is a matter for the arbitrator to decide as it goes to “whether the insured shall be legally entitled to recover damages, and if so entitled, the amount thereof . . .” (Cal. Ins. Code, § 11580.2, subd. (f).) Notably, Respondent offers no legal authority that defenses of res judicata and collateral estoppel are relevant to a petition to compel arbitration. Based on the foregoing, the Petition to Compel Arbitration is granted.

Finally, Petitioners request an award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5 on the grounds that Respondent’s refusal to arbitrate is in bad faith. A motion for sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5 “shall be made separately from other motions or requests and shall describe the specific alleged action or tactic, made in bad faith, that is frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 128.5, subd. (f)(1)(A).) Petitioners must separately move for sanctions and the Court declines to consider the request at this time.

Moving party to give notice.