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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/15/2019 at 00:00:59 (UTC).

WEST PALMS INDUSTRY, INC VS WSI VANLINES, INC., ET AL.

Case Summary

On 05/16/2018 WEST PALMS INDUSTRY, INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against WSI VANLINES, INC . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******7308

  • Filing Date:

    05/16/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WEST PALMS INDUSTRY INC

Defendants

WOORI SHIPPING INC. DBA HYUNDAE GLOBAL EXPRESS

WSI VANLINES INC. DBA HYUNDAE GLOBAL EXPRESS

LIM JIN KYU AKA JAY LIM

KIM YOUNGMIN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

JEN JERRY JA-HOW

 

Court Documents

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

11/12/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

11/12/2019: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

9/20/2018: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Proof of Personal Service

10/5/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Summons - on Complaint

5/16/2018: Summons - on Complaint

Complaint

5/16/2018: Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

5/16/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

5/16/2018: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/19/2021
  • Hearing05/19/2021 at 10:30 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 10/05/2018
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: West Palms Industry, Inc (Plaintiff); As to: WSI Vanlines, Inc. (Defendant); Service Date: 09/28/18; Service Cost: 49.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 09/20/2018
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: West Palms Industry, Inc (Plaintiff); As to: Jin Kyu Lim (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 09/18/2018; Service Cost: 59.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 05/16/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: West Palms Industry, Inc (Plaintiff); As to: WSI Vanlines, Inc. (Defendant); Woori Shipping, Inc. (Defendant); Youngmin Kim (Defendant) et al.

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  • 05/16/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: West Palms Industry, Inc (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/16/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/16/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/16/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Georgina T. Rizk in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 05/16/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/13/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/16/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/19/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC07308    Hearing Date: August 12, 2020    Dept: 26

West Palms Industry, Inc v. WSI Vanlines, Inc., et al.

DEMURRER

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff West Palm Industry, Inc.’s Demurrer to the 5th cause of action for fraud and deceit is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

Plaintiff West Palm Industry, Inc.’s Motion to Strike the request for punitive damages in the First Amended Complaint is DEEMED MOOT.

ANALYSIS:

On May 16, 2018, Plaintiff West Palms Industry, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for breach of oral contract, common counts and fraud against WSI Vanlines, Inc. dba Hyundae Global Express (“WSI”); Woori Shipping, Inc. dba Hyundae Global Express (“Woori”); Youngmin Kim (“Kim”); and Jin Kyu Lim aka Jay Lim (“Lim”). On February 24, 2020, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) for (1) breach of oral contract; (2) money due on an open book account; (3) money due on an account stated; (4) goods sold and received; and (5) fraud and deceit. On March 25, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Demurrer and Motion to Strike the First Amended Complaint. Plaintiff filed opposition papers on July 30, 2020 and Defendant replied on August 5, 2020.

Demurrer to First Amended Complaint

The Court finds that the Demurrer is supported by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrer, Pak Decl., ¶¶3-45.) The demurrer is brought solely as to the fifth cause of action for fraud and deceit.

5th Cause of Action for Fraud and Deceit

A cause of action for active deceit must allege (1) misrepresentation of a material fact; (2) knowledge of falsity or lack of a reasonable ground for belief in the truth of the representation; (3) intent to induce reliance; (4)  actual and justifiable reliance by the plaintiff; and (5) resulting damage. (Orient Handel v. United States Fid. & Guar. Co. (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 684, 693.)

Additionally, fraud causes of action must be pled with particularity, which means “every element . . . must be alleged in full, factually and specifically, and the policy of liberal construction of pleading will not usually be invoked to sustain a fraud claim deficient in any material respect.” (Wilhelm v. Pray, Price, Williams & Russell (1986) 186 Cal.App.3d 1324, 1331.) This means pleading facts that “show how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the representations were tendered.” (Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 631, 645.) Finally, when fraud is alleged against a corporate defendant, the plaintiff must specifically allege the names of the persons who allegedly made the representation, their authority to speak, to whom they spoke, what they said or wrote, and when it was said or written. (Tarmann v. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co. (1991) 2 Cal.App.4th 153, 157.)

Defendants Woori and Kim demur to the fraud cause of action for failure to allege sufficient facts and uncertainty. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subds. (e) and (f).) The Court initially notes that special demurrers are not permitted in courts of limited jurisdiction. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).) Therefore, the Court will not rule on the demurrer for uncertainty.

However, the Court finds that the First Amended Complaint fails to allege the fraud cause of action sufficiently. The First Amended Complaint alleges that Defendant Woori and WSI ordered packaging materials from Plaintiff from 2013 through April 2017, and that from June 2016 through April 2017 both corporate Defendants ordered packaging materials under WSI’s name. (FAC, ¶¶44-45.) Plaintiff broadly alleges that Kim and Lim represented that WSI and Woori were one and same, and that orders were made by representatives or principals of both corporate Defendants. (Id. at ¶45.) Defendants Kim and Lim also allegedly represented that the orders would be paid for by Defendants. (Id. at ¶46.) The purpose of these representations was to induce Plaintiff to extend the goods to the WSI on credit based on the transaction history between Plaintiff and Woori, while simultaneously dissolving WSI and having no intention of paying Plaintiff for the goods. (Id. at ¶¶47-52.) Plaintiff allegedly relied on the representations to its detriment when Defendants failed to pay. (Id. at ¶51-52.)

As the demurrer correctly points out, no allegations are included that specifically recount when the representations were made, by whom (Lim or Kim), in what form (in person, over the phone, in writing), and what exactly was said. These details are required to allege the representations with adequate particularity. Indeed, the First Amended Complaint seems to allege that the fraud was committed both through misrepresentations (active deceit) and omissions. (FAC, ¶46.) As these are different types of fraud, they should be separately alleged.

Based on the foregoing, the demurrer to the fifth cause of action for fraud and deceit is sustained with leave to amend.

Motion to Strike Punitive Damages Allegations from First Amended Complaint

“In order to state a prima facie claim for punitive damages, a complaint must set forth the elements as stated in the general punitive damage statute, Civil Code section 3294. [Citation.] These statutory elements include allegations that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud or malice. [Citation.]” (Turman v. Turning Point of Central Calif., Inc. (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 53, 63.) Punitive damages against a corporate defendant, furthermore, must allege that it authorized or ratified the wrongful conduct. (White v. Ultramar, Inc. (1999) 21 Cal.4th 563, 572.) As the punitive damages allegations are premised on the fifth cause of action for fraud and deceit, the ruling on the Demurrer renders the Motion to Strike MOOT.

Conclusion

Plaintiff West Palm Industry, Inc.’s Demurrer to the 5th cause of action for fraud and deceit is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND. Plaintiff West Palm Industry, Inc.’s Motion to Strike the request for punitive damages in the First Amended Complaint is DEEMED MOOT.

Moving party to give notice.

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