This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/20/2019 at 12:52:27 (UTC).

YOLANDA RIVAS VS CITY OF SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Case Summary

On 10/18/2017 YOLANDA RIVAS filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CITY OF SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is ELAINE LU. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3119

  • Filing Date:

    10/18/2017

  • 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

Judge

ELAINE LU

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

RIVAS YOLANDA

South Pasadena, CA 91030

Defendants, Cross Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

CITY OF SOUTH PASADENA CALIFORNIA

MCCLURE KAREN A.

MCCLURE TRUST

COURDY KRISTINE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorneys

LEE JENNIFER JING

D'ORO FRANK JOSEPH JR

CONROY ZANETA

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

FERRANTE DAVID MICHAEL

 

Court Documents

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

4/10/2018: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

5/4/2018: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Proof of Service by Mail

7/3/2018: Proof of Service by Mail

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition DEFENDANT CITY OF SOUTH PASADENA'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO RECLASSIFY THE CASE AS AN UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE AND TO SEEK LEAVE TO FILE A

1/31/2019: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition DEFENDANT CITY OF SOUTH PASADENA'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO RECLASSIFY THE CASE AS AN UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE AND TO SEEK LEAVE TO FILE A

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for Order for Leave to File T...) of 02/01/2019

2/1/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for Order for Leave to File T...) of 02/01/2019

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

2/5/2019: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition City of South Pasadenas Opposition to Plaintiffs Motion for Reclassification From Limited Jurisdiction to Unlimited Jurisdiction and Declaration of David M. Fe

2/6/2019: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition City of South Pasadenas Opposition to Plaintiffs Motion for Reclassification From Limited Jurisdiction to Unlimited Jurisdiction and Declaration of David M. Fe

Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter - Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter

2/21/2019: Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter - Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Seeking Clarification regarding Status of Court Ruling on 1) MSJ; 2) P's Request Seeking Reclassificatoin

3/25/2019: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Seeking Clarification regarding Status of Court Ruling on 1) MSJ; 2) P's Request Seeking Reclassificatoin

Motion to Challenge the Good Faith of a Settlement (CCP 877.6) - Motion to Challenge the Good Faith of a Settlement (CCP 877.6)

4/18/2019: Motion to Challenge the Good Faith of a Settlement (CCP 877.6) - Motion to Challenge the Good Faith of a Settlement (CCP 877.6)

Response (name extension) - Response Plaintiff's Response to City's Ex Parte Application for an Order Shortening Time for a Hearing on Motion Contesting Detemination of Good Faith Settlement, or in th

4/22/2019: Response (name extension) - Response Plaintiff's Response to City's Ex Parte Application for an Order Shortening Time for a Hearing on Motion Contesting Detemination of Good Faith Settlement, or in th

Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

6/7/2019: Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

Demand for Jury Trial

1/8/2018: Demand for Jury Trial

Answer

1/8/2018: Answer

Proof of Personal Service

12/11/2017: Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - (Amended)

12/11/2017: Proof of Personal Service - (Amended)

Proof of Personal Service - (Amended)

12/11/2017: Proof of Personal Service - (Amended)

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

10/18/2017: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

60 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/21/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 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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  • 11/13/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 09/10/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Challenge the Good Faith of a Settlement (CCP 877.6)

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  • 06/07/2019
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by: Karen A. McClure (Defendant); McClure Trust (Defendant); Vacate Future Dates: No

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  • 04/23/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: City of South Pasadena, California (Defendant)

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  • 04/22/2019
  • DocketResponse Plaintiff's Response to City's Ex Parte Application for an Order Shortening Time for a Hearing on Motion Contesting Detemination of Good Faith Settlement, or in the Alternative to Continue Trial for the Sole Purpose of Hearing Said Motiion; Filed by: Yolanda Rivas (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/22/2019
  • DocketOrder Proposed Order 1 of 2; Filed by: City of South Pasadena, California (Defendant)

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  • 04/22/2019
  • DocketUpdated -- Order Proposed Order 1 of 2: Filed By: City of South Pasadena, California (Defendant); Result: Not Filed; As To Parties: removed

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  • 04/22/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/13/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 04/22/2019
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application For an Order Shortening Time)

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99 More Docket Entries
  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/17/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/21/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketUpdated -- Amended Complaint (1st): Status Date changed from 12/04/2017 to 10/18/2017

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Yolanda Rivas (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: Yolanda Rivas (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketUpdated -- Amended Complaint (2nd): Status Date changed from 05/18/2018 to 10/18/2017

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Yolanda Rivas (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/18/2017
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Elaine Lu in Department 77 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 17STLC03119    Hearing Date: October 24, 2019    Dept: 94

DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

(CCP § 437c)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant City of South Pasadena’s Motion to Contest Determination of Good Faith Settlement is GRANTED.

Defendants / Cross-Complainants Karen A. McClure and McClure Trust’s Application For Determination Of Good Faith Settlement is DENIED.

SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT: Action for premises liability.

GROUNDS FOR MOTION: The settlement reached by the McClure Defendants and Plaintiff is in good faith

OPPOSITION by the City: Plaintiff incurred more than $22,000.00 in medical expenses and the McClure Defendants have not shown how a settlement of merely $2,700.00 is proportional to the potential liability.

OPPOSITION by Plaintiff: The McClure Defendants are liable for at least half of Plaintiff’s damages, or $12,500.00.

REPLY: This action arises from a trip and fall on a City owned sidewalk. There is no evidence that the McClure Defendants, as adjacent property owners, did anything to cause the incident. The City’s contention that the McClure Defendants’ lawn obscured a hole in the sidewalk is pure speculation unsupported by evidence.

SUPP. OPPO.: Plaintiff has disavowed the settlement as evidenced by her opposition. The McClure Defendants’ only recourse is to move to enforce the settlement under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Yolanda Rivas (“Plaintiff”) filed the operative Second Amended Complaint against City of South Pasadena (“City”), Karen A. McClure and McClure Trust (“the McClure Defendants”) on May 18, 2018, seeking damages for her trip and fall on a sidewalk. On March 22, 2019, the Court denied the City’s motion for summary judgment. On March 26, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a Third Amended Complaint and to reclassify the action to a court of unlimited jurisdiction.

On April 11, 2019, the McClure Defendants filed an Application for Determination of Good Faith Settlement (“the Application”). On April 18, 2019, the City filed its Motion to Contest Good Faith Settlement (“the Motion”). On September 9, 2019, Plaintiff filed an opposition to the Application.

The Motion initially came for hearing on September 10, 2019, at which time the Court continued the matter to allow the McClure Defendants to file an opposition. They filed their opposition to the Motion to Contest on October 9, 2019 and the City filed its reply on October 15, 2019.

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.)

On a motion to contest good faith settlement, “the moving party must set forth the value of the consideration paid and an evidentiary basis for that valuation, and must demonstrate that the valuation ‘was reached in a sufficiently adversarial manner to justify the presumption that a reasonable valuation was reached.’” (Franklin Mint Co. v. Superior Court (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 1550, 1558.) Only when the applying party has met its prima facie burden of showing that the proposed settlement amount is entitled to a presumption of reasonableness does the burden shifts to the party moving to contest to demonstrate bad faith.

Discussion

To determine whether a settlement is in good faith a trial court must inquire ‘whether the amount of the settlement is within the reasonable range of the settling tortfeasor’s proportional share of comparative liability for the plaintiff’s injuries.’ [Citation.]” (PacifiCare of California v. Bright Medical Associates, Inc. (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 1451, 1464.) Relevant factors to consider are “‘the financial conditions and insurance policy limits of settling defendants, as well as the existence of collusion, fraud or tortious conduct aimed at injuring the interests of nonsettling defendants. [Citation.]’ [Citation.]” (Long Beach Memorial Medical Center v. Superior Court (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 865, 873.) “[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.)

In the Application, the McClure Defendants showed that they have an insurance policy covering the subject incident in the amount of $1,000 per occurrence and that there was no collusion, fraud or tortious conduct aimed at injuring the interests of City. (Appl. pp. 3-4, Conroy Decl. ¶¶ 2, 6.) They also submitted a letter from Plaintiff demanding damages totaling $4,700. (Appl., Exh. B.) These factors carried the McClure Defendants’ prima facie burden. In its Motion to Contest, however, the City argued that Plaintiff incurred medical expenses of $22,288.85 and that a settlement of only $2,700.00 was grossly disproportionate to the McClure Defendants’ liability. (Motion, pp. 3-4.)

“The settling party’s proportionate liability is one of the most important factors. [Citation.]” (Long Beach Memorial Medical Center v. Superior Court (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 865, 873.) The amount of damages in this action are still disputed and the City and Plaintiff have shown a possibility that she incurred more than $22,000.00 in relation to this incident. Further, if a settlement of $2,700.00 is proportional where the damages claimed are less than $5,000.00, they cannot be proportional when the damages claimed are four times that amount. Third, the City presents evidence of the McClure Defendants’ liability. (Motion, Exh. B.) Finally, and most damaging to the Application is that Plaintiff herself disavows the settlement and contends it was not reached in good faith. The McClure Defendants offer no basis for a determination of good faith where one of the settling parties contends she should not have entered the settlement.

Based on the foregoing, the Motion to Contest Determination of Good Faith Settlement is GRANTED.