This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2019 at 09:01:56 (UTC).

AARON NG ET AL VS LEXMAR DISTRIBUTION INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 10/31/2016 AARON NG filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against LEXMAR DISTRIBUTION INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are STEPHEN P. PFAHLER, BENNY C. OSORIO and ELAINE LU. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8470

  • Filing Date:

    10/31/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

STEPHEN P. PFAHLER

BENNY C. OSORIO

ELAINE LU

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

NG AARON

CHEN XUE FANG

LI WEI XIONG

LI WEI XIONG CASE BC644206

Defendants, Respondents, Cross Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

TORRAO KIMBERLY

LEXMAR DISTRIBUTION INC

LOPEZ RICHARD

DOES ONE-ONE HUNDRED

CHEN XUE FANG

LDI TRUCKING INC

BULLOCK MILES

LEXMAR DISTRIBUTION INC.

TOYOTA MOTOR SALES U.S.A. INC.

TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING INDIANA INC.

LEX HOLDINGS INC.

LI WEI XIONG

GALO TRUCKING INC.

TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING

TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA INC.

TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURE NORTH AMERIA INC.

Others

ARMSTRONG ROBERT W. ESQ.

BREMER WHYTE BROWN & O'MEARA LAW O/O

27 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant, Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

GERTLER JONATHAN E. ESQ.

LAW OFFICES OF WALKUP MELODIA KELLY &

GERTLER JONATHAN EDMUND

KELLY MICHAEL ALBERT

DEMLER ARMSTRONG & ROWLAND LLP

GERTLER JONATHAN EDMUND ESQ.

PEER JOHN EDWARD ESQ.

Defendant, Respondent and Petitioner Attorneys

BERGSTEN ROBERT TROY

BRISCOE J. JACKSON ESQ.

BREMER WHYTE BROWN & O'MEARA LLP

MACDONALD SCOTT LEE

BERGSTEN ROBERT T. ESQ.

HANSEN DAVID PAUL

FIOL DAVID LEE

BRENT JOSEPH PETER

CHEADLE SAMUEL P.

SAELTZER DOUGLAS SENGER

GERTLER JONATHAN E. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

BRISCOE J. JACKSON ESQ.

BREMER WHYTE BROWN & O'MEARA LLP

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

BERGSTEN ROBERT T. ESQ.

HANSEN DAVID PAUL

BERGSTEN ROBERT TROY ESQ.

6 More Attorneys Available

 

Court Documents

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

7/29/2019: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Opposition

8/13/2019: Opposition

OPPOSITION TO CROSS-DEFENDANT AARON NG?S MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT; DECLARATION OF MARY M. CAMPO

4/24/2018: OPPOSITION TO CROSS-DEFENDANT AARON NG?S MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT; DECLARATION OF MARY M. CAMPO

Notice of Ruling

7/24/2018: Notice of Ruling

Opposition

8/2/2018: Opposition

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

8/3/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

8/3/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

8/3/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

8/3/2018: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Other -

8/28/2018: Other -

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

9/5/2018: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order

9/6/2018: Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order

Response

10/23/2018: Response

Certificate of Mailing for

10/25/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

10/31/2016: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

CIVIL DEPOSIT

11/30/2016: CIVIL DEPOSIT

SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

12/6/2016: SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES)

2/7/2017: CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES)

261 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/09/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 09/13/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Order to Show Cause Re: (name extension)

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  • 09/13/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Case Management Conference

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  • 09/13/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Order to Show Cause Re: (name extension)

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  • 09/10/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Hearing on Motion for Protective Order

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  • 09/05/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Hearing on Motion for Order (name extension)

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  • 08/26/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Hearing on Motion to Quash (name extension)

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  • 08/19/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Hearing on Motion to Quash (name extension)

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  • 08/13/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F49, Stephen P. Pfahler, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 08/13/2019
  • DocketResponse (Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants Lexmar Distribution, Inc.; LDI Trucking, inc.; Richard Lopez, Gaio Trucking, inc.; & Lex Holdings, inc.'s Separate Statement re Motion to Quash Plaintiffs' Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records from Wil); Filed by XUE FANG CHEN (Plaintiff); AARON NG (Plaintiff)

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449 More Docket Entries
  • 11/15/2016
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons

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  • 11/15/2016
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by AARON NG (Plaintiff); XUE FANG CHEN (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/15/2016
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 11/15/2016
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketComplaint

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by AARON NG (Plaintiff); XUE FANG CHEN (Plaintiff); LI, WEI XIONG (CASE BC644206) (Plaintiff) et al.

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC638470    Hearing Date: August 04, 2020    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 3

Date: 08-04-20 C/F 04-24-20

Case #BC638470

Trial Date: not yet scheduled (trial setting conference scheduled for 08-04-20)

APPLICATION TO BE ADMITTED PRO HAC VICE

MOVING PARTY: Attorney David P. Stone for the Toyota Defendants

RESPONDING PARTY: None

RELIEF REQUESTED

Application for Attorney David P. Stone to be Admitted Pro Hac Vice

SUMMARY OF ACTION

These consolidated actions arise out of an automobile accident that occurred on June 28, 2016 on I-5 near Gorman, California. Plaintiff Ng was traveling south on I-5 in a rented passenger van, with Ng driving. Plaintiff’s wife and children were in the rear seats. The van was first rear-ended by a BMW driven by Defendant Miles Bullock. The van then came to rest near the side of the highway. Plaintiffs allege that shortly thereafter a tractor-trailer driven by Defendant Richard Lopez collided with the van, with Plaintiff’s family still inside. The van was pushed down an embankment, ignited, and the occupants were killed. Plaintiff Ng survived.

Plaintiff Ng and his mother-in-law, Xue Fang Chen, commenced this action on October 31, 2016. Plaintiffs filed the operative first amended complaint on June 20, 2018 alleging causes of action for (1) negligence/wrongful death, (2) strict products liability, (3) negligent failure to warn, (4) negligent design and manufacture, (5) negligent (post sale), (6) negligent infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiffs name as Defendants Lexmar Distribution, Inc.; LDI Trucking, Inc.; Richard Lopez; Miles Bullock; Kimberly Torrao; Toyota Motor Corporation; City Toyota Trac; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc.; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.; and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

On November 14, 2019, Attorney David P. Stone filed the subject motion for an order to be admitted as counsel pro hac vice for the Toyota Defendants. On the court’s own motion, the hearing on motion to be admitted pro hac vice scheduled for February 26, 2020 was continued to April 24, 2020 to allow Counsel to demonstrate proper service of the application on the State Bar of California. Counsel filed a supplemental brief on March 3, 2020.

RULING

Granted.

Attorney David P. Stone (“Counsel”) moves to be admitted pro hac vice.

Counsel seeks to appear pro hac vice on behalf of the Toyota Defendants. Counsel is not a resident of California, his office address is located in Texas, and he does not regularly work in California. Counsel is member in good standing of the Texas federal courts (and presumably the Texas State Bar, though not explicitly listed in his application). Counsel has applied to appear pro hac vice in three cases in California state courts in the past two years. Counsel has indicated that the California attorneys of record are from Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. for the Toyota Defendants.

Counsel has paid the $50 filing fee to the California State Bar and the $500 filing fee for this application.

In its supplemental brief, Counsel demonstrates having submitted copies of the Notice of Motion, Motion, Verified Applications of David P. Stone in Support of Pro Hac Vic Admission on Behalf of the Toyota Defendants, and the Proposed Order to the State Bar of California on November 14, 2019. (See Supp. Brief, Exh. A.) The credit card authorization form was faxed to the State Bar on November 14, 2019. (See Supp. Brief, Exh. B.)

Accordingly, the Court grants this application.

Counsel to provide notice.

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 3

Date: 08-04-20 C/F 03-30-20

Case #BC638470

Trial Date: not yet scheduled (trial setting conference scheduled for 08-04-20)

SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

MOVING PARTY: Defendants, Gaio Trucking, Inc. (Doe 1) and Lex Holdings, Inc. (Doe 2)

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiffs, Aaron Ng, Xue Fang Chen, and Wei Xiong Li

RELIEF REQUESTED

Motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication.

· Plaintiffs Ng and Chen’s1st Cause of Action: Negligence/Wrongful Death;

· Plaintiffs Ng and Chen’s 2nd Cause of Action: Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress;

· Plaintiff Li’s 1st Cause of Action: Negligence/Wrongful Death; and

· Plaintiff Li’s 2nd Cause of Action: Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress.

SUMMARY OF ACTION

These consolidated actions arise out of an automobile accident that occurred on June 28, 2016 on I-5 near Gorman, California.  Plaintiffs Aaron Ng and Wei Xiong Li were traveling south on I-5 in a rented passenger van, with Ng driving.  Plaintiffs’ wives and children were in the rear seats.  The van was first rear-ended by a BMW driven by Defendant Miles Bullock.  The van then came to rest near the side of the highway.  Plaintiffs allege that thereafter a tractor-trailer driven by Defendant Richard Lopez collided with the van, with Plaintiffs’ family members still inside.  The van was pushed down an embankment, ignited, and the occupants were killed.  Plaintiffs Ng and Li survived. 

Plaintiff Ng and his mother-in-law, Xue Fang Chen, commenced this action on October 31, 2016.  Plaintiffs filed the operative first amended complaint on June 20, 2018 alleging causes of action for (1) negligence/wrongful death, (2) strict products liability, (3) negligent failure to warn, (4) negligent design and manufacture, (5) negligent (post sale), (6) negligent infliction of emotional distress.  Plaintiffs name as Defendants Lexmar Distribution, Inc.; LDI Trucking, Inc.; Richard Lopez; Miles Bullock; Kimberly Torrao; Toyota Motor Corporation; City Toyota Trac; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc.; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.; and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

Plaintiff Li separately filed a lawsuit on December 19, 2016 against Defendants Lexmar Distribution, Inc.; LDI Trucking, Inc.; Richard Lopez; Miles Bullock; and Kimberly Torrao.  Plaintiff Li alleges causes of action for (1) negligence/wrongful death, and (2) negligent infliction of emotional distress. 

On May 1, 2017, pursuant to a stipulation to consolidate, filed by the parties, the cases were consolidated. 

On June 7, 2019, Defendants Gaio Trucking, Inc. (“Gaio Trucking”) and Lex Holdings, Inc. (“Lex Holdings”) (collectively, “Moving Defendants”) filed a motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication.  On March 13, 2020, Plaintiffs jointly filed an opposition.  Moving Defendants filed its reply on July 30, 2020.  

The court has considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers, and rules accordingly as follows.

REQUESTS FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

Moving Defendants’ request for judicial notice is granted as to the following documents:

1.) The complaint of Plaintiffs Ng and Fang;

2.) The complaint of Plaintiff Li;

3.) Moving Defendants’ answer to the complaint of Plaintiffs Ng and Fang; and

4.) Moving Defendants’ answer to the complaint of Plaintiff Li.

Plaintiffs’ request for judicial notice is granted as to the following documents:

1.) The July 16, 2018 Minute Order denying Defendant Lexmar Distribution, Inc.’s motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication;

2.) The Declaration of Alexander Kole in Support of Defendant Lexmar Distribution, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment or, in the Alternative, Summary Adjudication; and

3.) The Declaration of Anita Kerezman in Opposition to Defendant Lexmar Distribution, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment or, in the Alternative, Summary Adjudication.

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

Moving Defendants’ evidentiary objections: Overruled as to Objection Nos. 1-13, 17-34. The court declines to rule on the following objections as they are not material to the court’s disposition of this motion: Objection Nos. 14-16.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (q).) 

RULING

Motion for Summary Judgment is Denied; Motion for Summary Adjudication is Denied.

Moving Defendants move for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication as to the First Cause of Action for Negligence/Wrongful Death and Second Cause of Action for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress alleged in Plaintiffs’ operative complaints on the following grounds: (1) Plaintiffs have alleged no facts to support any claim that Moving Defendants directly engaged in conduct towards Plaintiffs which fall below the standard of care; (2) there is no evidence to support agency liability against Moving Defendants; (3) there is no evidence to support a claim that co-Defendants LDI Trucking, Inc. or Lexmar Distribution, Inc. were engaged in a joint venture with either of the Moving Defendants; and (4) there is no evidence to support a claim of alter ego liability against either of the Moving Defendants.

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.”  (Aguilar v. Atl. Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.)  “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”  (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.) 

“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.”  (Scalf v. D.B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.)  A defendant moving for summary judgment “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established.”  (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).)  “Once the defendant . . . has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.”  (Ibid.) 

“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inference that may be drawn form that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.”  (Avivi, 159 Cal.App.4th at 467; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).)  “An issue of fact can only be created by a conflict in the evidence.  It is not created by speculation, conjecture, imagination or guesswork.”  (Lyons v. Security Pacific National Bank (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 1001, 1041 (citation omitted).) 

A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action, affirmative defenses, claims for damages, or issues of duty if that party contends that there is no merit to the cause of action, defense, or claim for damages, or if the party contends that there is no duty owed.  (See Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).)  “A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.”  (See ibid.)  A cause of action has no merit if: (1) one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be separately established, even if that element is separately pleaded , or (2) a defendant establishes an affirmative defense to that cause of action.  (See Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (n); Union Bank v. Superior Court (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 573, 583.)  Once the defendant has shown that a cause of action has not merit, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show that that a triable issue of material fact exists as to that cause of action.  (See Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (o)(2); Union Bank, 31 Cal.App.4th at 583.) 

Plaintiffs do not oppose Moving Defendants’ contention that it has failed to plead facts in their complaints to support a claim that Gaio Trucking or Lex Holdings are directly liable for Plaintiffs’ alleged damages.  Plaintiffs’ operative complaints contain no specific factual allegations that would support a theory of directly liability as to Moving Defendants.  Pleadings serve as the “outer measure of materiality” in a summary judgment motion, and the motion may not be granted or denied on issues not raised by the pleadings.  (Laabs v. City of Victorville (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 1242, 1258.)  Neither do Plaintiffs oppose Moving Defendants’ contentions that Plaintiffs cannot establish that Gaio Trucking or Lex Holdings can be liable under an agency theory.  The main test of an employment relationship is whether the employer has the right to control the manner and means of accomplishing the result.  (Michael v. Denbeste Transportation, Inc. (2006) 137 Cal.App.4th 1082, 1093 fn. 5.)  It is undisputed that Defendant Lopez was neither Gaio Trucking nor Lex Holdings’ employee.  (Defendant’s Undisputed Material Fact (“DUMF”) Nos. 25, 40, 46-47.)  Neither of the Moving Defendants paid Lopez, instructed Lopez or LDI Trucking on how to drive a truck, did not instruct Lopez or LDI Trucking on how to load or unload trucks, and did not train Lopez or LDI Trucking in any aspect of their transportation work.  (DUMF Nos. 41, 45, 46, 48.)  Therefore, Moving Defendants’ liability rests on Plaintiffs’ allegations that Moving Defendants are alter egos of co-defendants Lexmar and LDI.  (See Defendants’ Request for Judicial Notice (“DRJN”), Exh. A [Ng and Chen’s FAC, ¶ 17]; Exh. B [Li’s Compl., ¶ 9].) 

A court may disregard the corporate form in order to hold one corporation liable for the debts of another affiliated corporation when the latter “‘is so organized and controlled, and its affairs are so conducted, as to make it merely an instrumentality, agency, conduit, or adjunct of another corporation.’”  (Las Palmas Associates v. Las Palmas Center Associates (1991) 235 Cal.App.3d 1220, 1249, quoting McLoughlin v. L. Bloom Sons Co. (1962) 206 Cal.App.2d 848, 851.)  Under the “single business enterprise” doctrine, separate corporations may operate with integrated resources in pursuit of a single business purpose.  (Toho-Towa Co., Ltd. v. Morgan Creek Productions, Inc. (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 1096, 1107-08.)  Under such circumstances, the affiliated corporations may be deemed a single business enterprise, and the corporate veil pierced.  (Id. at 1007.)  Factors for the court to consider in determining whether the corporate veil should be pierced include the commingling of funds and assets of the corporate entities, identical equitable ownership in the corporate entities, use of the same offices and employees, disregard of corporate formalities, identical directors and officers, and use of one as a mere shell or conduit for the affairs of the others.  (See id. at 11008-09.)  This list of factors is not exhaustive, and no single factor is determinative.  (Id. at 1109; Greenspan v. LADT, LLC (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 486, 512-13.)  Whether an alter ego relationship exists is generally an issue of fact.  (VirtualMagic Asia, Inc. v. Fil-Cartoons, Inc. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 228, 245.) 

Here, the court finds that sufficient evidence has been presented by Plaintiff to establish that triable issues of material fact exist regarding whether Moving Defendants and co-defendants Lexmar and LDI Trucking (collectively, the “Lexmar entities”) operate as a single business enterprise.  First, Plaintiffs present evidence that the Lexmar entities share common ownership, officers, employees, and office space.  (See Toho-Towa Co., Ltd., 217 Cal.App.4th at 1107.)  Alexander Kole has an ownership interest in Lexmar, LDI, and Gaio Trucking – he is the majority shareholder of Lexmar, the sole owner of LDI Trucking, part owner of Gaio Trucking, and majority shareholder of Lex Holdings.  (Plaintiffs’ Additional Facts (“PAF”) Nos. 3-5, 9, 15.)  Marlon Brover is the only other shareholder of Lexmar, is part owner of Gaio Trucking, and majority shareholder of Lex Holdings.  (PAF Nos. 4, 9, 23)  Kole is also president of all four companies, and Brover is a corporate office for Lexmar, Gaio, and Lex Holdings.  (PAF Nos. 24-25.)  There is a dispute as to whether the Lexmar entities participated in a common venture.  (See DUMF Nos. 24, 37, 85; see also PAF Nos. 1, 5-12, 16-17, 20-22, 26-27, 29, 30, 40-43.)  Such evidence tends to infer that the Lexmar entities participate in a common venture of hauling freight for their customers, and shared to support their trucking operations.  For instance, Kole and Barnett’s deposition testimony establish that Lexmar’s website advertises both LDI’s and Gaio’s trucking services and even tout their collected fleet of 350 tractors and 800 trailers used for transportation.  (PAF Nos. 16-17.)  Kole was also unable to testify as to the number of trailers LDI owns, although he at one point testified that LDI does not own or have any ownership interest in any tractors or trailers.  (PAF Nos. 18-19.) There is also a dispute as to the financial structure and commingling of funds among the Lexmar entities.  While Moving Defendants contend that they maintain their revenue, costs, and profits separately from LDI Trucking, deposition testimony of Kole, Brover, Liz Barnett, and Vahe Avedisian shows that the Lexmar entities used their financial resources to pay or guaranty various obligations among the Lexmar entities.  (See DUMF Nos. 37, 85, 133, 181, 229, 277; see also PAF Nos. 35-43; see also Las Palmas, 235 Cal.App.3d at 1250 (finding separate corporations formed a single enterprise where one guaranteed loans for the other).)  There is also evidence that Gaio Trucking and LDI Trucking were undercapitalized in that they were unable to make payroll, and thus Lexmar Holdings used its resources to fund both Gaio Trucking and LDI Trucking.  (PAF No. 36.)  For instance, Kole confirmed during his deposition that Lexmar had loaned money to Gaio and LDI when those entities could not make payroll.  Avedsian confirmed during deposition that money was being transferred from Lexmar to LDI in “an amount to meet LDI’s obligations” that was not accounted for as a debt.  (Id.)  There is further evidence of Lexmar serving as guarantor for a loan from U.S. Bank to Lex Holdings, which Lex Holdings used to acquire real property, and vice versa.  (PAF Nos. 40, 43.)  Further, Plaintiff presents undisputed evidence that Lexmar pays the DMV registrations for tractors and trailers owned by Lexmar, LDI, and Gaio, as well as the premium for the liability insurance policy covering the three entities.  (PAF Nos. 37-38.)  While such factual evidence is argued as being irrelevant by Moving Defendants, the Moving Defendants have not cited any legal authority for its assertion.  Rather, the court finds Plaintiffs have put forth sufficient admissible evidence to raise a triable issue as to Moving Defendants’ alter ego liability.  A reasonable juror could conclude from the evidence presented that the four Lexmar entities operate as a single business enterprise under the fiction of operating as separate corporate entities.  Further, given the factual allegations in Plaintiffs’ complaint, as well as the disputed nature regarding the business enterprise amongst the Moving Defendants, sufficient evidence also exists to create a triable issue as to whether it would be inequitable for the Lexmar entities to be considered separate corporations.  (See Misik v. D’Arco (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1065, 1074.) 

Because the court has found that a triable dispute of material fact exists as to the Moving Defendants’ alter ego liability, summary adjudication as to the First and Second Causes of Action of Plaintiffs’ complaints would be procedurally improper.  Code of Civil Procedure section 437c(f)(1) provides that summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action shall be granted “only if it completely disposes of a cause of action.”  Here, the issue of alter ego liability precludes complete disposition of the First and Second Causes of Action against the Moving Defendants.  Accordingly, Moving Defendants’ motion is denied in its entirety.

Defendants are ordered to give notice.