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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 03/07/2021 at 03:46:58 (UTC).

ALVIN TATE VS FCA US LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/05/2015 ALVIN TATE filed a Personal Injury - Other Product Liability lawsuit against FCA US LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DEBRE K. WEINTRAUB, CARY NISHIMOTO, HOLLY J. FUJIE, TERESA A. BEAUDET, MICHAEL HARWIN, ANTHONY MOHR, MICHAEL B. HARWIN, OWEN LEE KWONG and DEBRE KATZ WEINTRAUB. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4630

  • Filing Date:

    03/05/2015

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Product Liability

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

DEBRE K. WEINTRAUB

CARY NISHIMOTO

HOLLY J. FUJIE

TERESA A. BEAUDET

MICHAEL HARWIN

ANTHONY MOHR

MICHAEL B. HARWIN

OWEN LEE KWONG

DEBRE KATZ WEINTRAUB

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

TATE ALVIN

Defendants and Cross Defendants

COREY FLORENCE EVELYN

CRYSTAL CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH-DODGE INC.

DOES 1 THROUGH 100

FCA US LLC

J. VELARDE INC. (DOE 2)

CRYSTAL CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM

J. VELARDE INC.

CRYSTAL CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM [DOE 1]

J. VELARDE INC. [DOE 2]

DOES 1 TO 100

CRYSTAL CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH DODGE INC.

DOES 1-100

RAM CRYSTAL CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE

CRYSTAL CHRYSLER- PLYMOUTH DODGE INC.

SHERR DOE 4 ROBERT

Defendants and Respondents

CRYSTAL CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH-DODGE INC.

DOES 1 THROUGH 100

J. VELARDE INC. (DOE 2)

CRYSTAL CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

FCA US LLC

Guardian Ad Litems and Not Classified By Court

TATE CLARENCE

RANDLE JEANNIE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

JOSEPH DANIEL DAVIS ATTORNEY AT LAW

DAVIS JOSEPH DANIEL

COSGROVE PHILIP RUSSELL

Plaintiff and Defendant Attorneys

COSGROVE PHILIP RUSSELL

FORD WALKER HAGGERTY & BEHAR LAW O/O

SEDGWICK LLP (PHILIP COSGROVE)

GIBBS PATRICK J. ESQ.

COSGROVE RYAN

SEDGWICK LLP

FORD WALKER HAGGERTY & BEHAR

HAWKINS PARNELL THACKSTON & YOUNG

HARWOOD KATHERINE MARIE

MAUCH MARION VINCENT

ULLOA EDWARD RICHARD

Defendant and Respondent Attorney

GIBBS PATRICK J. ESQ.

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

SEDGWICK LLP (PHILIP COSGROVE)

HAWKINS PARNELL THACKSTON & YOUNG

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Legacy Event Type : Trial Previously Started)

10/19/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (Legacy Event Type : Trial Previously Started)

Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

1/23/2019: Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

PI TRIAL TRANSFER ORDER

9/17/2018: PI TRIAL TRANSFER ORDER

PI TRIAL TRANSFER ORDER

3/23/2018: PI TRIAL TRANSFER ORDER

FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.35 TO EXCLUDE FCA EXHIBIT 1099

7/12/2018: FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.35 TO EXCLUDE FCA EXHIBIT 1099

ORDER RE: DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S MOTION TO SEAL CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS PRODUCED IN DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER

7/30/2018: ORDER RE: DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S MOTION TO SEAL CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS PRODUCED IN DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER

[PLAINTTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 35] PLAINTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 35 TO EXCLUDE FCA EXHIBIT 1099

8/28/2018: [PLAINTTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 35] PLAINTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 35 TO EXCLUDE FCA EXHIBIT 1099

FCA US LLC'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO.22 TO EXCLUDE SHAYLA TATE FROM TESTIFYING AT TRIAL

9/17/2018: FCA US LLC'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO.22 TO EXCLUDE SHAYLA TATE FROM TESTIFYING AT TRIAL

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

5/10/2016: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

[PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3] PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF OTHER ACCIDENTS OR VEHICLE CODE VIOLATIONS; DECLARATION OF JOSEPH DANIEL DAVIS

5/3/2017: [PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3] PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF OTHER ACCIDENTS OR VEHICLE CODE VIOLATIONS; DECLARATION OF JOSEPH DANIEL DAVIS

[PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 6] PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE THAT A RECALL NOTICE WAS SENT TO DANIEL COREY; DECLARATION OF JOSEPH DANIEL DAVIS

5/3/2017: [PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 6] PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE THAT A RECALL NOTICE WAS SENT TO DANIEL COREY; DECLARATION OF JOSEPH DANIEL DAVIS

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO FCA US LLC'S SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS AGAINST PLAINTIFF; DECLARATION OF JOSEPH DANIEL DAVIS

5/4/2017: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO FCA US LLC'S SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS AGAINST PLAINTIFF; DECLARATION OF JOSEPH DANIEL DAVIS

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO FCA US LLC'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 13

5/10/2017: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO FCA US LLC'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 13

DECLARATION OF PHILIP R. COSGROVE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT FCA US' SUPPLEMENTAL REPLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS AGAINST PLAINTIFF

5/15/2017: DECLARATION OF PHILIP R. COSGROVE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT FCA US' SUPPLEMENTAL REPLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS AGAINST PLAINTIFF

ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

5/25/2017: ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

FCA US LLC'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO.17 TO EXCLUDE THE SPECULATIVE AND UNRELIABLE OPINIONS OF ROBERT ANDERSON

6/20/2017: FCA US LLC'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO.17 TO EXCLUDE THE SPECULATIVE AND UNRELIABLE OPINIONS OF ROBERT ANDERSON

PLAINTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.3

6/21/2017: PLAINTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.3

FCA US LLC'S EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO PLAINTIFF'S REPLIES TO FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITIONS TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE

6/29/2017: FCA US LLC'S EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO PLAINTIFF'S REPLIES TO FCA US LLC'S OPPOSITIONS TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE

589 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/13/2021
  • Hearing05/13/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Stay of Proceedings

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  • 05/13/2021
  • Hearing05/13/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel deposition

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  • 05/13/2021
  • Hearing05/13/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 03/02/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (Terminating Sanctions) - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 03/02/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Stay of Proceedings - Held - Continued

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  • 03/02/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 03/02/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (deposition) - Held - Continued

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  • 03/02/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Status Conference (re case plan) - Held

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  • 03/02/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 03/02/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Status Conference (re conservator) - Held

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1,567 More Docket Entries
  • 03/11/2015
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. STRICT PRODUCT LIABILITY; ETC

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketComplaint Filed

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Alvin Tate (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVIL

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketApplication-Miscellaneous (FOR ALVIN TATE GUARDIAN AD LITEM ); Filed by Attorney for Pltf/Petnr

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Alvin Tate (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Alvin Tate (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC574630    Hearing Date: May 13, 2021    Dept: 50

 

 

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

alvin tate,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

fca us llc, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC574630

Hearing Date:

May 13, 2021

Hearing Time:

10:00 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

DEFENDANT FCA US LLC’S MOTIONS

(1) TO COMPEL DEPOSITION OF CLARENCE TATE AND

(2) FOR PARTIAL STAY OF ACTION

Background

This cases arises out of a car accident involving a 1998 Dodge Caravan and an airbag that did not deploy.

On March 5, 2015, Plaintiff Alvin Tate (“Alvin”) [1], an incompetent adult, by and through his Guardian Ad Litem,[2] Clarence Tate (“Clarence”), filed his complaint for strict product liability and “negligence product liability” against Defendants FCA US LLC (“FCA”), Crystal Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge, Inc., Florence Evelyn Cory, and Does 1 through 100. Alvin alleges that he sustained injuries when the airbag in the 1998 Dodge Caravan (the “Subject Vehicle”) he was driving failed to deploy during a collision.

This matter proceeded to a trial in September 2018. During jury deliberations, the Court received testimony regarding certain alleged misconduct by Alvin’s counsel Joseph Davis (“Davis”). This matter ultimately resulted in a mistrial because of a hung jury.

FCA has two motions currently before the Court, moving the Court to (1) compel the deposition of Clarence, and (2) for the partial stay of the action.

Alvin opposes both motions and FCA filed replies.

Deposition Motion

Legal Standard

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, subdivision (a), the court may make an order to direct compliance with a deposition subpoena.

“[U]pon motion reasonably made by the party, [the Court] may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon such terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders.” (Lee v. Swansboro Country Property Owners Ass’n (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 575, 582.)

Analysis

There is no dispute that FCA’s deposition subpoena is a proper subpoena. The only dispute is whether FCA needed to personally serve Clarence with the instant motion to compel his deposition.

The first issue is whether personal service is required. FCA contends that it is not required pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.480, subdivision (c). However, that provision provides that the motion must be served “in writing” and does not expressly state the manner of service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (c) [“Notice of this motion shall be given to all parties and to the deponent either orally at the examination, or by subsequent service in writing. If the notice of the motion is given orally, the deposition officer shall direct the deponent to attend a session of the court at the time specified in the notice.”].) Further, California Rules of Court, rule 3.1346 states that “[a] written notice and all moving papers supporting a motion to compel an answer to a deposition question or to compel production of a document or tangible thing from a nonparty deponent must be personally served on the nonparty deponent unless the nonparty deponent agrees to accept service by mail or electronic service at an address or electronic service address specified on the deposition record.” Based on this rule, the Court finds at the outset that personal service is required.

However, FCA contends that Clarence accepted service by other means. While the Court credits FCA’s contention that it served the instant motion by email on April 6, 2021 (Mauch Decl. ¶ 5) and overnight delivery on April 19, 2021 (April 19, 2021 proof of service), there is no proof that Clarence accepted service by those means. In its reply, FCA claims that Clarence asked that copies of the motion be sent to his email address. (Reply 3:10-13.) But the cited evidentiary proof (Maust Decl. ¶ 13) does not establish that fact, and instead merely states that Clarence provided an email address to the private investigator. The fact that Clarence confirmed receipt of the motion via overnight delivery to FCA’s private investigator (see Maust Reply Decl. ¶ 3), assuming the Court credits the hearsay conversation, does not otherwise overcome the requirement of personal service. In any event, the confirmation of the receipt of papers is not an agreement to accept the papers as delivered.

Accordingly, the Court denies without prejudice FCA’s motion to compel Clarence’s deposition. Because the Court denies FCA’s motion, the Court also denies FCA’s request for $2,982.00 in monetary sanctions.

Pursuant to C.C.P. ¶¶ 1209 and 1218, FCA moves alternatively for the Court to set an OSC re: contempt for Clarence’s failure to comply with the subpoena. The Court grants this requested relief, though FCA must still personally serve the notice of the Court’s ruling so that Clarence has proper notice. The Court will select a date for this OSC at the hearing.

Stay Motion

Legal Standard

“Trial courts generally have the inherent power to stay proceedings in the interests of justice and to promote judicial efficiency.” ((Freiberg v. City of Mission Viejo (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 1484, 1489.) The trial court has the authority to control litigation before it in order to ensure the orderly administration of justice. (See Code Civ. Proc., §§ 128, 187; (Rutherford v. Owens-Illinois, Inc. (1997) 16 Cal.4th 953, 967 [“It is also well established that courts have fundamental inherent equity, supervisory, and administrative powers, as well as inherent power to control litigation before them.”].)

Analysis

FCA moves for a partial stay to enable it to conduct discovery into the alleged misconduct by Davis and Alvin’s family members because it directly relates to threshold issues of whether the case can proceed, including (1) whether terminating sanctions against Alvin are warranted; (2) whether disqualification and/or withdrawal of Davis is appropriate; and (3) the extent to which FCA’s right to a fair trial has been impinged.

The Court agrees with FCA that a partial stay is necessary in these unique circumstances. If proven, evidence of spoliation, payment for favorable testimony and subornation of perjury could lead to sanctions and/or disqualification of counsel. Even if discovery regarding these issues does not lead to sanctions or disqualification, the Court agrees with FCA that the interests of justice demand that FCA have an opportunity to conduct more discovery into this issue in order to adequately defend itself at trial. However, the Court disagrees that this argument supports a stay of the entire action. It merely supports an opportunity for discovery by FCA on the topics identified in its motion and a stay of discovery by Plaintiff until FCA’s discovery has been completed.

In granting a stay, the Court notes that this is a partial, temporary stay. FCA must conduct discovery without delay. The Court will discuss a discovery list and completion dates with counsel at the hearing.

Finally, the Court makes this ruling notwithstanding Alvin’s arguments regarding the need to depose Andrew Kresmery. Alvin submits no evidence to support his claim that a delayed opportunity because of a stay to depose Kresmery will lead to Kresmery’s retirement or other unavailability to testify.

Conclusion

The Court denies FCA’s motion to compel Clarence’s deposition and request for monetary sanctions. However, the Court sets an OSC re: contempt for Clarence’s failure to comply with the subpoena. The Court will select a date for this OSC at the hearing.

The Court grants FCA’s motion for a partial stay of the action. All proceedings and discovery is stayed with the exception of discovery regarding Davis’ alleged misconduct as discussed above. The Court will discuss a discovery list and completion dates with counsel at the hearing.

FCA is to provide notice of this ruling, which includes personal service of the ruling regarding the OSC re: contempt on Clarence.

DATED: May 13, 2021 ________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court


[1] The parties and relevant individuals share a last name. For clarity, convenience, and in order to avoid confusion, the Court refers to them by their first names and intend no disrespect. (See, Cruz v. Superior Court (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 175, 188, fn. 13.)

[2] Clarence has since resigned as guardian ad litem.

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