On 07/18/2016 CHRISTOPHER AND TERESA DION filed a Contract - Insurance lawsuit against CENTURY-NATIONAL INSURANCE CO. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
DION CHRISTOPHER AND TERESA
DION CHRISTOPHER L.
DOES 1 - 25
CENTURY-NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY
NATIONAL GENERAL HOLDINGS CORP. DOE 3
NATIONAL GENERAL INSURANCE CO. DOE 2
KRAMER-WILSON COMPANY INC DOE 4
KRAMER-WILSON COMPANY INC. DOE 1A CA
ACCURATE LEAK LOCATORS INC[NON PARTY
DIONS CHRISTOPHER L.
POMERANCE EDWARD DREW
MOORE VALERIE ANN
WILSON ELSER MOSKOWITZ EDELMAN & DICKER
LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD & SMITH LLP
SELFRIDGE ALEXANDRA NATALIE
SICILIANO JOHN M. [NON PARTY ATTY]
1/12/2018: NOTICE OF RULING ON KRAMER-WILSON COMPANY, INC.'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER ADVANCING HEARING DATE OF MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR CLARIFICATION OF DECEMBER 4, 2017 COURT ORDER
2/14/2018: DEFENDANT CENTURY-NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER RE PLAINTIFFS' REQUEST FOR IDENTIFICATION AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET NO. 5
6/4/2018: DEFENDANT CENTURY-NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION OF APRIL 26, 2018 ORDER REGARDING MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER
10/26/2018: Other -
12/11/2018: Minute Order
1/4/2019: Notice of Intent to Appear by Telephone
2/5/2019: Minute Order
2/14/2017: ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME FOR PLAINTIFFS' NOTICE OF MOTION, AND MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION ATTENDANCE AND TESTIMONY OF (I) ROBERT KILLIAN AND (II) C
3/3/2017: DEFENDANT CENTURY-NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY'S AND NON-PARTY KRAMER-WILSON COMPANY, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER RE: DEPOSITION OF KRAMER-WILSON COMPANY, INC.'S PERSON MOST
5/9/2017: NOTICE OF LODGING
6/8/2017: AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT
6/12/2017: Minute Order
7/14/2017: Minute Order
9/7/2017: PLAINTIFFS' EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' (I) MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH THE COURT'S ORDER OF JULY 25, 2017 AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE AN ORDER S
10/20/2017: PLAINTIFFS' REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH THE COURT'S ORDERS OF JULY 25, 2017 AND SEPTEMBER 7, 2017, AND REQUEST FOR FURTHER MONETARY AND NON-MONETARY SANCTIONS
Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Century-National Insurance Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Ruling; Filed by Century-National Insurance Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 40; Hearing on Motion for an Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt (CCP 1209) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore; Filed by CHRISTOPHER L. DION (Plaintiff); Teresa Dion (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Order (Order to Show Cause Re Contempt Against Accurate Leak Locators and Tony Falco, its President & Ceo); Filed by CHRISTOPHER L. DION (Plaintiff); Teresa Dion (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for an Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt (CC...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 40; Hearing on Ex Parte Application ( to Continue Trial) - Held - Motion GrantedRead MoreRead Less
Ex Parte Application (Ex Parte Application to Continue Trial); Filed by Century-National Insurance Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application to Continue Trial)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Order (granting ex parte to continue trial date); Filed by Century-National Insurance Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by CHRISTOPHER L. DION (Plaintiff); Teresa Dion (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF RELATED CASERead MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF RELATED CASERead MoreRead Less
Notice of Related Case; Filed by CHRISTOPHER L. DION (Plaintiff); Teresa Dion (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by CHRISTOPHER L. DION (Plaintiff); Teresa Dion (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES (1) BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETCRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC627381 Hearing Date: February 25, 2020 Dept: 40
MOVING PARTY: Plaintiffs Christopher Dion and Teresa Dion
OPPOSITION: Specially Appearing Defendants National General Holdings Corp., and National General Insurance Company.
Plaintiffs Christopher and Teresa Dion (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) sues defendant Century-National Insurance Company (CNIC) for insurance bad faith arising from defendant's allegedly wrongfully denying plaintiffs' simple kitchen floor water damage claim. Former Defendants National General Holdings Corp., and National General Insurance Company (collectively, “Former Defendants”) filed a demurrer against Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) successfully arguing that Plaintiffs had failed to sufficiently allege their claim that they were the alter ego of CNIC.
On December 4, 2017, the Court SUSTAINED Former Defendants’ demurrer and on January 25, 2018, entered a judgment dismissing with prejudice Plaintiffs’ lawsuit against Defendants.
Plaintiffs bring this motion to set aside that judgment pursuant to CCP § 473(d), CCP § 128 and the court’s equitable powers.
Plaintiffs also request that Former Defendants be added as additional judgment debtors, that Defendants’ financial information be used for any punitive damages analysis, and an order compelling the deposition of NGHC's and NGIC's CEO and CFO.
Plaintiffs also request that Former Defendants and their attorneys be sanctioned.
Objections: Former Defendants’ objections Nos. 1-16 to the declaration of Plaintiffs’ Counsel and attached exhibits are overruled.
Standard: Code of Civil Procedure § 473(d) provides that: “The court … may, on motion of either party after notice to the other party, set aside any void judgment or order.” There is no time limit on a motion for relief under Section 473 where it is clear from the face of the record that the judgment should not have been entered. See Rogers v Silverman (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 1114, 1121-1122.
Code of Civil Procedure § 128(a) states that: “[e]very court shall have the power to do all of the following: “(8) To amend and control its process and orders so as to make them conform to law and justice.
Intentional Misrepresentation Analysis: Whether a party is liable under an alter ego theory is a question of fact. Two conditions must be met before the alter ego doctrine will be invoked. First, there must be such a unity of interest and ownership between the corporation and its equitable owner that the separate personalities of the corporation and the shareholder do not in reality exist. Second, there must be an inequitable result if the acts in question are treated as those of the corporation alone. Sonora Diamond Corp. v. Superior Court (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 523, 538.
The Court previously found that Plaintiffs had insufficiently alleged the second element of alter ego, an inequitable result. The Court took judicial notice of a 2016 Department of Insurance annual statement showing that CNIC carried a surplus of over $248 million. The Court determine that “CNIC is sufficiently capitalized…. Therefore, the second alter ego pleading element is absent.” (12/4/17 Minute Order, pg. 6.)
Plaintiffs argue that Former Defendants made an intentional misrepresentation to the Court about the surplus. Plaintiffs state that CNIC’s June 30, 2017 quarterly financial statement was the then current financial statement. The June 30, 2017 statement indicated that CNIC only had a $41 million surplus. (Pomerance Dec. ¶ 7.) Plaintiffs allege that Former Defendants “looted” CNIC by making a $210 million dividend to themselves, to make it judgment proof. Plaintiffs state that CNIC is ceded its policies to a new company controlled by Former Defendants, Integon National Insurance Company.
The Court finds that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that Former Defendants made an intentional misrepresentation.
Former Defendants do not explain why the June 30, 2017 quarterly financial statement, rather than the 2016 annual financial statement, was submitted to the court. However, the 2016 financial statement was an accurate statement. Plaintiffs, of whom one is an attorney and were at the time in pro per, did not challenge the request for judicial notice or request that notice be taken of the June 30, 2017 quarterly statement.
Regardless of the dispute about the statements, the Court finds that CNIC is currently sufficiently capitalized. CNIC’s September 30, 2019 financial statement indicates that they have a $32 million surplus. Contrary to Plaintiffs’ assertion, CNIC appears to still be actively writing policies and has admitted assets of $117,546,307. (Weissmann Decl., Ex. 20.) Considering the cited figures, CNIC cannot credibly be categorized as being judgment proof.
Fraudulent Judgment Analysis: Plaintiffs also argue that Former Defendants’ submitted a fraudulent judgment. Plaintiffs cite to the minute order which states: “Ultimately, this decision [to grant the demurrer] does not prejudice plaintiffs because plaintiffs might potentially have an opportunity to attempt to bring NGHC and NGIC back into the case for collections purposes if needed in an appropriate post-judgment proceeding.” (12/4/17 Minute Order) (italics added.) Plaintiffs state that the quoted section conflicts with Defendants’ judgment which was entered with prejudice.
The Court does not find Former Defendants’ judgment to be fraudulent or contradictory to the minute order and again clarifies that if there is a judgment entered against CNIC, and if CNIC is unable to satisfy such judgment, then the Court can and will consider the request to amend the judgment to add Former Defendants as judgment debtors pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 187.
Section 187 grants the Court the power to use all means to carry its jurisdiction into effect—and this includes the power to amend a judgment to add additional judgment debtors.
The will, however, strike the words “with prejudice” from page 3, line 4, of the submitted Judgment in Favor of Defendants National General Holdings Corp and National General Insurance Company, and signed by the Court on January 25, 2018.
Sanctions: As the Court has denied Plaintiffs’ motion, their request for various sanctions and remedies is also denied.
Conclusion: Plaintiffs’ Motion to Vacate the Judgment is DENIED and Moving Party to provide notice.
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