This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/08/2019 at 15:15:43 (UTC).

DONNA ZOMALT VS L A COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHO

Case Summary

On 11/19/2015 DONNA ZOMALT filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against L A COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHO. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is CHRISTOPHER K. LUI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1746

  • Filing Date:

    11/19/2015

  • 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 Judge

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

ZOMALT DONNA

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 TO 20

LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPOR-

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

O'NEILL & MARCHIONDO

THE MERIDIAN LAW GROUP

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

WAINFELD GABRIEL H. ESQ.

WAINFELD GABRIEL HORACE

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF RULING

2/15/2018: NOTICE OF RULING

DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL; ETC

6/22/2018: DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL; ETC

Minute Order

10/18/2018: Minute Order

Notice of Ruling

10/22/2018: Notice of Ruling

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

11/28/2018: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF DEFENDANT TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO RESPOND TO DEMAND FOR INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS WITHOUT OBJECTION, ETC

3/18/2016: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF DEFENDANT TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO RESPOND TO DEMAND FOR INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS WITHOUT OBJECTION, ETC

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL SECOND MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF; ETC.

11/7/2016: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL SECOND MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF; ETC.

Minute Order

12/6/2016: Minute Order

NOTICE OF RULING

12/8/2016: NOTICE OF RULING

PROOF OF SERVICE OF ORDER

12/19/2016: PROOF OF SERVICE OF ORDER

MOTION IN LIMINE NO. TWO: DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE ANY EVIDENCE OR WITNESSES PLAINTIFF FAILED TO IDENTIFY DURING DISCOVERY; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF GABRIEL

3/29/2017: MOTION IN LIMINE NO. TWO: DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE ANY EVIDENCE OR WITNESSES PLAINTIFF FAILED TO IDENTIFY DURING DISCOVERY; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF GABRIEL

ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY (CENTRAL DISTRICT)

4/6/2017: ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY (CENTRAL DISTRICT)

Minute Order

4/21/2017: Minute Order

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

6/12/2017: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC [ AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES ] PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY

6/19/2017: ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC [ AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES ] PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY

Minute Order

10/30/2017: Minute Order

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY'S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO RESPOND TO SUPPLEMENTAL INTERROGATORIES; ETC.

11/30/2017: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY'S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO RESPOND TO SUPPLEMENTAL INTERROGATORIES; ETC.

RESPONSE TO SUPPLEMENTAL INTERROGATORY

11/30/2017: RESPONSE TO SUPPLEMENTAL INTERROGATORY

45 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/12/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/02/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 02/11/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transpor- (Defendant)

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  • 02/06/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to Continue Trial) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 02/06/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Defendant Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transpor...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/05/2019
  • Ex Parte Application (to Continue Trial); Filed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transpor- (Defendant)

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  • 01/04/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 01/04/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Plaintiff to Answer Supplemental Form Interrogatories; Demand for Monetary Sanctions against Plaintiff and her Attorney of Record;) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 01/04/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Plaintiff to Answer Supplemental Special Interrogatories; Demand for Monetary Sanctions against Plaintiff and her Attorney of Record;) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 01/04/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Plaintiff to Respond to Supplemental Demand for Inspection of Documents without Objections and for Monetary Sanctions against Plaintiff and her Attorney of Record;) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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112 More Docket Entries
  • 05/05/2016
  • Minute order entered: 2016-05-05 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/18/2016
  • Motion to Compel; Filed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transpor- (Defendant)

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  • 03/18/2016
  • Motion to Compel; Filed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transpor- (Defendant)

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  • 03/18/2016
  • NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF DEFENDANT TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO RESPOND TO DEMAND FOR INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS WITHOUT OBJECTION, ETC

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/18/2016
  • NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF DEFENDANT TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO ANSWER FORM AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES; ETC

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  • 12/22/2015
  • ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 12/22/2015
  • Answer; Filed by Defendant/Respondent

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  • 11/19/2015
  • Complaint; Filed by Donna Zomalt (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/19/2015
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 11/19/2015
  • SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC601746    Hearing Date: December 10, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion for Reconsideration

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On November 19, 2015, Plaintiff Donna Zomalt (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Defendant”) alleging motor vehicle negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on November 14, 2014.

On November 4, 2019, the Court denied Defendant’s motion to enforce a settlement pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6.

On October 9, 2019, Defendant filed a motion for reconsideration pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1008.

An Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) is set December 10, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.

PARTY’S REQUESTS

Defendant asks the Court to reconsider its denial of Defendant’s motion to enforce a settlement arguing that Plaintiff’s signature on the settlement stipulation is similar to signatures on a variety of Plaintiff’s verifications.

LEGAL STANDARD

Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 provides: “If parties to pending litigation stipulate, in a writing signed by the parties outside the presence of the court or orally before the court, for settlement of the case, or part thereof, the court, upon motion, may enter judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement. If requested by the parties, the court may retain jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the settlement until performance in full of the terms of the settlement.”  “Section 664.6 was enacted to provide a summary procedure for specifically enforcing a settlement contract without the need for a new lawsuit.”  (Weddington Productions, Inc. v. Flick (1998) 60 Cal. App. 4th 793, 809.)  “[A] judge hearing a section 664.6 motion may receive evidence, determine disputed facts, and enter the terms of a settlement agreement as a judgment.”  (Id., at p. 810.)

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, subdivision (a), “When an application for an order has been made to a judge, or to a court, and refused in whole or in part, or granted, or granted conditionally, or on terms, any party affected by the order may, within 10 days after service upon the party of written notice of entry of the order and based upon new or different facts, circumstances, or law, make application to the same judge or court that made the order, to reconsider the matter and modify, amend, or revoke the prior order. The party making the application shall state by affidavit what application was made before, when and to what judge, what order or decisions were made, and what new or different facts, circumstances, or law are claimed to be shown.”

As stated by the court in Gilberd v. AC Transit (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 1494, 1499, California Code of Civil Procedure section 1008 is the exclusive means for modifying, amending or revoking an order. That limitation is expressly jurisdictional.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 128, subdivision (a) states, “Every 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. . . .

DISCUSSION

On November 4, 2019, the Court denied Defendant’s motion to enforce a settlement.  The Court based its ruling on Plaintiff’s testimony that she did not sign the settlement stipulation dated April 22, 2019.  The Court noted that it is not a handwriting expert, but there were apparent differences between the signature on the settlement stipulation and the signature on Plaintiff’s California Identification Card.  The Court therefore found that Defendant had not met its burden of proof and denied the motion to enforce.

In its motion for reconsideration, Defendant argues that it did not know that Plaintiff would contest the authenticity of her signature on the settlement agreement until the day of the hearing on the motion to enforce.  (Motion, p. 3:17-3:24; Wainfeld Decl., ¶ 5.) Indeed, Plaintiff filed no opposition to the enforcement motion and simply appeared at the hearing to provide sworn testimony that she had not signed the settlement agreement.  She also produced at the hearing her driver’s license that bore a signature that was different from the one on the settlement agreement.

Defendant argues that the signature on the settlement stipulation is similar to verifications Plaintiff signed for a claim for damages and pages from medical records (Motion, p. 4:8-4:10.; Wainfeld Decl., ¶ 6, Exh. B.) Defendant submits signatures from Plaintiff executed over the last five years and asks the Court to consider this new evidence to reconsider its ruling denying enforcement of the settlement agreement. Defendant also provides a declaration from its counsel who declares under penalty of perjury that the parties and their counsel attended a mediation on April 22, 2019, when the settlement agreement was executed.  (Wainfeld Decl., ¶ 4.)  Defense counsel states that, on that day, he and his client signed the settlement stipulation and that he was provided with a copy of the agreement signed by Plaintiff and her attorney.  (Ibid.)  At no time during the mediation was defense counsel notified by anyone that Plaintiff had refused to sign the agreement.  (Ibid.

The Court finds that Defendant has met the standards for seeking reconsideration under Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, in that it has produced new or different facts bearing on the enforcement motion and explained to the Court’s satisfaction why it did not submit evidence of these facts in connection with its original enforcement motion.  Having reviewed the signatures on the settlement agreement and compared them to Plaintiff’s signatures on her driver’s license and a range of documents executed from 2014 to 2019, the Court finds that there are substantial variations in Plaintiff’s signature reflected in the documents in the record.  Based on the mediation context in which the settlement stipulation was executed and the fact that the signature on the settlement agreement is similar to several of the signatures reflected in the new evidence provided by Defendant, the Court reconsiders its prior ruling and finds that Plaintiff did in fact sign the settlement agreement and that Defendant is entitled to enforcement of the settlement agreement and entry of judgment consistent with the terms of that agreement.

The motion for reconsideration is therefore GRANTED and, upon reconsideration, Defendant’s motion to enforce the settlement stipulation is GRANTED.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling and to submit a proposed judgment pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1590. 

Case Number: BC601746    Hearing Date: November 04, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows.  No opposition was filed.

BACKGROUND

On November 19, 2015, Plaintiff Donna Zomalt (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Defendant”) alleging motor vehicle negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on November 14, 2014.

On September 24, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to enforce a settlement pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6.

An Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) is scheduled for December 9, 2019.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant asks the Court to enforce a settlement agreement entered into between Defendant and Plaintiff in writing.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 states: “If parties to pending litigation stipulate, in a writing signed by the parties outside the presence of the court or orally before the court, for settlement of the case, or part thereof, the court, upon motion, may enter judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement. If requested by the parties, the court may retain jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the settlement until performance in full of the terms of the settlement.” The term “parties” means the litigants themselves.  (Levy v. Superior Court (1995) 10 Cal.4th 578, 584.)

“A trial court, when ruling on a section 664.6 motion, acts as a trier of fact. Section 664.6’s ‘express authorization for trial courts to determine whether a settlement has occurred is an implicit authorization for the trial court to interpret the terms and conditions to settlement.’” (Skulnick v. Roberts Express, Inc. (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 884, 889 (citations omitted).)

“Section 664.6 . . . authorizes the court to entertain challenges to the actual terms of the stipulation, that is, whether there actually was a settlement, upon a motion.”  (Fiore v. Alvord (1985) 182 Cal.App.3d 561, 565.)

DISCUSSION

On April 22, 2019, Plaintiff and Defendant engaged in mediation before Mediator Michael Moorhead.  (Wainfeld Decl., ¶ 4, Exh. A.)  A settlement was reached where Defendant would pay Plaintiff $35,000 within 10 days after the receipt of releases signed by Plaintiff.  (Id.)  Plaintiff and Defendant stipulated to this agreement and signed this agreement.  (Id.)  However, Plaintiff refuses to sign the releases.  (Wainfeld Decl., ¶ 5.)

Plaintiff does not oppose this motion.  Plaintiff does not file any opposing papers showing the signed stipulation is somehow invalid.  As such, the Court finds the parties signed an agreement to settle this action for the sum of $35,000, and that Defendant is entitled to enforcement of that settlement.

Defendant appears to seek a determination of the terms of the settlement, describing it as a settlement that requires that the $35,000 to be paid by Defendant shall be “reduced based on any Medi-Cal lien.”  (Wainfeld Decl., ¶ 5.)  But the attached Settlement Stipulation does not reflect this limitation on payment.  Instead, it provides that Plaintiff is obligated to sign a release and provide the signed release, a W-9 form and any Medi-Cal lien to the Defendant, who will then be obligated to pay $35,000 within 10 days of the receipt of these documents.  The Settlement Stipulation also provides that Plaintiff will be responsible for all liens, but it does not permit Defendant to reduce its payment by the amount of any Medi-Cal liens produced by Plaintiff. 

The motion is therefore GRANTED.  The Court enters authorizes the entry of judgment in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant in the amount of $35,000, pursuant to the terms of the settlement as described herein, and orders Defendant to provide a proposed Judgment reflecting those terms.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.