This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 01/20/2021 at 11:36:38 (UTC).

ERIC KWEON VS SANG LEE ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/29/2013 ERIC KWEON filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against SANG LEE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are JOSEPH R. KALIN, BARBARA M. SCHEPER, RUTH ANN KWAN, JOHN L. SEGAL and RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9767

  • Filing Date:

    08/29/2013

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

JOSEPH R. KALIN

BARBARA M. SCHEPER

RUTH ANN KWAN

JOHN L. SEGAL

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

KWEON ERIC

CITIZENS OF HUMANITY LLC

OHECK LLC

FREEDMAN GARY

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

DOES 1-50

GARY FREEDMAN

LEE SANG

TINITY SPORTS INC

TINITY SPORTS INC.

TRINITY SPORTS INC.

Other

CHOI & LEE CPAS AND ASSOCIATES

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorneys

LAW OFFICES OF GARY FREEDMAN

GARY FREEDMAN LAW OFFICES

OWENS & GACH RAY

ROSS PETER W. ESQ

VALLE MAKOFF LLP

ROSS PETER WAYNE ESQ

BROWNE GEORGE ROSS LLP

SUSSMAN SHANK LLP

BROWNE GEORGE ROSS O'BRIEN ANNAGUEY & ELLIS LLP

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

RUGER RICHARD M. ESQ.

LIM RUGER & KIM LLP

PARKER MILLS LLP

SHELDON BRYAN KING ESQ.

PARKER DAVID BRUCE

Other Attorney

PARK & LIM

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

12/30/2013: NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

PROOF OF SERVICE BY FIRST-CLASS MAIL?CIVIL

1/15/2014: PROOF OF SERVICE BY FIRST-CLASS MAIL?CIVIL

AFFIDAVIT OF PREJUDICE PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER

8/19/2014: AFFIDAVIT OF PREJUDICE PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER

PROOF OF SERVICE BY FIRST-CLASS MAIL- CIVIL

8/19/2014: PROOF OF SERVICE BY FIRST-CLASS MAIL- CIVIL

Minute Order -

8/26/2014: Minute Order -

Minute Order -

3/2/2015: Minute Order -

Minute Order -

7/16/2015: Minute Order -

Proof of Service -

8/27/2015: Proof of Service -

PLAINTIFF ERIC KWEON'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT SANG LEE'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION BASED ON THE STATUTE OF LIMIATIONS

1/28/2016: PLAINTIFF ERIC KWEON'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT SANG LEE'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION BASED ON THE STATUTE OF LIMIATIONS

TRINITY SPORTS, INC.'S OPPOSITION TO CROSS-DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES

2/4/2016: TRINITY SPORTS, INC.'S OPPOSITION TO CROSS-DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES

STATEMENT OF ERIC KWEON AND OHECK, LLC REGARDING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO SHORTEN TIME ON MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

3/4/2016: STATEMENT OF ERIC KWEON AND OHECK, LLC REGARDING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO SHORTEN TIME ON MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

JOINT LIST OF PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTIONS WITH NO OBJECTIONS

3/11/2016: JOINT LIST OF PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTIONS WITH NO OBJECTIONS

CIVIL DEPOSIT

4/4/2016: CIVIL DEPOSIT

TRINITY SPORTS, INC. AND SANG LEE'S BRIEF RE NON-HEARSAY STATEMENTS

4/11/2016: TRINITY SPORTS, INC. AND SANG LEE'S BRIEF RE NON-HEARSAY STATEMENTS

JURY INSTRUCTIONS NOT USED

4/18/2016: JURY INSTRUCTIONS NOT USED

Minute Order -

4/18/2016: Minute Order -

APPELLANT'S NOTICE DESIGNATING RECORD ON APPEAL

10/7/2016: APPELLANT'S NOTICE DESIGNATING RECORD ON APPEAL

JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: WHETHER AN AMENDED JUDGMENT IS REQUIRED

11/9/2016: JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: WHETHER AN AMENDED JUDGMENT IS REQUIRED

528 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/10/2022
  • Hearing01/10/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 01/04/2022
  • Hearing01/04/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 12/21/2020
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Ex Parte Motion

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  • 12/15/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Final Status Conference ((TRIAL 12/21/20 DARK)) - Not Held - Continued - Ex Parte Motion

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  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketNotice (OF RULING); Filed by Eric Kweon (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/13/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Post-Mediation Status Conference - Held - Advanced and Heard

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  • 11/12/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (To Continue Post-Mediation Status Conference and To Specially Set New Trial Date) - Held

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application To Continue Post-Mediation St...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/10/2020
  • DocketNotice of Change of Firm Name; Filed by Eric Kweon (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 11/10/2020
  • DocketEx Parte Application (To Continue Post-Mediation Status Conference and To Specially Set New Trial Date); Filed by Eric Kweon (Cross-Defendant)

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1,118 More Docket Entries
  • 09/09/2013
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Eric Kweon (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/09/2013
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS & COMPLAINT

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  • 09/09/2013
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons

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  • 09/04/2013
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 09/04/2013
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR FAILURE TO FILE PROOF OF SERVICE

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  • 09/04/2013
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 09/04/2013
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/29/2013
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 08/29/2013
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Eric Kweon (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/29/2013
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: (1) DAMAGES FOR BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

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Case Number: BC519767 Hearing Date: July 19, 2021 Dept: 47

Tentative Ruling

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Judge Theresa M. Traber, Department 47

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HEARING DATE: July 19, 2021 TRIAL DATE: January 10, 2022

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CASE: Eric Kweon v. Sang Lee, et al.

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CASE NO.: BC519767

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MOTION\r\nFOR ORDER PERMITTING DISCOVERY OF CROSS-DEFENDANT’S FINANCIAL CONDITION

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MOVING PARTY: Cross-Complainant Trinity Sports, Inc.

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RESPONDING PARTY(S): Cross-Defendant\r\nEric Kweon

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CASE\r\nHISTORY:

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STATEMENT\r\nOF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

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Plaintiff alleges\r\nthat he owns 20% of Trinity but Defendants only acknowledge that he owns 10%. He\r\nalleges that Defendants breached their fiduciary obligations to him as a\r\nminority shareholder, including by depriving him of his fair share of Trinity’s\r\nprofits. He also seeks judicial dissolution of Trinity, with at least 20% of\r\nthe proceeds going to him.

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In\r\na cross-complaint, Trinity and Sang Lee allege that Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant breached\r\nhis fiduciary duty by setting up his own business to compete with Trinity while\r\nemployed by Trinity and by interfering with Trinity’s contracts.

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Cross-Complainant\r\nTrinity moves for an order permitting discovery of Cross-Defendant’s financial\r\ncondition.

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TENTATIVE RULING:

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Cross-Complainant\r\nTrinity’s motion for an order permitting discovery of Cross-Defendant’s\r\nfinancial condition is GRANTED.

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DISCUSSION:

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Motion For Order\r\nPermitting Discovery of Financial Condition

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Request\r\nfor Judicial Notice

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Cross-Complainant\r\nrequests judicial notice of (1) the unpublished Court of Appeal opinion in this\r\ncase; (2) the remittitur issued by the Court of Appeal; (3)-(4) excerpts from the\r\nreporter’s transcript on appeal; (5) the verdict in this action; (6) the jury\r\ninstructions given in this action; (7) the complaint in this action; (8) the\r\nFirst Amended Complaint; (9) the Verified Answer to the First Amended\r\nComplaint; (10) the Cross-Complaint; (11) Trial Exhibit No. 218, a workers’\r\ncompensation insurance application and policy.

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These\r\nrequests are GRANTED per Evidence Code § 452(d) (court records). The Court does\r\nnot, however, take judicial notice of the truth of any statements in the trial\r\ntranscripts or in the other documents listed here, other than the findings and\r\nconclusions in the appellate opinion and the verdict. (Bach v. McNelis\r\n(1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 852, 865 [“A court may take judicial notice of the existence\r\nof each document in a court file, but can only take judicial notice of the\r\ntruth of facts asserted in documents such as orders, findings of fact and\r\nconclusions of law, and judgments.”].)

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Analysis

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Cross-Complainant moves for an\r\norder permitting discovery of Cross-Defendant’s financial condition pursuant to\r\nCivil Code § 3295.

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Civil Code\r\n§ 3295 provides, in relevant part:

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(a) The court may,\r\nfor good cause, grant any defendant a protective order requiring the plaintiff\r\nto produce evidence of a prima facie case of liability for damages pursuant to\r\nSection 3294, prior to the introduction of evidence of:

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(1) The profits the\r\ndefendant has gained by virtue of the wrongful course of conduct of the nature\r\nand type shown by the evidence.

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(2) The financial\r\ncondition of the defendant.

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(b) Nothing in this\r\nsection shall prohibit the introduction of prima facie evidence to establish a\r\ncase for damages pursuant to Section 3294.

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(c) No pretrial\r\ndiscovery by the plaintiff shall be permitted with respect to the evidence\r\nreferred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) unless the court\r\nenters an order permitting such discovery pursuant to this subdivision. . . .\r\nUpon motion by the plaintiff supported by appropriate affidavits and after a\r\nhearing, if the court deems a hearing to be necessary, the court may at any\r\ntime enter an order permitting the discovery otherwise prohibited by this\r\nsubdivision if the court finds, on the basis of the supporting and opposing\r\naffidavits presented, that the plaintiff has established that there is a\r\nsubstantial probability that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim pursuant\r\nto Section 3294. Such order shall not be considered to be a determination on\r\nthe merits of the claim or any defense thereto and shall not be given in\r\nevidence or referred to at the trial.

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(Civ. Code § 3295(a)-(c), bold\r\nemphasis added.)

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[W]e interpret the language of section\r\n3295(c), requiring the trial court to find based on supporting and opposing\r\naffidavits that the plaintiff has established there is a substantial\r\nprobability he will prevail on his claim for punitive damages, to mean that\r\nbefore a court may enter an order permitting discovery of a defendant\'s\r\nfinancial condition, it must (1) weigh the evidence submitted in favor of and\r\nin opposition to motion for discovery, and (2) make a finding that it is very likely the plaintiff will prevail\r\non his claim for punitive damages. In this context, we interpret the words “substantial probability” to mean “very\r\nlikely” or “a strong likelihood” just as their plain meaning suggests. We\r\nnote that the Legislature did not use the term “reasonable probability” or\r\nsimply “probability,” which would imply a lower threshold of “more likely than\r\nnot.”

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(Jabro v. Superior Court\r\n(2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 754, 758, bold emphasis added.)

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Here, Cross-Complainant\r\nhas met its burden of demonstrating a substantial probability that it will\r\nprevail on its punitive damages claim pursuant to Civil Code § 3294. The issue is whether Eric Kweon acted with\r\nmalice, oppression, or fraud in connection with his alleged breach of his\r\nfiduciary duty to Trinity and his intentional interference with its prospective\r\neconomic advantage.

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Cross-Complainant\r\npresents evidence that a jury previously found that Kweon engaged in the\r\nconduct on the basis of which he was found liable – breach of fiduciary duty,\r\nintentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and intentional\r\ninterference with Trinity’s relationships with its employees – with malice,\r\noppression, or fraud. (RJN, Exh. 5.)

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Cross-Defendant\r\nargues that Cross-Complainant cannot rely on the jury’s previous verdict to\r\nshow that he is “very likely” to prevail on his punitive damages claim because the\r\njury awarded no punitive damages and because the verdict was based on evidence\r\nthat will not be admissible at the new trial.

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As to the\r\naward of no punitive damages, this does not negate the jury’s finding of\r\nmalice, fraud, or oppression. The jury was instructed that it must “decide the\r\namount, if any,” that Trinity should be awarded as punitive damages. (RJN, Exh.\r\n6.) It was not required to award any amount based on its finding of malice,\r\nfraud, or oppression.

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As to the\r\nevidence, that which should have been excluded was (1) testimony from ex-Trinity\r\nemployees that Kweon had been soliciting them by telling them that Trinity\r\nwould go out of business; (2) evidence that Kweon had been operating unfairly\r\nand “outside the law” because Kweon’s competing business, Oheck, had opened\r\nwithout a garment manufacturer’s license; and (3) expert testimony implying\r\nthat every employee who left Trinity did so based on Kweon’s wrongful conduct\r\nand that Kweon was solely responsible for Trinity’s loss of business from\r\nCitizens of Humanity. (Opp., at p. 9 [citing the 9/12/16 order granting JNOV\r\nand new trial].) In granting the new trial, this Court noted that the case was\r\n“at its heart a credibility contest between Kweon and Lee” and concluded that\r\nthe admission of this evidence “necessarily impacted the jury’s credibility\r\ndetermination.” (Ibid.)

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Cross-Defendant\r\nis correct that Cross-Complainant cannot rely solely on the previous jury\r\nverdict to show that it is “very likely” to prevail on its punitive damages\r\nclaim, in light of the inadmissibility of the evidence listed above. The Court\r\nmust, however, consider the admissible evidence presented by Cross-Complainant\r\nto determine whether it is “very likely” to prevail on its punitive damages\r\nclaim. Cross-Complainant presents evidence supporting this conclusion,\r\nincluding (1) that Kweon deleted all data on the hard drive of his\r\nTrinity-owned computer when he quit, and an external hard drive attached to his\r\ncomputer disappeared (Parker Decl. ¶ 14(b).); and (2) that Kweon urged Trinity\r\nto raise its prices before he left, which was intended to benefit his new\r\nbusiness, Oheck. (Parker Decl. ¶ 14(a).)

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Based on\r\nthis evidence, the Court concludes that Cross-Complainant is “very likely” to\r\nprevail on its punitive damages claim. Recognizing that the new trial is also\r\nlikely to come down to a credibility contest between Kweon and Lee, this\r\nevidence shows a strong likelihood that Kweon’s explanations will not be found\r\nto be credible. In particular, in a case likely to come down to a credibility\r\ncontest, Kweon’s deletion of data when he quit is very likely to undermine his\r\ncredibility.

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Cross-Defendant\r\nargues that “[w]e can only speculate” whether another jury would find that he\r\nacted with malice, fraud, or oppression. (Opp., at p. 11.) However, this Court\r\nlikewise could only speculate “how impactful the erroneously admitted evidence\r\nwas to the jury’s decisions.” (Id. at 9 [quoting the order].) In the\r\ncontext of a motion for a new trial, the Court can “disbelieve witnesses,\r\nreweigh evidence and draw reasonable inferences contrary to that of the jury.”\r\n(Fountain Valley Chateau Blanc Homeowner’s Assn. v. Department of Veterans\r\nAffairs (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 743, 751.) This does not mean, however, that\r\nthe Court must reach the same conclusion when considering whether the\r\naffidavits and evidence supporting this motion demonstrate a substantial\r\nprobability of success on the punitive damages claim. Here, the Court concludes\r\nthat it does.

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Accordingly,\r\nthe motion for an order allowing discovery into Defendant’s financial condition\r\npursuant to Civil Code § 3295 is GRANTED.

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IT IS SO ORDERED.

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Dated: July 19, 2021 ___________________________________

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Theresa\r\nM. Traber

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Judge\r\nof the Superior Court

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