This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/18/2019 at 14:44:23 (UTC).

GERARDO OCANA VS PERFORMANCE FORGE INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/10/2016 GERARDO OCANA filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against PERFORMANCE FORGE INC. 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.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9924

  • Filing Date:

    05/10/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

OCANA GERARDO

Defendants and Respondents

DOE SUBSIDIARY

DOE MANUFACTURER

PERFORMANCE FORGE INC

DOES 1-100

ALCOA CORPORATION

EFCO INC. DBA ERIE PRESS SYSTEMS

GILLILAND JAMES DALE

ARCONIC INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

LAW OFFICES OF DAVDI AZIZI

AZIZI DAVID

Defendant Attorneys

MARKOWITZ JULIET ARLENE

WALSWORTH FRANKLIN BEVINS & MCCALL

MYERS JEFFREY CABOT

SCHRADER DANIEL P

JOHNSON BEVERLY

 

Court Documents

STIPULATION REGARDING GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND ORDER

3/29/2018: STIPULATION REGARDING GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND ORDER

DECLARATION OF JOHN M. SINCLAIR IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE'S NOTICE AND MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

4/3/2018: DECLARATION OF JOHN M. SINCLAIR IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE'S NOTICE AND MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

Minute Order

6/26/2018: Minute Order

Proof of Personal Service

12/10/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

12/20/2018: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Other -

12/27/2018: Other -

Answer

5/15/2019: Answer

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS; ETC

9/20/2016: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS; ETC

DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS AS TO PLAINTIFF'S SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH, SEVENTH AND NINTH CAUSES OF ACTION

11/18/2016: DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS AS TO PLAINTIFF'S SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH, SEVENTH AND NINTH CAUSES OF ACTION

DECLARATION OF EDDIE B. DENNIS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

12/22/2016: DECLARATION OF EDDIE B. DENNIS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

DECLARATION OF EDDIE B. DENNIS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

12/22/2016: DECLARATION OF EDDIE B. DENNIS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

12/22/2016: DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF ITEMS IN DISPUTE IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

12/22/2016: DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF ITEMS IN DISPUTE IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES BY PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

2/22/2017: AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

Minute Order

3/21/2017: Minute Order

Minute Order

6/29/2017: Minute Order

NOTICE OF RULINGS AT FURTHER CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

10/3/2017: NOTICE OF RULINGS AT FURTHER CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Minute Order

10/13/2017: Minute Order

98 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/15/2019
  • Answer; Filed by ARCONIC INC. (Defendant)

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion; Filed by James Dale Gilliland (Defendant)

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion; Filed by James Dale Gilliland (Defendant)

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  • 04/25/2019
  • at 3:54 PM in Department 49; Nunc Pro Tunc Order

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  • 04/25/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/24/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 49; Trial Setting Conference (and an Order to Show Cause regarding Status of Pleadings) - Held

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Order (Order Dismissing First Cause of Action Against DOE 4 (Arconic Inc.) And Extending Time to Respond to Second Amended Complaint); Filed by ARCONIC INC. (Defendant)

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference and an Order to Show Cause regarding...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/23/2019
  • Proof of Service (Sister State Judgment); Filed by ARCONIC INC. (Defendant)

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  • 04/23/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (Stipulation Re Dismissal of First Cause of Action Against DOE 4 (Arconic Inc.) And Extension of Time to Respond to Second Amended Complaint); Filed by ARCONIC INC. (Defendant)

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230 More Docket Entries
  • 09/20/2016
  • PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS; ETC

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  • 08/09/2016
  • DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS AS TO PLAINTIFFS SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH, SEVENTH, AND NINTH CAUSES OF ACTION; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF KAREN M. SULLIVAN

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  • 08/09/2016
  • Motion; Filed by Performance Forge, Inc (Defendant)

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  • 07/01/2016
  • Answer; Filed by Performance Forge, Inc (Defendant)

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  • 07/01/2016
  • DEFENDANT PERFORMANCE FORGE, INC.'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF GERARDO OCANA'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR PERSONAL INJURIES

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  • 05/20/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 05/20/2016
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Gerardo Ocana (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/10/2016
  • COMPLAINT FOIFBAMAGES OR PERSONAL INJURIES 1. VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA LABOR CODE 4558; ETC

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  • 05/10/2016
  • SUMMONS

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  • 05/10/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Gerardo Ocana (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC619924    Hearing Date: March 02, 2021    Dept: 49

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Gerardo Ocana,

Plaintiff,

Case No.

BC619924

v.

[Tentative] Ruling

Performance Force, Inc., et al.

Defendants.

Hearing Date: March 2, 2021

Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice

Defendant James Gilliland’s Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement

Moving Party: Defendant James Gilliland

Responding Party: Cross-Defendants/Cross-Complainants Performance Forge, Inc. and Wayne Ramay

Ruling: Defendant James Gilliland’s Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement is granted.

Defendant and Cross-Defendant James Gilliland (“Gilliland”) moves for a determination that the settlement entered into between himself and Plaintiff Gerardo Ocana (“Plaintiff”) was made in good faith.

“Section 877.6 was enacted by the Legislature in 1980 to establish a statutory procedure for determining if a settlement by an alleged joint tortfeasor has been entered into in good faith and to provide a bar to claims of other alleged joint tortfeasors for equitable contribution or partial or comparative indemnity when good faith is shown.” (IRM Corp. v. Carlson (1986) 179 Cal.App.3d 94, 104.)

In Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499, the California Supreme Court identified the following nonexclusive factors courts are to consider in determining if a settlement is in good faith under section 877.6: “a rough approximation of plaintiffs' total recovery and the settlor's proportionate liability, the amount paid in settlement, the allocation of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs, and a recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after a trial. Other relevant considerations include the financial conditions and insurance policy limits of settling defendants, as well as the existence of collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed to injure the interests of nonsettling defendants.” The evaluation of whether a settlement was made in good faith is required to “be made on the basis of information available at the time of settlement.” (Tech-Bilt, 38 Cal.3d at 499.) “[A] defendant’s settlement figure must not be grossly disproportionate to what a reasonable person, at the time of the settlement, would estimate the settling defendant’s liability to be.’” (Id. at 499.)

A party challenging the good faith settlement has the burden of proving that the settlement was made in bad faith. (Fisher v. Superior Court (1980) 103 Cal.App.3d 434, 449.) “The party asserting the lack of good faith, who has the burden of proof on that issue (§ 877.6, subd. (d)), should be permitted to demonstrate, if he can, that the settlement is so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to these factors as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute. Such a demonstration would establish that the proposed settlement was not a ‘settlement made in good faith’ within the terms of section 877.6.” (Tech-Bilt, 38 Cal.3d at 499-500.)

The settlement agreement entered into between Gilliland and Plaintiff calls for the former to pay $15,000. (Gilliland Decl. Exh. A.) Gilliland states that “the Settlement Agreement calls for Gilliland to pay Plaintiff $15,000 – which is 1/3 of the settlement amount paid by PFI, and nearly 2/3 of the settlement amount paid by EFCO, both of which settlements had already been approved by this Court as ‘good faith’ settlements prior to Mr. Gilliland having been served with Plaintiff’s summons and complaint.” (Motion 7:7-11.) Gilliland declares as follows:

I reluctantly agreed to settle this lawsuit with Plaintiff solely to obtain certainty and to eliminate ongoing costs of defending myself against Plaintiff’s lawsuit, including the expected costs of preparing and filing a motion for summary judgment. I never employed Plaintiff. Prior to this lawsuit, I did not know Plaintiff. To the best of my knowledge, I never spoke to Plaintiff at any time. I never trained Plaintiff on any equipment, let alone on the use of the power punch press that is the subject of this lawsuit (the “Press”). I never personally owned the Press. I never personally sold the Press to Plaintiff’s employer, Performance Forge, Inc. I never personally modified or maintained the Press.

(Gilliland Decl. ¶ 2.)

Gilliland declares that his sole connection to the other named parties in this lawsuit is that in 2012, he was the president and majority shareholder of a company named Performance Forged Products, which for a period of time owned the subject press. (Id. ¶ 3.) “PFP subsequently sold the Press to defendant Performance Forge, Inc. (“PFI”) in 2012 pursuant to a March 23, 2012 Asset Purchase Agreement and related agreements. Neither PFP nor I had any further involvement with the Press after 2012. PFI took possession of the Press from PFP on or about April 24, 2012, nearly four years before Plaintiff’s injury.” (Id.)

Plaintiff’s sole cause of action against Gilliland is for negligence. (Second Amended Complaint ¶ 97.) It is Gilliland’s position that Plaintiff cannot show that Gilliland owed him a duty of care as an officer and shareholder of the company that sold the press to PFI four years before the incident.

In Garcia v. Becker Bros. Steel Co., the court ruled that

whatever duty an occasional seller may owe its immediate purchaser, we agree with the trial court that Becker Brothers owed no duty to Garcia—an employee of the purchaser who bought the machinery from the bank which repossessed it from the buyer who bought the slitter line from Becker Brothers—to pass along correspondence received from the manufacturer or to modify the slitter line, particularly in light of the California Code of Regulations provisions mandating that his employer safeguard the workplace as necessary. “All machines, parts of machines, or component parts of machines which create hazardous revolving, reciprocating, running, shearing, punching, pressing, squeezing, drawing, cutting, rolling, mixing or similar action, including pinch points and shear points, not guarded by the frame of the machine(s) or by location, shall be guarded.” Section 4002 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations not only specifies the employer's responsibility for safeguarding the equipment but also provides for the employer's discretion in how this safeguarding is to be accomplished in the context of each particular workplace.

(Garcia v. Becker Bros. Steel Co. (2011) 194 Cal. App. 4th 474, 486.)

Gilliland declares that he never personally owned, sold, modified, or maintained the subject press. (Gilliland Decl. ¶ 2.) PFI, Plaintiff’s former employer, was in possession of, and was responsible for the maintenance of the press for four years before the incident. Thus, the court finds that $15,000 is reasonable due to Gilliland’s potentially minimal or nonexistent proportionate liability for Plaintiff’s injuries “as compared with PFI (Plaintiff’s employer and the owner of the Press at the time of the incident) or EFCO (the designer and manufacturer of the Press) . . .” (Motion 7:5-7.)

Gilliland asserts that he has no applicable insurance and will pay the amount out of pocket. (Gilliland Decl. ¶ 4.) Beverly Johnson, Gilliland’s counsel, declares that “Settlement negotiations with Plaintiff’s counsel in this matter were lengthy and at times contentious. Settlement was reached only after opposing counsel and I engaged in numerous debates as to facts, Plaintiff’s allegations, theories of liability, alleged damages, and potential recovery, and only after several rounds of offers and counteroffers were exchanged. At the time the settlement agreement between the parties was reached, I was preparing, and intended to file, a motion for summary judgment as to the sole cause of action asserted by Plaintiff against Mr. Gilliland (for general negligence).” (Johnson Decl. ¶ 3.) Johnson further declares that “[t]he settlement agreement between Plaintiff and Mr. Gilliland is the result of extensive arms’ length negotiations with counsel for Plaintiff. It is not the result of collusion, fraud, or any other tortious conduct. The settlement agreement is not aimed at making, and was not negotiated to make, any nonsettling person or entity pay more than their fair share. Rather, the settlement was made to minimize Mr. Gilliland’s litigation fees and costs.” (Id. ¶ 4.)

In opposition, Cross-Defendants/Cross-Complainants Performance Forge, Inc. (“PFI”) and Wayne Ramay contend that the settlement was not made in good faith because Gilliland would not be paying his fair share in proportion to his liability and because PFI has equitable indemnity rights against Gilliland. PFI and Ramay argue that “[b]ecause PFI did not alter the subject press in any way prior to Plaintiff’s accident, Gilliland sold a defective product to PFI and bears greater fault for the underlying action.” (Opp. 5:3-4.) PFI and Ramay contend that “[t]hough PFI already settled with Plaintiff for the underlying action, because PFI is a less culpable tortfeasor than Gilliland, it can still pursue its equitable indemnity rights if Gilliland’s settlement is not within a reasonable range considering his liability.” (Opp. 5:21-23.)

PFI has already settled with Plaintiff in this action, and the settlement was approved by the court on May 2, 2018. Thus, any potential liability for equitable indemnity against PFI is already barred for Gilliland. In support of its opposition, PFI and Ramay submit no evidence to support their contention that “Gilliland and PFP modified and transferred the subject trim press to PFI without the appropriate installation guards in place and altered the product causing the accident . . .” (Opp. 4:24-25.) In opposing this motion, PFI and Ramay now bear the burden of showing that “that the settlement is so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to these factors as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute.” (Tech-Bilt, supra at 499-500.) Absent any evidence to support their position, PFI and Ramay do not show that the settlement entered between Plaintiff and Gilliland is “so out of the ballpark” that this motion must be denied. PFI and Ramay offer no evidence to rebut Gilliland’s sworn declaration that as an executive officer and shareholder of Performance Forged Products, he never owned, maintained, nor modified the press. Rather, it appears that PFI and Ramay are simply requesting that their claims for indemnity against Gilliland remain viable.

Gilliland’s motion for a determination of good faith settlement is granted. The court orders that the settlement as entered into by Gilliland and Plaintiff is in good faith within the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure section 877.6, subdivision (a). All other causes of action against Gilliland for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault, are barred. (Code Civ. Proc. § 877.6, subd. (c).)

Gilliland is ordered to provide notice of this ruling.

Date: March 2, 2021

Honorable Stuart M. Rice

Judge of the Superior Court

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