On 05/06/2016 JOSHUA BANCES filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are LAURA A. SEIGLE, AMY D. HOGUE, RANDY RHODES and EDWARD B. MORETON. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
LAURA A. SEIGLE
AMY D. HOGUE
EDWARD B. MORETON
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTER
LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
DOES 1 THROUGH 100
DOUGLAS JOEL BRUCE
NALBANDYAN ARUTYUN HARRY
SCHAEFER ERIC R. ASST. GEN. COUNSEL
HUNT JAMES A. ASST. GENERAL COUNSEL
SCHAEFER ERIC ROBERT
HUNT JAMES ALBERT
ALBRIGHT CLIFTON WADE
RUIZ RODOLFO FLORENTINO
CENTURY PARK LAW GROUP APLC
NALBANDYAN ESQ. ARUTYUN HARRY
2/25/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (JURY TRIAL)
2/24/2020: Reply - PLAINTIFF'S REPLY BRIEF REGARDING THE STANDARD OF CARE AND OBJECTION TO DEFENDANT'S PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTIONS
1/16/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF DESIGNATION OF VIDEO DEPOSITION OF DEBORAH HOLDER, M.D.
1/17/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL)
9/16/2019: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING OF DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS FOR TRIAL
9/17/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (JURY TRIAL)
9/10/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S EXPARTE APPLICATION
9/6/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 8
9/4/2019: Witness List
8/28/2019: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE
7/24/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE
1/26/2018: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information -
7/6/2018: ORDER ON JOSHUA BANCES' EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND DISCOVERY CUTOFF DEADLINES FOR 120 DAYS
8/13/2018: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel -
1/7/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Application to Continue trial)
7/5/2016: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -
7/12/2016: LAUSD'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT
8/25/2016: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF SOHEIL BAHARI IN SUPPORT THEREOF.
Hearing12/18/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 27, Edward B. Moreton, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Not Held - Continued - Court's MotionRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement))); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 27, Edward B. Moreton, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Quash (MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFF?S NOTICES TO APPEAR AT TRIAL) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by PartyRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice (Notice of Hearing); Filed by Los Angeles Unified School District (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:00 AM in Department F51, Randy Rhodes, Presiding; Jury Trial - HeldRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Jury Trial)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:00 AM in Department F51, Randy Rhodes, Presiding; Jury Trial - Held - ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Jury Trial)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketPlaintiff's Motion in Limine No. 14; Filed by Joshua Bances (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons; Filed by Joshua Bances (Plaintiff); Sandra Sique (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEMRead MoreRead Less
DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVERRead MoreRead Less
DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
DocketDECLARATION OF ROBERT L. BOOKER II, ESQ.Read MoreRead Less
DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVILRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by nullRead MoreRead Less
DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Sandra Sique (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. PREMISES LIABILITY; ETCRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC619632 Hearing Date: November 12, 2019 Dept: 4B
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO BIFURCATE LIABILITY FROM DAMAGES
On May 19, 2016, plaintiff Joshua Bances, by and through his Guardian Ad Litem, Sandra Sique, filed this action against defendant Los Angeles Unified School District (“Defendant”) for negligent supervision. Plaintiff alleges he was struck on the head twice with a brick by a classmate while working on a group project outside the classroom at school. Defendant moves to bifurcate issues of liability and damages at trial.
“The court may, when the convenience of witnesses, the ends of justice, or the economy and efficiency of handling the litigation would be promoted thereby, on motion of a party, after notice and hearing, make an order, no later than the close of pretrial conference in cases in which such pretrial conference in cases in which such pretrial conference is to be held, or, in other cases, no later than 30 days before the trial date, that the trial of any issue or any part thereof shall precede the trial of any other issue or any party thereof in the case . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., § 598.) Where trial of the issue of liability as to all causes of action precedes the trial of other issues or parts thereof and the decision of the court or jury is in favor of the allegedly liable party, judgment in favor of that party shall be entered and no trial of other issues in the action against that party will be had. (Ibid.) If the decision of the court or jury on the issue of liability is against the party allegedly liable, the trial of the other issues shall be had before the same or another jury as ordered by the court. (Ibid.)
“Section 598 of the Code of Civil Procedure gives the trial court power to order ‘that the trial of the issue of liability shall precede the trial of any other issue in the case . . . ‘Its objective is avoidance of the waste of time and money caused by the unnecessary trial of damage questions in cases where the liability issue is resolved against the plaintiff.’ [Citation.]” (Cohn v. Bugas (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 381, 385.) However, the court cannot order the separate trial of an issue of liability when because of the nature of the case it is necessary to prove the plaintiff’s damages in order to establish that liability. (Cook v. Superior Court (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 832, 834.)
Defendant argues the liability stage will be wholly separated from the issue of damages as there are no overlapping witnesses and the jury will only be asked to determine whether LAUSD acted negligently on November 19, 2015. Defendant states each side has only retained one expert witness in connection with the issue of whether Defendant acted negligently. Defendant also argues that introducing testimony about Plaintiff’s injuries will be prejudicial because the medical issues are irrelevant to the issues surrounding liability.
In opposition, Plaintiff submits an attorney declaration which claims there are seven overlapping witnesses for the liability and damages phase, but does not identify who they are. (Declaration of Kelly Ka In Chan, ¶ 3.) Plaintiff also argues that liability and damages are intertwined and that information about Plaintiff’s injuries is important to determining Defendant’s duty to supervise and whether Defendant acted negligently. Plaintiff also contends that bifurcation will be prejudicial because Plaintiff and Defendants will have to duplicate opening statements and closing arguments, jury instructions, and jury deliberations, which will increase trial expenses.
To prove his negligence claim, Plaintiff will need to show that Defendant was negligent, Plaintiff was harmed, and Defendant’s “negligence was a substantial factor in causing [Plaintiff’s] harm.” (CACI No. 400.) “A substantial factor in causing harm is a factor that a reasonable person would consider to have contribute to the harm . . . Conduct is not a substantial factor in causing harm if the same harm would have occurred without that conduct.” (CACI No. 430.) Thus, Plaintiff will need to prove that Defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing his harm.
The parties dispute what caused Plaintiff’s injury, if any occurred. Plaintiff contends another student hit him on the head twice with a brick. Defendant argues the student placed a brick on Plaintiff’s head. Evidence about what the other student did with the brick and how the brick impacted Plaintiff will likely be part of the damages analysis. Likewise the extent of Plaintiff’s injuries is likely to be part of the evidence about whether the student hit Plaintiff with a brick. For example, that Plaintiff suffered head injuries on the day of the accident could be evidence he was hit hard on the head with a brick and did not just have a brick placed on his head. Similarly, whether Defendant was negligently supervising the students may depend in part on whether the other student actually hit Plaintiff with a brick.
Because bifurcation would not lead to economy and efficiency given this potential overlap in evidence, the Motion to bifurcate is DENIED.
Moving party to give notice.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT4B@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.
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