This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/18/2019 at 14:38:44 (UTC).

MARCO TULIO NAVAS VEGA ET AL VS ROLANDO C VERDUGO ET AL

Case Summary

On 10/21/2016 MARCO TULIO NAVAS VEGA filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against ROLANDO C VERDUGO. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is ELAINE LU. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8144

  • Filing Date:

    10/21/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

ELAINE LU

 

Party Details

Petitioners and Plaintiffs

RIOS FLOR DE MARIA CONTRERAS

VEGA MARCO TULIO NAVAS

CEA SANDRA YANETH

Respondents, Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

TRUCKING MASTERS LAX LLC

VEHICLE LENDERS GROUP LLC

VERDUGO ROLANDO C.

LOZANO ANDRES PEREZ

DOES 1 TO 100

ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS INC.

ELIZONDO EDUARDO D.

ELIZONDO EDUARDO D. DBA EDUARDO

EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA ELITE

SINGH HARVINDER

NAVAS RUTH

ESTATE OF RUTH CONTRERAS NAVAS

ELIZONDO EDUARDO D. DBA

Respondents, Defendants and Cross Defendants

LOZANO ANDRES PEREZ

ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS INC.

DBA - ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS INC.

ELIZONDO EDUARDO D.

SINGH HARVINDER

ESTATE OF GRACIETE JOCELYN MAREINEZ

ZOES 1 THROUGH 100

MARTINEZ JOSE EMILIO

ESTATE OF RUTH CONTRERAS NAVAS

18 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

KOPPELMAN DAVID J.

JOHN A. SHEEHAN/ANGELA M. BETTY

BELTY ANGELA MONIQUE

KOULEYAN ARAXIE

KOULEYAN ARAXIE ATTORNEY AT LAW

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

BEAVERS ROBERT WESLEY ESQ.

COCHRAN JOAN E. ESQ.

TURNER AUBERT & FRIEDMAN LLP

WOLF MATTHEW C. ESQ.

COCHRAN JOAN ELAINE

Cross Defendant Attorney

WOLF MATTHEW CLARKE ESQ.

Other Attorneys

GUZMAN JENNY

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF DEFENDENTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

2/28/2018: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF DEFENDENTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Notice

7/19/2018: Notice

ANDRES PEREZ LOZANO, EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA EDUARDO ELIZONDO TRANSPORT AND EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS, INC.'S ANSWER TO TRUCKING MASTERS, LAX, LLC'S CROSS-COMPLAINT AND JURY T

8/1/2018: ANDRES PEREZ LOZANO, EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA EDUARDO ELIZONDO TRANSPORT AND EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS, INC.'S ANSWER TO TRUCKING MASTERS, LAX, LLC'S CROSS-COMPLAINT AND JURY T

Answer

8/16/2018: Answer

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

12/3/2018: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Case Management Statement

12/3/2018: Case Management Statement

Answer

12/10/2018: Answer

Minute Order

12/17/2018: Minute Order

Case Management Statement

1/7/2019: Case Management Statement

Minute Order

3/18/2019: Minute Order

Declaration

4/19/2019: Declaration

COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY 1. NEGLIGENCE ? WRONGFUL DEATH; AND 2. DECLARATORY RELIEF

10/21/2016: COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY 1. NEGLIGENCE ? WRONGFUL DEATH; AND 2. DECLARATORY RELIEF

DEFENDANTS ROLANDO C. VERDUGO AND TRUCKING MASTERS LAX, LLC'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

1/27/2017: DEFENDANTS ROLANDO C. VERDUGO AND TRUCKING MASTERS LAX, LLC'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

NOTICE OF TAKING DEMURRER OFF CALENDAR

2/23/2017: NOTICE OF TAKING DEMURRER OFF CALENDAR

NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS

8/31/2017: NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS

DEFENDANTS ANDRES PEREZ LOZANO, EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA EDUARDO ELIZONDO TRANSPORT AND EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS, INC.'S JOINT MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT

12/11/2017: DEFENDANTS ANDRES PEREZ LOZANO, EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA EDUARDO ELIZONDO TRANSPORT AND EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO DBA ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS, INC.'S JOINT MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT

DECLARATION OF DEFENDANT ANORES PEREZ LOZANO IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

12/11/2017: DECLARATION OF DEFENDANT ANORES PEREZ LOZANO IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

DECLARATION OF DEFENDANT EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

12/11/2017: DECLARATION OF DEFENDANT EDUARDO D. ELIZONDO IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

75 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/13/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Trucking Masters LAX, LLC (Defendant); Rolando C. Verdugo (Defendant)

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  • 06/13/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Rolando C. Verdugo (Defendant)

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  • 06/12/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Compliance with Deposition Subpoena for the Production of Business Records to T-Mobile) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 06/12/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Compliance with ...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/05/2019
  • Reply (to Defendants' Reply in Support of Motion for a Court Order to Compel Non-Party (T-Mobile) to Comply with Subpoena to Release Cell Phone Records); Filed by Rolando C. Verdugo (Defendant)

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  • 05/15/2019
  • Motion re: ( for a Court Order to Compel T-Mobile USA, Inc. to Comply with Subpoena); Filed by Trucking Masters LAX, LLC (Defendant); Rolando C. Verdugo (Defendant)

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  • 05/14/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Compliance with Subpoena Duces Tecum) - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 05/07/2019
  • Notice (Notice of Taking May 14 Hearing Off Calendar); Filed by Rolando C. Verdugo (Defendant)

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Opposition (Plaintiff Sandra Cea's Opposition To Defendants' Notice of Motion and Motion To Enforce Compliance With Deposition Subpoena For The Production Of Business Records Served on T-Mobile); Filed by Sandra Yaneth Cea (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Memorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by Andres Perez Lozano (Defendant); Eduardo D. DBA Elizondo (Defendant); DBA - ELITE REFRIGERATED EXPRESS, INC. (Cross-Defendant)

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207 More Docket Entries
  • 01/20/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 12/30/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 12/30/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 12/30/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 12/30/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 12/30/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 10/21/2016
  • Complaint

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  • 10/21/2016
  • COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY 1. NEGLIGENCE WRONGFUL DEATH; AND 2. DECLARATORY RELIEF

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  • 10/21/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Marco Tulio Navas Vega (Plaintiff); Flor De Maria Contreras Rios (Plaintiff); Sandra Yaneth Cea (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/21/2016
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC638144    Hearing Date: October 05, 2020    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISCTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Monday, October 5, 2020

Department B Calendar No. 12

PROCEEDINGS

Marco Tulio Navas Vega, et al. v. Rolando C. Verdugo, et al.

BC638144 (Lead Case/Consolidated with BC688005)

  1. Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Complaint of Marco Tulio Navas Vega, et al. (BC638144)

  2. Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Cross-Complaint by Rolando C. Verdugo and Trucking Masters LAX, LLC (BC638144)

  3. Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Complaint of Sandra Cea (BC88005)

  4. Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Cross-Complaint by Trucking Masters LAX, LLC (BC688005)

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Marco Tulio Navas Vega, et al. vs. Rolando C. Verdugo, et al. (BC638144)

    Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Complaint of Marco Tulio Navas Vega, et al. is denied.

    Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Cross-Complaint by Rolando C. Verdugo and Trucking Masters is denied.

    Sandra Cea vs. Estate of Ruth Contreras Navas, et al. (BC688005)

    Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Complaint of Sandra Cea is denied.

    Andres Perez Lozano, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgement, and/or Summary Adjudication as to the Cross-Compliant by Trucking Masters is denied.

Requests for Judicial Notice

Plaintiffs’ Vega’s request for judicial notice is granted.

Cross-Complainants’ request for judicial notice is granted. The Court takes judicial notice of the existence of the documents to which Cross-Complainants request judicial notice. The Court does not take judicial notice of the truth of any matter set forth in those documents.

Objections

  1. Plaintiffs’ Objections

  1. Vega’s Objections

Objection 1 is overruled.

  1. Cea’s Objections

Objections 1 to 7 are overruled.

  1. Cross-Complainants’ Objections

  1. Declaration of Lozano

Objections 1, 3 to 10 are overruled. Objection 2 is sustained.

  1. Declaration of Elizondo

Objections 1 to 2 are overruled.

  1. Declaration of Wolf

Objections 1 to 7, 9, 10, 14, and 17 to 19 are sustained. Objections 15 and 16 are sustained, in part, as to Exhibit N, Deposition of Verdugo, at 138:3-15; otherwise, overruled. Objections 8, 11, 12, and 13 are overruled.

  1. Opposing Parties’ Additional Objections

  1. Declarations of Henningsen and Wolf

Opposing parties further object to the Supplemental Declarations of Henningsen and Wolf submitted with moving party’s Reply. In granting or denying a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, the court need rule only on those objections to evidence that it deems material to its disposition of the motion. CCP § 437c(q).

  1. Moving Defendants’ Objections

  1. Declaration of Hess

Objections 1 to 13 are overruled.

  1. Declaration of Hashish

Objections 1 to 4, and 6 are overruled. Objection 5 is sustained.

  1. Declaration of Fink

Objections 1 to 6 are overruled.

  1. Declaration of Herbert

Objections 1 to 12 are overruled.

  1. Declaration of Zackowitz

Objections 1 to 5 are overruled.

Background

The actions arise from a fatal motor vehicle accident that occurred on December 23, 2015 on West El Segundo Boulevard near Raymond Avenue in or about the City of Gardena, County of Los Angeles. Decedent Ruth Contreras Navas (“Navas”) was driving a 2015 Nissan Sentra with a passenger in her vehicle, Decedent Graciete Jocelyn Martinez (“Martinez”). The incident involved two separate vehicle collisions. The first collision involved Ms. Navas colliding into the rear section of an unoccupied freightliner parked in the median of West El Segundo Boulevard. The freightliner was owned by Trucking Masters LAX, LLC (“Trucking Masters”) and operated by Rolando C. Verdugo (“Verdugo”). Verdugo parked the freightliner in the median of West El Segundo Boulevard and went into a nearby market. After the initial collision, the Nissan Sentra swerved into the opposite lane of traffic and collided with a tractor-trailer being operated by Andres Perez Lozano (“Lozano”). The tractor-trailer was owned by Eduardo Elizondo (“Elizondo”) dba Elite Refrigerated Express, Inc. (“Elite Express”).

The surviving parents of Navas, Marco Tulio Navas Vega (“Vega”) and Flor De Maria Contreras Rios (“Rios”) (BC638144), and surviving parent of Martinez, Sandra Cea (“Cea”) (BC688005), filed wrongful death actions against Lozano, Elizondo, individually and through his dba Elite Express, Verdugo, Trucking Masters, and others. Cross-Complaints were also filed in each action. The two relevant Cross-Complaints for purposes of the motions are as follows: (1) Cross-Complaint by Verdugo and Trucking Masters against moving Defendants in the Vega/Rios Complaint (BC638144), and (2) Cross-Complaint by Trucking Masters against moving party in the Cea Complaint (BC688005). The cases have since been consolidated.

Defendants Lozano, Elizondo, and Elizondo dba Elite Express (previous dba Eduardo Elizondo Transport) (collectively “moving party” or “moving Defendants”) filed 4 separate motions for summary judgment as to the two Complaints and two Cross-Complaints as noted. The Court notes that while the notices of each motion purports to identify and “present” certain “issues,” the motions themselves are not noticed as alternative motions for summary adjudication and nowhere does moving party specifically move for or request summary adjudication of a specific issue as delineated in CCP § 437c(f). Thus, the Court will properly treat each motion as only a motion for summary judgment.

As to each pleading at issue in the motions, moving party moves for summary judgment on the grounds that the Plaintiffs’ or Cross-Complainants’ causes of action lack merit because moving Defendants did not breach any duty of care and did not engage in any negligent conduct.

Legal Standard

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 843. “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal. App. 4th 1110, 1119.

“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facia showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal. App. 4th 1510, 1519. A defendant moving for summary judgment or summary adjudication “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “Once the defendant ... has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff ... to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal. App. 4th 463, 467.

Wrongful Death and Negligence

As to the Plaintiffs’ causes of action for Wrongful Death, the causes of action are based on negligence. Thus, Plaintiffs must establish the following elements: “the existence of a legal duty of care, breach of that duty, and proximate cause resulting in injury.” McIntyre v. Colonies-Pacific, LLC (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 664, 671. The Court notes that moving party’s motions for summary judgment as to the Cross-Complaints and the relevant causes of action for indemnity, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief are also based on moving party’s attempt to negate the elements of negligence with respect to the Plaintiffs’ underlying causes of action.

The court finds that moving Defendants have met their initial burden of showing that Plaintiffs’ causes of action lack merit by showing that an element of the causes of action (breach of duty) cannot be established. Moving Defendants provide evidence to show that they did not breach a duty to Plaintiffs based on their contention that no evidence exists to show that the driver of the tractor-trailer, Lozano, was at fault for this accident. However, the Court finds that moving Defendants did not meet their initial burden to negate the element of causation. In fact, none of the notices of motion purport to negate this element, nor do the corresponding separate statements. The references to “negligent conduct” merely further reiterate the breach of duty element, and the notices and separate statements do not specifically address the element of causation. Thus, the burden does not shift to opposing parties to provide evidence to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact as to this element (causation) of the causes of action. Further, to the extent that “negligent conduct” may be construed to encompass causation, the separate statements of facts do not set forth a specific fact which directly addresses the causation element.

Here, opposing parties have met their burden to show that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the element of breach of duty of the causes of action. CCP § 437c(p)(2). Opposing parties provided evidence to show that there is a triable issue of fact as to whether Lozano’s actions breached a duty of care and was, at a minimum, partially at fault for this accident. In addition, to the extent that moving party’s separate statement of facts, specifically facts 7 to 9 taken together, may be construed to be an attempt to address the causation element, the Court finds that opposing parties have met their burden to provide evidence to show the existence of a triable issue of fact as to the element of causation.

Plaintiffs Vega/Rios and Cea, as well as Cross-Complainants, provided evidence to show the existence of a triable issue of fact as to whether Lozano failed to react sufficiently to the first collision, whether Lozano was sufficiently attentive, whether Lozano’s lane change prior to the collision was reasonable, whether Lozano’s rate of speed was reasonable considering the circumstances, and whether he had sufficient time to react and avoid the Nissan Sentra prior to the collision. (Vega’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 4, 6-9; Vega’s Additional Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 6-18.) (Cea’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 4, 6-9; Cea’s Additional Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 5-7, 10-18.) (Cross-Complainants’ Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 4, 6-9, 19-21, 29-31, 36-38, 45-50, 64.) In addition, opposing parties have shown the existence of a triable issue of material fact as to whether Defendant Elizondo acted negligently in entrusting the vehicle to Lozano, and in supervising and training Lozano. (Vega’s Additional Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 24-28; Cross-Complainants’ Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 32, 59-60.)

Sudden Emergency Doctrine

Alternatively, moving Defendants rely on the sudden emergency doctrine as an affirmative defense. “The affirmative defense of the sudden emergency doctrine, also referred to as the imminent peril doctrine, is set forth in CACI No. 452: “[Defendant] claims that he was not negligent because he acted with reasonable care in an emergency situation. [Defendant] was not negligent if he proves all of the following: [¶] 1. That there was a sudden and unexpected emergency situation in which someone was in actual or apparent danger of immediate injury; [¶] 2. That [Defendant] did not cause the emergency; and [¶] 3. That [Defendant] acted as a reasonably careful person would have acted in similar circumstances, even if it appears later that a different course of action would have been safer.” Shiver v. Laramee (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 395, 399.

However, the Court declines to consider moving Defendants’ arguments based on this affirmative defense as Defendants failed to specifically plead this affirmative defense in their Answers. See, Kendall v. Walker (2009) 181 Cal.App.4th 584, 598; See, also, Harris v. City of Santa Monica (2013) 56 Cal.4th 203, 239. Moving party’s attempt to argue that the affirmative defense that was raised, “unforeseeable accident/avoidable accident,” should actually be construed as an attempt to raise the affirmative defense of sudden emergency is unavailing. Nevertheless, even if, for the sake of argument, the Court were to adopt such a reading, for the reasons already noted, triable issues of fact exist as to whether Lozano acted reasonably under the circumstances.

Moving Defendants’ arguments in their replies are unavailing. The experts provided by opposing parties have sufficiently established their qualifications to testify and provided sufficient foundation for their opinions. To the extent that portions of their declarations may be subject to certain objections (as noted in the court’s ruling), this does not negate all their opinions. Moving Defendants also argue that the experts’ opinions on causation are speculative. However, as noted at the outset, moving Defendants did not meet their initial burden as to the element of causation. Thus, the burden did not shift to opposing parties to show a triable issue of fact as to this element. Nonetheless, in any event, the expert declarations in conjunction with the specific eyewitness testimony that was presented provided sufficient evidence to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact as to causation.

Moving Defendants also take issue with opposing parties’ reliance on the deposition testimony of independent witness Foleni Sialoi who testified, at one point, that there was a 15 to 18 second lapse between the first and second collision. Moving Defendants contend that Silaoi contradicted himself elsewhere in his deposition giving widely varying time frames between impacts ranging from instantaneously, to five seconds, to the time frame noted. Essentially, moving Defendants contend the Court should disregard the former statement. However, on a motion for summary judgment the Court cannot consider the credibility of witnesses, let alone parse, decipher or give weight to the meaning and credibility of certain statements made by a witness that may differ during the course of a deposition. That is left to the trier of fact.

Thus, for the foregoing reasons, moving Defendants’ motions for summary judgment are denied.

The Court notes that Cross-Complainants’ alternative request for a continuance is moot as the Court has ruled that no continuance is required to show that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the Cross-Complaints.

Plaintiffs Vega and Rios are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

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