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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/09/2019 at 03:16:12 (UTC).

MARIA ARROYO VS CITY OF BELLFLOWER ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/16/2016 MARIA ARROYO filed a Personal Injury - Other Product Liability lawsuit against CITY OF BELLFLOWER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9733

  • Filing Date:

    02/16/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Product Liability

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

ARROYO MARIA

Defendants and Respondents

LOS ANGELES COUNTY OF

DOES 1 TO 100

BELLFLOWER CITY OF

CITY OF BELLFLOWER

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

CITY OF BELLFLOWER

Cross Defendant

ROES 1 TO 50

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

B & D LAW GROUP APLC

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

HAITH SCOTT C.

 

Court Documents

Notice

12/21/2017: Notice

Answer

1/3/2018: Answer

Summons

1/29/2018: Summons

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION BY DEFENDANT CITY OF BELLFLOWER TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO SERVE ORIGINAL VERIFIED RESPONSES TO CITY'S FIRST SETS OF FORM AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, AND FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST

8/8/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION BY DEFENDANT CITY OF BELLFLOWER TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO SERVE ORIGINAL VERIFIED RESPONSES TO CITY'S FIRST SETS OF FORM AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, AND FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST

Opposition

9/4/2018: Opposition

ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO COMPEL IN PART WITHOUT PREJUDICE

9/13/2018: ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO COMPEL IN PART WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Notice of Ruling

9/14/2018: Notice of Ruling

Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

10/9/2018: Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

Order

3/27/2019: Order

Notice of Ruling

4/2/2019: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order

8/1/2017: Minute Order

Minute Order

8/16/2017: Minute Order

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CITY OF BELLFLOWER'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

8/22/2017: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CITY OF BELLFLOWER'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER BY DEFENDANT CITY OF BELLFLOWER TO PLAINTIFF MARIA ARROYO'S COMPLAINT;ETC.

8/22/2017: NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER BY DEFENDANT CITY OF BELLFLOWER TO PLAINTIFF MARIA ARROYO'S COMPLAINT;ETC.

Minute Order

11/20/2017: Minute Order

Demurrer

11/20/2017: Demurrer

Request for Judicial Notice

11/20/2017: Request for Judicial Notice

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO VACATE DISMISSAL

11/20/2017: ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO VACATE DISMISSAL

19 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/14/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 05/02/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 04/29/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Continue Trial - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 04/16/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Continue Trial - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 04/02/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by City of Bellflower (Defendant)

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  • 03/27/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (For Order Continuing Trial and Final Status Conference and for an order shortening time to hear motion) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 03/27/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application For Order Continuing Trial an...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/27/2019
  • Ex Parte Application (For Order Continuing Trial and Final Status Conference and for an order shortening time to hear motion); Filed by City of Bellflower (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 03/27/2019
  • Order (re Ex Parte to Continue Trial); Filed by City of Bellflower (Defendant)

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  • 11/20/2018
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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53 More Docket Entries
  • 08/22/2017
  • REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CITY OF BELLFLOWER'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

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  • 08/16/2017
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 92; Jury Trial (Jury Trial; Order of Dismissal) -

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  • 08/16/2017
  • Minute Order

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  • 08/16/2017
  • Minute order entered: 2017-08-16 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/01/2017
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 92; Final Status Conference (Final Status Conference; Off Calendar) -

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  • 08/01/2017
  • Minute order entered: 2017-08-01 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/01/2017
  • Minute Order

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  • 07/26/2017
  • Summons; Filed by Maria Arroyo (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Maria Arroyo (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2016
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC609733    Hearing Date: November 17, 2020    Dept: C

ARROYO v. CITY OF BELLFLOWER

CASE NO.: BC609733

HEARING 11/17/20 @ 1:30 PM

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

#7

TENTATIVE ORDER

Plaintiff Arroyo’s motion to compel Paul Zwiep to answer questions at a further deposition is DENIED. Plaintiff’s alternative motion to compel verified responses is GRANTED. No sanctions.

Moving Party to give NOTICE.

Plaintiff Arroyo moves to compel Paul Zwiep to answer questions at a further deposition, or in the alternative, via verified responses.

Plaintiff filed the instant complaint against City of Bellflower and County of Los Angeles, alleging that on 5/30/15, Plaintiff tripped and fell over raised sidewalk panels located in front of 9424 Arkansas Street, Bellflower, California. Plaintiff asserts causes of action for:

1. Premises Liability

2. General Negligence

“If a deponent fails to answer any question or to produce any document...the party seeking discovery may move the court for an order compelling that answer or production.” (CCP § 2025.480(a).) CCP § 2025.610(b) allows, upon a showing of good cause, a party to obtain a second session of a deposition.

Paul Zwiep was the maintenance supervisor for the City of Bellflower until one year before Plaintiff’s incident occurred. Zwiep had made a note in his work order that the exact sidewalk panels which caused Plaintiff’s trip and fall posed a “liability” for the City nearly two years before the incident occurred.

However, at his deposition, he testified that the photographs depicted a “safe condition.” (Motion, Ex. D, 59:16-20, 60:13-19.)

Plaintiff contends that Zwiep was instructed to lie. To substantiate this contention, Plaintiff relies on an unidentified person who overheard Zwiep say to defense counsel: “if you want me to say it, I will, but if you don’t want me to say it, I won’t, if you instruct me not to answer.” (Motion, 10:7-13.)

Thereafter, Zwiep was asked whether this comment had any weight on the outcome of the case and whether Zwiep was instructed to lie. Defense counsel instructed Zwiep not to answer and asserted the attorney-client privilege.

The court finds that Plaintiff’s evidence does not support good cause for a second deposition that would invade the attorney-client privilege. Defense counsel and Zwiep stepped out of the deposition room to have a private conversation. There was an expectation of privacy by exiting the conference room and conducting the conversation in a hallway and outside of the presence of Plaintiff’s counsel, the court reporter and the videographer. If one of plaintiff counsel’s employees heard a snippet of the private communication, that does not mean that there has been a knowing waiver of the attorney-client privilege. (In re Jordan (1972) 7 Cal.3d 930.)

Further, Plaintiff’s evidence is inadmissible hearsay. The individual who relayed Zwiep’s conversation to Plaintiff’s counsel is unidentified. Further, the conversation is vague and ambiguous. Zwiep merely stated that he would follow counsel’s instructions to answer or not to answer. Such does not support any credible evidence that would justify setting aside the privilege.

While Plaintiff has not produced sufficient evidence to justify a second deposition, Plaintiff may propound additional written discovery to determine whether Zwiep was instructed to lie. Such does not violate the attorney-client privilege because it falls under the crime/fraud exception. (Ev. Code 956.)

Accordingly, Plaintiff’s alternative motion to allow further written discovery upon Zwiep is GRANTED. No sanctions to either party.

Case Number: BC609733    Hearing Date: July 23, 2020    Dept: SEC

ARROYO v. CITY OF BELLFLOWER

CASE NO.: BC609733

HEARING: 07/23/2020

CALENDAR MATTER #8

TENTATIVE ORDER

I. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Request for Production of Documents (set two) is GRANTED.

II. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories (set two) is GRANTED.

III. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Special Interrogatories (set two) is GRANTED.

IV. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Request for Admissions (set two) is MOOT in part, GRANTED in part, and DENIED in part.

Moving Party to give Notice.

Plaintiff moves to compel Defendant CITY OF BELLFLOWER’s (“City”) further responses to Plaintiff’s Request for Production of Documents (set two); Form Interrogatories (set two); Special Interrogatories (set two); and Request for Admissions (set two).

On June 26, 2020, this Court issued the following Order: “Counsel are ORDERED to make further efforts to resolve the issues presented. If, after exhausting those efforts, court intervention is needed, counsel may appear and argue the merits on the continued hearing date. [¶] If counsel are unable to informally resolve their discovery disputes, then counsel are ORDERED to submit a JOINT STATEMENT outlining the remaining disputed issues for which a ruling is required. The Joint Statement must be e-filed by no later than 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 13, 2020.” (06/26/2020, Min. Order.)

The Court has reviewed the parties “joint” statement submitted on July 13, 2020. Plaintiff has agreed to withdraw a number of questions, and Defendant has apparently agreed to supplement RFA Nos 1-3, 6-10, 14-17, 24, 27, 28, 32-34, and 36-38. The Motion(s) are rendered MOOT as to the withdrawn questions. In the event that further responses to RFA Nos 1-3, 6-10, 14-17, 24, 27, 28, 32-34, and 36-38 have not been served on or before the hearing date, the Motion is GRANTED. Defendant CITY OF BELLFLOWER is ORDERED to provide further verified responses to RFA Nos 1-3, 6-10, 14-17, 24, 27, 28, 32-34, and 36-38, no

later than 30 days from the Court’s issuance of this Order. This date may be extended pursuant to agreement of the parties.

The Court’s substantive ruling shall be limited to the following items still in dispute:

· Form Interrogatories Nos. 14.1, 15.1, 16.1-16.5, 16.9, and 17.1

· Special Interrogatories Nos. 20-28, and 30-37

· Request for Production of Documents Nos. 1, 4, 5-8, 14, and 18

· Request for Admissions: 4, 5, 18-23, 25, 26, 29-31, 35, 39-41. (RFA Nos. 18-23 are not substantively addressed in the Joint Statement. Therefore, the Court infers that the inclusion of RFA Nos. 18-23 in the caption is a typo, and that RFA Nos. 18-23 need not be addressed.)

The Court has also reviewed the Declaration of Christopher Bagnaschi Regarding Plaintiff’s Submission of “Joint Statement” RE Discovery Motions. Mr. Bagnaschi claims that the Joint Statement submitted by Plaintiff’s Counsel on July 13, 2020 is not a true Joint Statement where Plaintiff’s Counsel has apparently inserted improper and non-approved commentary in Defense Counsel’s portion of the Joint Statement. The Court agrees with Defense Counsel that Plaintiff’s counsel has inserted inappropriate argument and commentary. The Court admonishes counsel to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Since the discovery responses were served a year ago and multiple IDCs have been conducted, in the interests of judicial efficiency and to prevent any further delay in the adjudication of this matter, the Court shall disregard the parties’ arguments, and focus solely on the responses in dispute in its ruling.

Form Interrogatories and Special Interrogatories

“If the propounding party, on receipt of a response to interrogatories, deems that (1) an answer to a particular interrogatory is…incomplete…or (3) an objection to an interrogatory is without merit or too general, that party may move for an order compelling further response.” (CCP §2030.300(a).)

As to FI Nos. 14.1, 15.1, 16.1-16.5, 16.9, and 17.1: Supplemental responses were apparently served on August 8, 2019. It is unclear as to whether things have changed since those supplemental responses were served. Rather than ordering Plaintiff to serve supplemental discovery, the Court shall grant the Motion in an effort to expedite the case. Consequently, the Motion is GRANTED as to Form Interrogatories Nos. 14.1, 15.1, 16.1-16.5, 16.9, and 17.1. Further, “[a]n interrogatory may relate to whether another party is making a certain contention, or to the facts, witnesses, and writings on which a contention is based. An interrogatory is not objectionable because an answer to it involves an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact, or would

be based on information obtained or legal theories developed in anticipation of litigation or in preparation for trial.” (CCP §2030.010(b).) Defendant is ORDERED to provide further responses based on the information it has available to it at the time of the Court’s issuance of this Order.

As to SI Nos. 20-28, and 30-37: The Motion is GRANTED in its entirety. Defendant did not provide substantive responses, only objections. Defendant mainly objects on the basis that responding to these interrogatories asks for expert or legal opinions or conclusions. This objection is without merit. “An interrogatory may relate to whether another party is making a certain contention, or to the facts, witnesses, and writings on which a contention is based. An interrogatory is not objectionable because an answer to it involves an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact, or would be based on information obtained or legal theories developed in anticipation of litigation or in preparation for trial.” (CCP §2030.010(b).)

The Motion to Compel Further Responses as to FI Nos. 14.1, 15.1, 16.1-16.5, 16.9, and 17.1 and SI Nos. 20-28, and 30-37 is GRANTED. Defendant CITY OF BELLFLOWER is ORDERED to provide further verified responses to FI Nos. 14.1, 15.1, 16.1-16.5, 16.9, and 17.1 and SI Nos. 20-28, and 30-37, no later than 30 days from the Court’s issuance of this Order. This date may be extended pursuant to agreement of the parties.

Request for Production of Documents

“On receipt of a response to a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling, the demanding party may move for an order compelling further response to the demand if the demanding party deems that any of the following apply: (1) A state of compliance with the demand is incomplete. (2) A representation of inability to comply is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive. (3) An objection in the response is without merit or too general.” (CCP §2031.310(a).)

A motion to compel further responses to a request for production “shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought by the inspection demand.” (CCP §2031.310(b).)

As to RPD Nos. 1, 4, 5-8, 14, and 18: The Motion is granted in its entirety. The Court has reviewed Defendant’s initial and supplemental responses to the discovery at issue and finds that they are evasive, incomplete, and non-responsive. Defendant has not justified the objections or privileges asserted therein. Defendant is obligated to produce whatever responsive documents it has that are presently within its possession, custody, or control, or state that it does not have any documents responsive to a given request, within the aforementioned time frame. A statement of inability to produce the documents must comply with statutory requirements. (CCP §§2031.220 and 2031.330.)

The Motion to Compel Further Responses as to RPD (set one) RPD Nos. 1, 4, 5-8, 14, and 18 is GRANTED. Defendant CITY OF BELLFLOWER is ORDERED to provide further verified responses and documents to RPD Nos. 1, 4, 5-8, 14, and 18 no later than 30 days from the Court’s issuance of this Order. This date may be extended pursuant to agreement of the parties.

Requests for Admissions

“On receipt of a response to request for admissions, the party requesting admissions may move for an order compelling a further response if that party deems that… [a]n answer to a particular request is evasive or incomplete [or] [a]n objection to a particular request is without merit or too general.” (CCP §2033.290(a).) Requests for admission do not require personal knowledge of the fact or document to be admitted; rather, they impose a duty upon the responding party to make a reasonable investigation of the facts of those matters not within his personal knowledge to enable a response. (International Harvester Co. v. Superior Court (1969) 273 Cal.App.2d 652, 655.)

As to RFA Nos. 4, 5, 25, 26, 29-31, 35, 39-41: “Each answer in a response to requests for admission shall be as complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available to the responding party permits. Each answer shall: (1) Admit so much of the matter involved in the request as is true, either as expressed in the request itself or as reasonably and clearly qualified by the responding party. (2) Deny so much of the matter involved in the request as is untrue. (3) Specify so much of the matter involved in the request as to the truth of which the responding party lacks sufficient information or knowledge. (c) If a responding party gives lack of information or knowledge as a reason for a failure to admit all or part of a request for admission, that party shall state in the answer that a reasonable inquiry concerning the matter in the particular request has been made, and that the information known or readily obtainable is insufficient to enable that party to admit the matter.” (CCP §2033.220.)

The Motion is DENIED as to RFA Nos. 4 and 5— the City has sufficiently denied these requests.

The Motion is GRANTED as to RFA Nos. 29-31, 35, and 39-41. Defendant must provide code-compliant responses as indicated above.

Both parties’ request sanctions. Both parties’ requests for monetary sanctions are DENIED. Defendant agreed to supplement many of its responses. Moreover, the Court cannot find that Defendant acted without substantial justification in its refusal to provide ongoing further supplemental responses.

Case Number: BC609733    Hearing Date: July 16, 2020    Dept: SEC

ARROYO v. CITY OF BELLFLOWER

CASE NO.: BC609733

HEARING: 07/16/2020

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

[Remote appearances are encouraged and will be given priority.]

#11

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant/Cross-Complainant CITY OF BELLFLOWER’s Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

Opposing Party to give notice.

Defendant/Cross-Complainant CITY OF BELLFLOWER’s Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED as to Exhibits 1 and 2 as to the existence of the documents, but not as to any hearsay statements contained therein. Cal. Ev. Code §452. “Although the existence of statements contained in a deposition transcript [or declaration] filed as part of the court record can be judicially noticed, their truth is not subject to judicial notice.” (Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians v. Superior Court (McAllister) (2005) 133 Cal.App.4th 1185, 1191.) Defendant/Cross-Complainant CITY OF BELLFLOWER’s Request for Judicial Notice is DENIED as to Exhibit 3. The photograph is not properly subject to judicial notice under Ev. Code §§451 or 452.

This personal injury action was filed by Plaintiff MARIA ARROYO (“Plaintiff”) on February 16, 2016. On December 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed her operative First Amended Form Complaint (“FAC”). Plaintiff alleges in pertinent part, “Plaintiff was lawfully on Defendants’ premises when suddenly and without notice, Plaintiff tripped and fell on a dangerous side walk protruding from the ground causing her to suffer injuries. Defendants failed to remedy, remove, alleviate, and/or warn of the dangerous condition the [sic] Defendants’ property…..” (FAC p. 4.) The FAC a single cause of action for Premises Liability/General Negligence.

Defendant/Cross-Complainant CITY OF BELLFLOWER (“City”) moves for summary judgment on the following grounds: (1) Plaintiff cannot establish causation because she cannot identify the located where she allegedly tripped and fell; and (2) Plaintiff cannot establish that the City owed her a duty on her common law causes of action for general negligence.

In Opposition, Plaintiff argues that although she was unable to decipher the exact location of the subject incident from the photographs shown to her at her deposition, she “has shown her knowledge of the incident location multiple times including in her FAC, her City Claim for Damages filed on November 12, 2015, and throughout her deposition. Kheiri Decl. at ¶24.” (Opp. 8:10-12.)

The elements of a premises liability claim and negligence claim are the same: a legal duty of care, breach of that duty, and proximate cause resulting in injury. (Kesner v. Superior Court (2016) 1 Cal.5th 1132, 1158.) “A public entity is liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition of its property if (1) the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury; (2) the dangerous condition caused the injury; (3) the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was injured; and (4) that either r(a) a negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment created the condition, or (b) the public entity had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition in time to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.” (Moncur v. City of Los Angeles (1977) 68 Cal.App.3d 118, 123; Govt. Code §835.)

A mere possibility of causation is not enough to support a negligence claim, and when the matter remains one of pure speculation or conjecture, or the probabilities are at best evenly balanced, it becomes the duty of the court to direct a verdict for the defendant. (Peralta v. Vons Companies, Inc. (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 1030, 1035.)

In support of its Motion, the City submits evidence of Plaintiff’s own testimony, which the City maintains illustrates that Plaintiff cannot identify the exact location of her fall. (See City SSMF Nos. 4-8.)

In Opposition, Plaintiff submits her own declaration wherein she testifies that “[o]n May 30, 2015…[a]t approximately 1:00 p.m., [while] walking in front of the residence located at 9424 Arkansas St., Bellflower, California 90706, a raised portion of the concrete sidewalk caused [her] to trip and fall.” (Arroyo Decl., ¶3.) Plaintiff contends that her declaration is not contrary to her deposition testimony where, Plaintiff’s deposition testimony, taken as a whole, indicates that although she could not identify the exact location of her fall based on the pictures shown to her by the City during her deposition, she has always been able to provide a description of the bump that caused her to fall. Plaintiff maintains that her FAC, Declaration, City Claim for Damages, and deposition testimony illustrate that Plaintiff has also maintained that there were two bumps in close proximity to one another on the date of the subject incident. She fell on the bump that had an “upward slope” and “downward slope”, and not the second bump which had holes. (See City RJN Ex. 2, p. 23: 6-21.)

The Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED. Deposition testimony indicating lack of knowledge of facts to support a claim, alone, does not meet the initial burden of proof as to a defense motion for summary judgment. (Andrews v. Foster Wheeler LLC (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 96, 107; Weber v. John Crane, Inc. (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1433, 2006.) Importantly, the Court notes that the deposition testimony highlighted by the City does not reveal that Plaintiff cannot prove her case. As indicated above, Plaintiff has described the bump that caused her to fall. The Court concludes that the City has failed to shift the burden of proof. Moreover, in its Motion for Summary Judgment, the City does not address Plaintiff’s alternative theories for holding the City liable for Premises Liability—negligence and failure to warn.

As indicated above, and as alleged by Plaintiff in the operative pleading, there is no separate claim for general negligence being asserted against the City. Notwithstanding, to the extent that Plaintiff is asserting a separate claim for “general negligence” against the City— the City has not moved for summary adjudication. There is no request for summary adjudication in the notice of motion. Thus, this Court cannot reach and adjudicate separate issues unless all claims against the City are summary granted in the City’s favor. A Court cannot grant summary adjudication where the only motion noticed for hearing is for summary judgment. (See Jimenez v. Protective Life Ins. Co. (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 528, 534.)

Plaintiff’s Objections to the City’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts:

Plaintiff’s Objections to the City’s Separate Statement are OVERRULED. Objections to the Separate Statement are somewhat misplaced, as the statement itself is not evidence, nor is Counsel’s characterization of the underlying evidence cited therein.

The City’s Evidentiary Objections:

1. Overruled

2. Sustained

3. Sustained

4. Sustained

5. Sustained

6. Sustained

7. Sustained

8. Sustained

9. Sustained

10. Sustained

11. Sustained

12. Sustained

13. Sustained

14. Sustained

15. Sustained

16. Sustained

17. Sustained

18. Overruled

19. Sustained

20. Sustained

21. Sustained

22. Sustained

23. Sustained

24. Sustained

25. Sustained

26. Sustained

27. Overruled

28. Overruled

29. Overruled

Case Number: BC609733    Hearing Date: June 25, 2020    Dept: SEC

ARROYO v. CITY OF BELLFLOWER

CASE NO.:  BC609733

HEARING:  06/25/2020

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

#6

TENTATIVE ORDER

I. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Request for Production of Documents (set two) is DENIED without prejudice. CCP §2031.310

II. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories (set two) is DENIED without prejudice. CCP §2030.300.

III. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Special Interrogatories (set two) is DENIED without prejudice. CCP §2030.300.

IV. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Request for Admissions (set two) is DENIED without prejudice. CCP §2033.290

Moving Party to give Notice.

No Reply filed as of June 22, 2020. Due by June 18, 2020. (CCP §1005(b).)

Plaintiff moves to compel Defendant CITY OF BELLFLOWER’s (“City”) further responses to Plaintiff’s Request for Production of Documents (set two); Form Interrogatories (set two); Special Interrogatories (set two); and Request for Admissions (set two).

“On receipt of a response to a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling, the demanding party may move for an order compelling further response to the demand if the demanding party deems that any of the following apply: (1) A state of compliance with the demand is incomplete. (2) A representation of inability to comply is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive. (3) An objection in the response is without merit or too general.” (CCP §2031.310(a).)

A motion to compel further responses to a request for production “shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought by the inspection demand.” (CCP §2031.310(b).)

If a party to whom interrogatories are directed responds with objections or incomplete answers, the propounding party’s remedy is to seek a court order compelling further answers to the interrogatories. (CCP §2030.300.)

“On receipt of a response to request for admissions, the party requesting admissions may move for an order compelling a further response if that party deems that… [a]n answer to a particular request is evasive or incomplete [or] [a]n objection to a particular request is without merit or too general.” (CCP §2033.290(a).) Requests for admission do not require personal knowledge of the fact or document to be admitted; rather, they impose a duty upon the responding party to make a reasonable investigation of the facts of those matters not within his personal knowledge to enable a response. (International Harvester Co. v. Superior Court (1969) 273 Cal.App.2d 652, 655.)

These Motions were filed on September 27, 2019. On October 31, 2019, an Informal Discovery Conference was held between the parties and the Honorable Jon R. Takasugi in Dept. 3 of the Spring Street Courthouse. The October 31, 2019 Minute Order states, in pertinent part, “IDC was not fruitful because Plaintiff is unable to narrow any area of discovery that Defendant’s responses did not address. This is the third IDC and it appears Plaintiff has not gone through the responses previously received and ‘re-propounded the requests narrowing them to specific questions and documents.’ (Court’s Minute Order, August 16, 2019). Again, Plaintiff needs to review the Form Interrogatories to see that some of the questions Plaintiff is demanding responses for do not apply to these particular parties or this specific factual scenario…. [¶] Other than a general complaint about everything being non-responsive, Plaintiff could not frame any disagreements so the Court could offer direction.” (Min. Order, 10/31/19.)

There is still no indication that Plaintiff made any attempt to heed the Court’s directions of August 16, 2019. Plaintiff’s Motions are DENIED without prejudice. Plaintiff fails to establish why the City’s supplemental responses are insufficient. Plaintiff is not foreclosed from re-serving more narrowly tailored discovered in the future, if necessary.

Sanctions

“[T]he court shall impose a monetary sanction…against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further response to a demand, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (CCP §2031.310(h).)

CCP § 2030.300(d) provides that, “[t]he court shall impose a monetary sanction…against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further response to interrogatories, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (Id.)

“The court shall impose a monetary sanction…against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further response, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (CCP §2033.290(d).)

The City’s request(s) for monetary sanctions are granted as follows: Plaintiff MARIA ARROYO and/or her counsel of record are ORDERED to pay Defendant CITY OF BELLFLOWER and its counsel of record sanctions in the total amount of $820.00 ($205/hr. x 4 hrs.) no later than 30 days from the Court’s issuance of this Order.

Case Number: BC609733    Hearing Date: March 19, 2020    Dept: SEC

ARROYO v. CITY OF BELLFLOWER

CASE NO.: BC609733

HEARING: 03/19/2020

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE GENERAL ORDER OF THE PRESIDING JDUGE, THE MATTER IS CONTINUED.

#8

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant/Cross-Complainant CITY OF BELLFLOWER’s Motion for Summary Judgment is CONTINUED to Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in Dept. SE-C.

Case Number: BC609733    Hearing Date: November 14, 2019    Dept: 3

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES – CENTRAL DISTRICT

MARIA ARROYO,

Plaintiff,

v.

CITY OF BELLFLOWER, ET AL.,

Defendants.

Case No.: BC609733

ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT

After review of the court file, the Court makes the following order:

Department 3 of the Personal Injury Court has determined that the above entitled action is complicated based upon the number of pretrial hearings and/or the complexity of the issues presented.

AT THE DIRECTION OF DEPARTMENT 1:

This case is hereby transferred and reassigned to the following Independent Calendar Court in THE SOUTHEAST DISTRICT, JUDGE BERNAL presiding in DEPT. F of the NORWALK Courthouse, for all purposes except trial. Department 1 hereby delegates to the Independent Calendar Court the authority to assign the cause for trial to that Independent Calendar Court.

The Order is signed and filed this date, and incorporated herein by reference. Any pending motions or hearings, including trial and status conferences, will be reset, continued or vacated at the direction of the newly assigned Independent Calendar court.

Upon receipt of this notice, counsel for Plaintiff shall give notice to all parties of record.

DATED: November 8, 2019 ___________________________

Hon. Jon Takasugi

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BC609733    Hearing Date: November 08, 2019    Dept: 3

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES – CENTRAL DISTRICT

MARIA ARROYO,

Plaintiff,

v.

CITY OF BELLFLOWER, ET AL.,

Defendants.

Case No.: BC609733

ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT

After review of the court file, the Court makes the following order:

Department 3 of the Personal Injury Court has determined that the above entitled action is complicated based upon the number of pretrial hearings and/or the complexity of the issues presented.

AT THE DIRECTION OF DEPARTMENT 1:

This case is hereby transferred and reassigned to the following Independent Calendar Court in THE SOUTHEAST DISTRICT, JUDGE BERNAL presiding in DEPT. F of the NORWALK Courthouse, for all purposes except trial. Department 1 hereby delegates to the Independent Calendar Court the authority to assign the cause for trial to that Independent Calendar Court.

The Order is signed and filed this date, and incorporated herein by reference. Any pending motions or hearings, including trial and status conferences, will be reset, continued or vacated at the direction of the newly assigned Independent Calendar court.

Upon receipt of this notice, counsel for Plaintiff shall give notice to all parties of record.

DATED: November 8, 2019 ___________________________

Hon. Jon Takasugi

Judge of the Superior Court

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