This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/01/2019 at 20:13:20 (UTC).

MICHAEL THABET ET AL VS YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION ET AL

Case Summary

On 09/23/2016 MICHAEL THABET filed a Personal Injury - Other Product Liability lawsuit against YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION. 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:

    ****5250

  • Filing Date:

    09/23/2016

  • 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

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

THABET KATHY

THABET MICHAEL

THABET GEORGE

Defendants and Respondents

HARRAH'S LAUGHLIN LLC

WATERCRAFT ADVENTURES RENTALS LLC

YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION

ENVIEH JOHN

YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY LTD

DOES 1-100

Cross Defendant

YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION U.S.A.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

LAW OFFICES OF BRIAN NELSON APLC

LIDDY LAW FIRM

LIDDY DONALD GEORGE

Defendant Attorneys

PETROSYAN RUDOLF

PARTOS MICHAEL JONATHAN

RESNICK & LOUIS PC

RODMAN DANIEL STEWART

HOLCOMB M. ALAN

COX WOOTTON LERNER GRIFFIN & HANSEN

 

Court Documents

DEFENDANT JOHN ENV1EH'S JOINDER IN PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT HARRAH?S LAUGHLIN, LLC'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR ALTERNATIVELY, FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

2/2/2018: DEFENDANT JOHN ENV1EH'S JOINDER IN PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT HARRAH?S LAUGHLIN, LLC'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR ALTERNATIVELY, FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

3/23/2018: NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

5/18/2018: SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY, LTD'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' SUMMONS AND COMPLAINTS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

7/25/2018: YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY, LTD'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' SUMMONS AND COMPLAINTS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Minute Order

7/25/2018: Minute Order

NOTICE OF RULING GRANTING YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY, LTD.'S MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' SUMMONS AND COMPLAINTS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

9/19/2018: NOTICE OF RULING GRANTING YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY, LTD.'S MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' SUMMONS AND COMPLAINTS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Opposition

1/14/2019: Opposition

Minute Order

1/14/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

3/25/2019: Minute Order

Motion to Compel

3/26/2019: Motion to Compel

Minute Order

4/18/2019: Minute Order

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

10/17/2016: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

CIVIL DEPOSIT

10/25/2016: CIVIL DEPOSIT

Unknown

4/18/2017: Unknown

NOTICE OF ERRATA RE SECOND AMENDED NOTICE OF MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION TO STAY OR DISMISS THE ACTION ON THE GROUND OF FORUM N

4/20/2017: NOTICE OF ERRATA RE SECOND AMENDED NOTICE OF MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION TO STAY OR DISMISS THE ACTION ON THE GROUND OF FORUM N

DEFENDANT YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION, U.S.A.'S NOTICE OF TAKING MOTION TO COMPEL SIGNED AND NOTARIZED HIPAA AUTHORIZATIONS OFF-CALENDAR

7/11/2017: DEFENDANT YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION, U.S.A.'S NOTICE OF TAKING MOTION TO COMPEL SIGNED AND NOTARIZED HIPAA AUTHORIZATIONS OFF-CALENDAR

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS': (1) REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE; AND (2) SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES SET ONE; DECLARATION OF BRYNNA POPKA, ESQ.; AN

8/14/2017: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS': (1) REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE; AND (2) SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES SET ONE; DECLARATION OF BRYNNA POPKA, ESQ.; AN

Minute Order

10/23/2017: Minute Order

170 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/30/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 37; Hearing on Motion for Order (Compelling Plaintiffs' Experts' Depositions or Excluding Their Testimony) - Held

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  • 05/30/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Order Compelling Plaintiffs' Experts' D...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/30/2019
  • Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Declaration (of David Hansen ISO Yamaha's Reply for an Order Compelling Plaintiffs' Experts' Depos); Filed by Yamaha Motor Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Reply ( In Support of its Motion for an Order Compelling Plaintiffs' Experts' Depos or Excluding Their Testimony); Filed by Yamaha Motor Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 05/17/2019
  • Opposition (PLAINTIFF OPPOSITION); Filed by Michael Thabet (Plaintiff); Kathy Thabet (Plaintiff); George Thabet (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/13/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 37; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (for order compelling Plaintiffs' expert depos) - Held

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  • 05/13/2019
  • Ex Parte Application (for order compelling Plaintiffs' expert depos); Filed by Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 05/13/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for order compelling Plaintif...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/10/2019
  • Opposition (to Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.'s Ex Parte Application for Order Compelling Plaintiffs' Experts' Depositions or Excluding Their Testimony); Filed by Michael Thabet (Plaintiff)

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354 More Docket Entries
  • 10/25/2016
  • DEFENDANT YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION, U.S.A.'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

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  • 10/25/2016
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 10/19/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 10/19/2016
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Michael Thabet (Plaintiff); Kathy Thabet (Plaintiff); George Thabet (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/17/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 10/17/2016
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Michael Thabet (Plaintiff); Kathy Thabet (Plaintiff); George Thabet (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/14/2016
  • DECLARATION OF REASONABLE DILIGENCE

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  • 10/14/2016
  • Declaration re: Due Diligence; Filed by Michael Thabet (Plaintiff); Kathy Thabet (Plaintiff); George Thabet (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/23/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Michael Thabet (Plaintiff); Kathy Thabet (Plaintiff); George Thabet (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/23/2016
  • COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH AND PERSONAL INJURY 1. PRODUCTS LIABILITY; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC635250    Hearing Date: November 08, 2019    Dept: 37

HEARING DATE: November 8, 2019

CASE NUMBER: BC635250

TRIAL DATE: August 4, 2020

CASE NAME: Michael Thabet, et al. v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., et al.

SUBJECT: Motion to Determine Applicable Law

MOVING PARTY: Defendant, Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.

OPPOSING PARTY: Plaintiffs, Michael Thabet, et al.

MOTION: filed July 17, 2019

OPPOSITION: filed October 28, 2019

REPLY: filed November 1, 2019

TENTATIVE: The court GRANTS YMUS’s motion and determines that maritime law is applicable to the instant action. The court notes further finds that Plaintiffs are not precluded from seeking applicable state law remedies.

BACKGROUND

This case arises out of a watercraft versus watercraft collision which occurred on May 25, 2015 near Big Bend State Park in Laughlin, Arizona. In connection with this collision, Plaintiffs, Michael Thabet , Kathy Thabet and George Thabet as successors in interest to Magdy Thabet (“Plaintiffs”) filed this action against Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (“YMUS”), Yamaha Motor Company, LTD (“YMLTD”), Watercraft Adventures Rentals, LLC (“Watercraft”), Harrah Laughlin, LLC (“Harrah”), John Envieh (“Envieh”), an individual, and does 1-100 (“Defendants”), alleging causes of action for (1) product liability, (2) negligence, (3) breach of warranty, (4) failure to warn and (5) survival action.

During this collision, defendant Envieh was allegedly driving a Yamaha watercraft behind Plaintiff, Michael Thabet’s watercraft. Decedent, Magdy Thabet, was Plaintiff’s passenger. The subject watercraft defendant drove was owned by defendant, Watercraft. Plaintiffs allege that defendant Envieh turned off the engine when he realized that Plaintiff Michael Thabet had come to a stop, but that the watercraft allegedly lost steering when the engine turned off. As a result, defendant Envieh allegedly collided into Plaintiff Thabet’s watercraft in such a way that his vehicle crushed decedent Magdy Thabet, causing her death. Plaintiffs further allege that the YMUS and YMLTD are liable for this incident because they manufactured the watercraft in such a way that it was unreasonably dangerous and defective.

On July 17, 2019 YMUS filed the instant motion. On October 24, 2019, the court granted YMUS’ ex-parte application to advance its hearing on this motion, setting the hearing date for November 8, 2019.

MOTION TO DETERMINE APPLICABLE LAW

I. Legal Standard

Cases that involve a watercraft collision on navigable waters fall within admiralty law’s domain. (Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. v. Calhoun (1996) 516 U.S. 199, 206 (Calhoun).) “With admiralty jurisdiction” often “comes the application of substantive admiralty law.” (East River S.S. Corp. v. Transmaerica Delaval Inc. (1986) 476 U.S. 858, 864.) However, state law is not automatically displaced if admiralty law is applied. (Calhoun, supra, at p. 206.)

Both parties cites Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. v. Calhoun in their moving papers. In Yamaha, respondents were the parents of a child who was killed in a watercraft collision in navigable waters off Puerto Rico. (Id. at 199.) Respondents filed their action against Yamaha, invoking Pennsylvania’s wrongful death and survival statutes. (Id.) The district court granted Yamaha’s request to apply federal maritime law, to the exclusion of state law. (Id.) Although the third circuit granted interlocutory review, it did not resolve the questions presented but instead, held that state remedies have not been displaced by federal maritime law. (Id.)

In general, state wrongful death statutes provided an adequate supplement to federal maritime law. (Id. at 207-208.) However, the Supreme Court in Calhoun noted that the doctrine of “unseaworthiness” developed over the last decade to expand a shipowner’s liability to injured seamen by imposing upon them a nondelegable duty to furnish a seaworthy vehicle. (Id. at 208). Specifically, the Supreme Court reexamined its decision in Moragne v. States Marine Lines, Inc., and came to the conclusion that while Moragne expressed concerns about creating a uniform federal scheme for maritime cases, it did not actually hold that state law remedies can no longer apply. (Id. at 209-211.) In conclusion, the Supreme Court held that Plaintiffs’ damages for the watercraft death of their decedent are properly governed by state law. (Id. at 216.)

  1. Analysis

YMUS argues that maritime law should apply because the subject watercraft collision occurred on the Colorado River, a federal navigable waterway. (Motion, 3.) YMUS further argues that Supreme Court precedent requires application of maritime law to collisions of recreational vehicles on navigable waterways because such collisions “could lead to restrictions on the navigable use of the waterway.” (Motion, 6.) Finally, YMUS argues that California tort law cannot supplant maritime law (Motion, 8-12.)

In opposition, Plaintiffs contend that Supreme Court precedent has already held that state law applies to watercraft wrongful death actions, whether or not they occurred on navigable waters. (Opposition, 2-3.) Plaintiffs cite Yamaha v. Calhoun (1996) 516 U.S. 199 in support of their proposition. Plaintiffs’ opposition then contends that Yamaha’s motion to determine whether maritime law is an attempt to avoid remedies provided by California state law. (see Opposition, 4-5.)

YMUS contends on reply that Plaintiffs Opposition fails to note the distinction between applying maritime law to determining liability and to determining remedies. (Reply, 2-3.) Specifically, YMUS contends that because Plaintiffs opposition focuses on discussions of damages, it admits that maritime law applies as to liabilities. (Id.) Finally, YMUS contends that Plaintiffs’ remaining arguments are not applicable to the issue at hand of determining application of law. (Reply, 3-5.)

Here, the court finds that admiralty law should apply to Plaintiffs’ action against YMUS because the alleged collision occurred on a navigable waterway. Plaintiffs allege in the Complaint that the collision occurred “near Big Bend State Park in Laughlin, Arizona.” (Complaint, ¶ 14.) YMUs contends that the Colorado River is a navigable waterway and Plaintiffs do not dispute this contention. Further, the court is not aware of any facts or law to support the proposition that the Colorado River is not a navigable waterway.

As to the remaining arguments in Plaintiffs’ opposition, the court finds them inapposite to the choice of law issue. Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s holding in Calhoun, Plaintiffs may still seek California law wrongful death remedies yet have the liability as to YMUS determined under applicable maritime law. Accordingly, because the Supreme Court has found no conflict between applying state law remedies to admiralty law claims, the court hereby grants YMUS’ motion.

C. Conclusion

Given the foregoing, the court GRANTS YMUS’s motion and determines that maritime law is applicable to the instant action. The court further finds that Plaintiffs are not precluded from seeking applicable state law remedies.