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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/06/2019 at 12:40:04 (UTC).

MICHEL HAROUCHE VS THE WILSHIRE CORPORATION, ET AL.,

Case Summary

On 10/13/2015 MICHEL HAROUCHE filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against THE WILSHIRE CORPORATION, . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are NANCY L. NEWMAN and GERALD ROSENBERG. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4859

  • Filing Date:

    10/13/2015

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

NANCY L. NEWMAN

GERALD ROSENBERG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff, Respondent and Cross Defendant

HAROUCHE MICHEL

Defendants, Cross Plaintiffs and Appellants

SISCA STEPHEN

THE WILSHIRE CORPORATION

FINTON CONSTRUCTION INC.

FINTON JOHN J.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SMITH STEPHEN S.

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

CALLARI ANDREW C.

NOSSAMAN LLP

RYAN KELLY FRANCIS

RYAN KELLY F.

LINK JAMES S.

Other Attorneys

SMITH STEPHEN SHANNON

 

Court Documents

Reply

7/20/2018: Reply

Statement of Decision

8/14/2018: Statement of Decision

Statement of Decision

8/14/2018: Statement of Decision

Legacy Document

9/4/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

9/28/2018: Legacy Document

Opposition

10/11/2018: Opposition

Reply

10/18/2018: Reply

Brief

11/8/2018: Brief

Certificate of Mailing for

11/15/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Reply

12/14/2018: Reply

Notice

3/5/2019: Notice

Judgment

3/19/2019: Judgment

Minute Order

3/29/2019: Minute Order

Notice

4/9/2019: Notice

Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed

4/26/2019: Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed

Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal

4/30/2019: Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal

Appeal - Ntc Designating Record of Appeal APP-003/010/103

5/17/2019: Appeal - Ntc Designating Record of Appeal APP-003/010/103

Appeal - Notice Court Reporter to Prepare Appeal Transcript

6/26/2019: Appeal - Notice Court Reporter to Prepare Appeal Transcript

21 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/26/2019
  • Appeal - Notice Court Reporter to Prepare Appeal Transcript (;B297364, NOA 4/26/19;); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/17/2019
  • Appeal - Ntc Designating Record of Appeal APP-003/010/103; Filed by Stephen Sisca (Appellant); The Wilshire Corporation (Appellant)

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  • 05/14/2019
  • Appeal - Notice of Default Issued; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal (for Notice of Appeal, filed 4/26/19); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/26/2019
  • Association of Attorney; Filed by The Wilshire Corporation (Defendant); Stephen Sisca (Defendant)

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  • 04/26/2019
  • Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed; Filed by Stephen Sisca (Appellant); The Wilshire Corporation (Appellant)

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  • 04/09/2019
  • Notice (of Entry of Judgment); Filed by Michel Harouche (Legacy Party)

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  • 03/29/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department P; Court Order

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  • 03/29/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Court Order re: Judgment)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/29/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order re: Judgment) of 03/29/2019 and conformed judgment); Filed by Clerk

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383 More Docket Entries
  • 11/04/2015
  • Proof of Service of Summons & Com; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 11/04/2015
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by Michel Harouche (Legacy Party)

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  • 11/04/2015
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by Michel Harouche (Legacy Party)

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  • 11/03/2015
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by Michel Harouche (Legacy Party)

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  • 11/03/2015
  • Proof of Service of Summons & Com; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 11/03/2015
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by Michel Harouche (Legacy Party)

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  • 10/13/2015
  • Complaint; Filed by null

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  • 10/13/2015
  • Summons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 10/13/2015
  • Complaint Filed

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  • 10/13/2015
  • Summons; Filed by Plaintiff

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: SC124859    Hearing Date: April 15, 2021    Dept: P

Tentative Ruling

Harouche v. Wilshire Corporation, Case No. SC124859

Hearing Date April 15, 2021

Defendants Wilshire/Sisca’s Motion to Determine Offset/Remand Issue

Plaintiff Harouche sued defendants for fraud, breach of contract and negligence arising out of a construction project. Defendants John Finton and Finton Construction, Inc. (collectively Finton) cross-complained, seeking $608,000 for unpaid invoices. Finton and plaintiff settled for $1.1 million, to be paid in monthly $6,000.00 installments; the settlement included release of the cross-complaint.

After a court trial, judgment for $1,980,837.72 was entered against the Sisca defendants, who oversaw the project. The court found the Sisca defendants fraudulently awarded construction contracts to the Finton defendants and forged subcontracts to obtain fraudulent payments from Harouche. The Sisca defendants appealed, and the judgment was reduced to $802,993.72. The Court of Appeal remanded, instructing the trial court to determine whether the award against Sisca should be offset by $608,000, the alleged value of the Finton cross-complaint, under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §877.

When one of several alleged tortfeasors settles a claim, the settlement “shall reduce the claims against the others in the amount stipulated by the release, the dismissal or the covenant, or in the amount of consideration paid for it, whichever is greater.” Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §877. Absent a stipulation, the amount of setoff is the amount of consideration paid for the release. Id. This includes noncash consideration, such as release of a cross-claim. Franklin Mint Co. v. Superior Court (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 1550, 1557. If a plaintiff’s settlement completely offsets a damage award against a non-settling joint tortfeasor, “It reduces the judgment to zero by operation of law.” Syverson v. Heitmann (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 106, 110. A defendant seeking an offset has the burden of proving the offset. Conrad v. Ball Corp. (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 439, 444.

The Sisca defendants argue the award should be offset by $608,000, as well by $18,000 already paid by Finton toward the settlement, and future offsets as Finton makes monthly payments. Finally, Sisca argues that if the judgment is paid in full, it is worth $1,708,000, which would offset all damages against the Sisca defendants.

Fintons’ cross-complaint would only be worth $608,000 if its claims were 100% meritorious, and if Finton would have recovered the full amount claimed. The trial court found the Sisca defendants fraudulently awarded the contracts to Finton and forged subcontracts. The only evidence as to the cross-complaint’s value is Finton’s invoice ($608,000) and plaintiff’s admission he did not pay the invoice. Defendants’ exhibits A-C.

Harouche argues he owed Finton nothing, since his contract with Finton was for a stipulated sum that he previously paid. Finton breached the contract; this is not in dispute and was relied upon by the Court of Appeal, which released Harouche from payment obligations under the contract. Harouche cites to the trial record, including findings that Finton received kickbacks from Sisca and forged subcontracts to inflate the construction costs. Based on this evidence, the cross-complaint was lacking in merit, and its release was not worth anything approaching $608,000.

In reply, defendants argue the release had some economic value. The court agrees. However, the Sisca defendants do not address arguments regarding the cross-complaint’s lack of merit or present evidence to allow the court to calculate a true value for the cross-complaint. Thus, Sisca fails to meet the burden under Conrad, supra.

 

Because there is no basis for the court to decide the value of the cross-complaint, the court cannot apply an offset for the value of the release. However, the Sisca defendants are entitled to an $18,000 offset, representing Finton’s payments towards the $1.1 million settlement. The court will retain jurisdiction to apply further offsets as the settlement is paid off.

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPEAR VIA LA COURT CONNECT.

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