This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/06/2019 at 21:22:05 (UTC).

NEIL SAMUEL VS VE PROPERTIES LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/22/2016 NEIL SAMUEL filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against VE PROPERTIES LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4694

  • Filing Date:

    12/22/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

SAMUEL NEIL

Defendants and Respondents

PAPKE ANDREA

RUSSELL MARIA

VE PROPERTIES LLC

DOES 1 TO 100

STRONG JANET

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

GEOULLA DANIEL D.

Defendant Attorney

BARATTA JAMES MARK

 

Court Documents

Amended Complaint

4/5/2018: Amended Complaint

VE PROPERTIES, LLC'S AND MARIA RUSSELL'S ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

4/17/2018: VE PROPERTIES, LLC'S AND MARIA RUSSELL'S ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

[ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC [AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES] PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY

5/30/2018: [ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC [AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES] PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY

Minute Order

10/18/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

2/7/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

2/8/2019: Minute Order

Opposition

3/11/2019: Opposition

Request for Judicial Notice

3/11/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Reply

3/15/2019: Reply

Unknown

3/22/2019: Unknown

Opposition

4/17/2019: Opposition

Minute Order

4/18/2019: Minute Order

Ex Parte Application

4/18/2019: Ex Parte Application

Response

4/23/2019: Response

Minute Order

5/9/2019: Minute Order

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

5/21/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Response

5/21/2019: Response

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

12/20/2016: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

27 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/30/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Proof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Neil Samuel (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Proof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Neil Samuel (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Response (Plaintiff's Response to Order to Show Cause re Proof of Service); Filed by Neil Samuel (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Continue Trial

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  • 05/09/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Quash (Plaintiff's Motion to Quash Defendant's Subpoena - VA Long Beach Healthcare System) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 05/09/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Quash Plaintiff's Motion to Quash Defend...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/02/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (dismissal for lack of service of Andrea Papke) - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: dismissal for lack of service of Andr...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/26/2019
  • Opposition (TO PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH DEFEDANTS' SUBOENA FOR BUSINESS RECORDS FROM VA LONG BEACH HEALTHCARE SYSTEM); Filed by VE Properties, LLC (Defendant); Maria Russell (Defendant); Janet Strong (Defendant)

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43 More Docket Entries
  • 04/17/2018
  • Answer to First Amended Complaint; Filed by VE Properties, LLC (Defendant); Maria Russell (Defendant)

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  • 04/17/2018
  • VE PROPERTIES, LLC'S AND MARIA RUSSELL'S ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Defendant's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (Small Claims) First

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Amended Complaint; Filed by Neil Samuel (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/08/2018
  • Summons

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  • 02/08/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Neil Samuel (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/22/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Neil Samuel (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/20/2016
  • ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 12/20/2016
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 12/20/2016
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC644694    Hearing Date: January 08, 2021    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Friday, January 8, 2021

Department B Calendar No. 9

PROCEEDINGS

Neil Samuel v. VE Properties, LLC, et al.

BC644694

  1. VE Properties, LLC, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment

    TENTATIVE RULING

    VE Properties, LLC, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

    Request for Judicial Notice

    Defendant’s request for judicial notice is granted pursuant to Evidence Code section 452(g) and (h).

    Motion for Summary Judgment

    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 facie 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.

    “When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi, 159 Cal.App.4th at 467; CCP § 437c(c).)

    Plaintiff filed his Complaint on December 22, 2016. Plaintiff’s operative First Amended Complaint was filed on April 5, 2018. The action arises out of a slip and fall incident that allegedly occurred on December 23, 2014 at an apartment complex owned by Defendant VE Properties, LLC ("VEP"). Also named as Defendants were a managing member of VEP – Maria Russell (“Russell”) and Maria Russell’s assistant Janet Strong (“Strong”). Plaintiff set forth causes of action for: 1. Premises Liability; 2. General Negligence.

    Defendants VEP, Russell, and Strong move for summary judgment on the ground that no triable issue of material fact exists as to Plaintiff’s causes of action. Defendants contend that Plaintiff cannot prove the existence of a dangerous condition, that Plaintiff cannot prove the element of causation, and that Plaintiff cannot prove that Defendants had actual or constructive notice of the alleged dangerous condition.

    “The elements of a cause of action for negligence are duty, breach, causation, and damages.” Johnson v. Prasad (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 74, 78. “The elements of a cause of action for premises liability are the same as those for negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages.” McIntyre v. The Colonies-Pacific, LLC (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 664, 671.

    Defendants have met their burden to show that Plaintiff’s causes of action have no merit by showing that one or more element (breach and causation) of the causes of action cannot be established. (Defendants’ Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 1-22.) Plaintiff has not met his burden to provide specific facts to show that a triable issue of material fact exists as to his causes of action. CCP § 437c(p)(2). Plaintiff failed to file any written opposition or a separate statement of facts. The failure to file a separate statement of facts is a sufficient ground, alone, to grant this motion. CCP § 437c(b)(3).

    Defendant has met its burden to show that the element of breach of duty of Plaintiff’s causes of action cannot be established. The undisputed evidence shows that Plaintiff does not know what caused him to slip and fall on December 23, 2014. (Defendants’ Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 12.) Plaintiff alleged in his Complaint that he slipped and fell on liquid on the ground. However, Plaintiff admitted in his deposition that it was not raining on the date of the incident, that he does not know what caused him to slip, and he merely speculated that it may have been caused by dew. (Defendants’ Separate Statement of Facts 12-16.) However, Defendant provided evidence that no dew had formed on the morning of the incident. (Id. at 17.) Plaintiff has not presented any other evidence to demonstrate the presence of any other kind of liquid on the flooring where he claims he fell. Plaintiff has submitted no evidence that the floor tiles were dangerous or unsafe other than his speculation regarding the existence of some type of liquid.

“An initial and essential element of recovery for premises liability . . . is proof a dangerous condition existed.” Stathoulis v. City of Montebello (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 559, 566. “Where reasonable minds can reach only one conclusion—that there was no substantial risk of injury—the issue is a question of law, properly resolved by way of summary judgment.” Caloroso v. Hathaway (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 922, 929. In Peralta v. Vons Companies, Inc. (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 1030, the Court affirmed the trial court’s order of summary judgment for a premises liability defendant where the plaintiff “unequivocally stated that she did not see anything on the floor prior to or after her fall.” Id. at 1035. Here, similarly, Plaintiff has no evidence that he saw anything on the floor which caused him to fall. In addition, for the same reasons noted above, Plaintiff has no evidence that any acts or omissions by Defendants caused his fall and his resulting injuries.

Finally, Plaintiff has not presented any evidence to demonstrate that Defendants had actual or constructive notice of the alleged dangerous condition. “Because the owner is not the insurer of the visitor's personal safety, the owner's actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition is a key to establishing its liability. Although the owner's lack of knowledge is not a defense, [t]o impose liability for injuries suffered by an invitee due to [a] defective condition of the premises, the owner or occupier must have either actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition or have been able by the exercise of ordinary care to discover the condition, which if known to him, he should realize as involving an unreasonable risk to invitees on his premises ....” Ortega v. Kmart Corp. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 1200, 1206 (internal citations and quotations omitted). Here, Plaintiff has failed to submit any evidence to demonstrate that Defendants had either actual or constructive notice of any alleged dangerous condition.

Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC644694    Hearing Date: November 02, 2020    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Monday, November 2, 2020

Department B Calendar No. 13

PROCEEDINGS

Neil Samuel v. VE Properties, LLC, et al.

BC644694

  1. Maria Russell’s Motion for Terminating Sanctions

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Maria Russell’s Motion for Terminating Sanctions is denied, in part, and granted, in part.

    If a party fails to comply with a court order compelling discovery responses or attendance at a deposition, the court may impose monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating sanctions. CCP § 2025.450(h) (depositions); § 2030.290(c) (interrogatories); § 2031.300(c) (demands for production of documents). CCP § 2023.030 provides that, “[t]o the extent authorized by the chapter governing any particular discovery method . . . , the court, after notice to any affected party, person, or attorney, and after opportunity for hearing, may impose . . . [monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating] sanctions against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process . . . .” Code of Civil Procedure § 2023.010 provides that “[m]isuses of the discovery process include, but are not limited to, the following: . . . (d) Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery. . . . (g) Disobeying a court order to provide discovery. . . . .”

    “The trial court may order a terminating sanction for discovery abuse ‘after considering the totality of the circumstances: [the] conduct of the party to determine if the actions were willful; the detriment to the propounding party; and the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery.’” Los Defensores, Inc. v. Gomez (2014) 223 Cal. App. 4th 377, 390 (quoting Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal. App. 4th 1225, 1246). “Generally, ‘[a] decision to order terminating sanctions should not be made lightly. But where a violation is willful, preceded by a history of abuse, and the evidence shows that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with the discovery rules, the trial court is justified in imposing the ultimate sanction.’” Los Defensores, 223 Cal. App. 4th at 390 (citation omitted).

    “Under this standard, trial courts have properly imposed terminating sanctions when parties have willfully disobeyed one or more discovery orders.” Los Defensores, 223 Cal. App. 4th at 390 (citing Lang, 77 Cal. App. 4th at 1244-1246 (discussing cases)); see, e.g., Collisson & Kaplan v. Hartunian (1994) 21 Cal. App. 4th 1611, 1617-1622 (terminating sanctions imposed after defendants failed to comply with one court order to produce discovery); Laguna Auto Body v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (1991) 231 Cal. App. 3d 481, 491, disapproved on other grounds in Garcia v. McCutchen (1997) 16 Cal. 4th 469, 478, n. 4 (terminating sanctions imposed against plaintiff for failing to comply with a discovery order and for violating various discovery statutes).

    The type of severe sanctions sought such as issue, evidentiary, and terminating sanctions for failure to comply with a court order are allowed only where the failure was willful. See, R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 495; See, also, Vallbona v. Springer (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 1525, 1545; See, also, Biles v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1327.

    “Doomsday” sanctions are reserved for parties who commit willful, repeated, violations of court orders. Los Defensores, Inc. v. Gomez (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 377, 390. “Generally, [a] decision to order terminating sanctions should not be made lightly. But where a violation is willful, preceded by a history of abuse, and the evidence shows that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with the discovery rules, the trial court is justified in imposing the ultimate sanction.” Id.

    Here, Defendant’s own supplemental brief appears to confirm that Plaintiff has finally produced the medical records that were sought by Defendant. Thus, in light of this information, the Court finds that the issuance of terminating, issue, or evidentiary sanctions are not warranted under these facts, as they would be too severe for the conduct at issue.

    The Court does find that Defendant is entitled to monetary sanctions due to the fact that Plaintiff only provided responses after the instant motion was filed.

    Monetary sanctions are awarded in favor of Defendant and against Plaintiff in the sum of $1,861.75 (8 hours to prepare and appear at $225/hour, plus $61.75 filing fee) payable within 30 days of this date.

    Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC644694    Hearing Date: June 23, 2020    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Department B Calendar No. 8

PROCEEDINGS

Neil Samuel v. VE Properties, LLC, et al.

Case No. BC644694

B&D Law Group, APLC’s, Counsel for Plaintiff Neil K. Samuel, Motion to be Relieved as Counsel.

TENTATIVE RULING

B&D Law Group, APLC’s, Counsel for Plaintiff Neil K. Samuel, Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is denied without prejudice.

There is no showing that the client has been given notice of the current June 23, 2020 hearing date.

Plaintiff’s counsel is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

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