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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 03/24/2020 at 17:42:37 (UTC).

NIUKKA HERNANDEZ VS BEVERLY HOT SPRINGS INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 07/14/2016 NIUKKA HERNANDEZ filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against BEVERLY HOT SPRINGS INC. 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:

    ****7222

  • Filing Date:

    07/14/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

HERNANDEZ NIUKKA

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1-20

BEVERLY HOT SPRINGS INC

BEVERLY HOT SPRINGS SPA & SKIN CARE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

BISNAR | CHASE

CHASE BISNAR |

CHASE BRIAN DOSTER

Defendant Attorney

ACKERMAN LEE B.

 

Court Documents

Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO BIFURCATE TRIAL

1/14/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO BIFURCATE TRIAL

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION TO BIFURCATE)

1/28/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION TO BIFURCATE)

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF LEE B. ACKERMAN IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE

2/7/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF LEE B. ACKERMAN IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE

Notice of Ruling

2/7/2020: Notice of Ruling

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO DESIGNATE AN ADDITIONAL EXPERT AFTER THE TIME TO SUPPLEMENTALLY DESIGNATE HAD ELAPSED; DECLARATION OF H. GAVIN LONG

2/25/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO DESIGNATE AN ADDITIONAL EXPERT AFTER THE TIME TO SUPPLEMENTALLY DESIGNATE HAD ELAPSED; DECLARATION OF H. GAVIN LONG

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO AUGMENT EXPERT WITNESS LIST OR TO SUBMIT TARDY EXPERT WITNESS INFORMATION OR, ALTERNATIVELY, FOR AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME TO HEAR SAID MOTION

2/26/2020: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO AUGMENT EXPERT WITNESS LIST OR TO SUBMIT TARDY EXPERT WITNESS INFORMATION OR, ALTERNATIVELY, FOR AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME TO HEAR SAID MOTION

Motion re: - MOTION RE: FOR ORDER TO ALLOW SITE INSPECTION; DECLARATION OF H. GA VIN LONG; [PROPOSED] ORDER

2/27/2020: Motion re: - MOTION RE: FOR ORDER TO ALLOW SITE INSPECTION; DECLARATION OF H. GA VIN LONG; [PROPOSED] ORDER

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

3/18/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF LEE B. ACKERMAN IN SUPPORT OF MOTION PURSUANT TO STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND DISCOVERY CUTOFF DATES

3/29/2018: SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF LEE B. ACKERMAN IN SUPPORT OF MOTION PURSUANT TO STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND DISCOVERY CUTOFF DATES

Minute Order -

4/3/2018: Minute Order -

ORDER RE: DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

4/3/2018: ORDER RE: DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

NOTICE OF RULING ON MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND DISCOVERY CUTOFF DATES

4/4/2018: NOTICE OF RULING ON MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND DISCOVERY CUTOFF DATES

Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT PLAINTIFFS OPPOSING SEPARATE STATEMENT SUBMITTED IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

5/22/2019: Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT PLAINTIFFS OPPOSING SEPARATE STATEMENT SUBMITTED IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO HERNANDEZ DECLARATION

5/29/2019: Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO HERNANDEZ DECLARATION

Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO LONG DECLARATION

5/29/2019: Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO LONG DECLARATION

Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

5/29/2019: Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

10/19/2016: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

ANSWER TO UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT

3/8/2017: ANSWER TO UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT

76 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/08/2020
  • Hearing06/08/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 32 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 05/04/2020
  • Hearing05/04/2020 at 13:30 PM in Department 32 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Extend Discovery Cut-Off Date

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  • 05/04/2020
  • Hearing05/04/2020 at 13:30 PM in Department 32 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Order Motion for Order to Augment Witness List/Submit Tardy Expert Information

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  • 05/04/2020
  • Hearing05/04/2020 at 13:30 PM in Department 32 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion - Other For An Order Reopening Discovery to Allow a Site Inspection

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  • 03/23/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 32, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Extend Discovery Cut-Off Date - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 03/20/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 32, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (For An Order Reopening Discovery to Allow a Site Inspection) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 03/20/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 32, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Order (Motion for Order to Augment Witness List/Submit Tardy Expert Information) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 03/18/2020
  • Docketat 09:09 AM in Department 32, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 03/18/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/18/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order) of 03/18/2020); Filed by Clerk

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109 More Docket Entries
  • 03/06/2017
  • DocketANSWER TO UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT

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  • 01/18/2017
  • DocketREQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

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  • 01/18/2017
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 11/02/2016
  • DocketCIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 11/02/2016
  • DocketReceipt; Filed by Niukka Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/19/2016
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Niukka Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/19/2016
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/14/2016
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 07/14/2016
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Niukka Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/14/2016
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES NEGLIGENCE

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC627222    Hearing Date: July 22, 2020    Dept: 32

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 32

niurka hernandez,

Plaintiff,

v.

beverly hot springs, inc.,

Defendant.

Case No.: BC627222

Hearing Date: July 22, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

Plaintiff’s MOTION TO REOPEN DISCOVERY FOR SITE INSPECTION

DEfendaNt’s MOTION TO AUGMENT WITNESS LIST

Background

Plaintiff Niurka Hernandez (“Plaintiff”) alleges that she contracted Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, at a spa owned and operated by Defendant Beverly Hot Springs, Inc. (“Defendant”). The complaint was filed on July 14, 2016, meaning that the case is over four years old. Now, Plaintiff seeks to reopen discovery to conduct another site inspection. Defendant seeks to augment its expert witness list with an “aquatic” expert. Both motions are denied.

Legal Standard

A. Motion to Reopen Discovery

In determining whether to re-open discovery, the court must consider the necessity of and reasons for the additional discovery, the diligence or lack thereof by the party seeking to reopen discovery in attempting to complete discovery prior to the cutoff, whether permitting the discovery will prevent the case from going forward on the trial date or will otherwise prejudice any party, and any past continuances of the trial date. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.050, subd. (b).)

B. Motion to Augment Expert Designations

Per Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.610, subdivision (a), “On motion of any party who has engaged in a timely exchange of expert witness information, the court may grant leave to do either or both of the following: [¶] (1) Augment that party’s expert witness list and declaration by adding the name and address of any expert witness whom that party has subsequently retained.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2034.610, subd. (a)(1).) In ruling on a motion to augment an expert witness designation, the court must take into account “the extent to which the opposing party has relied on the list of expert witnesses . . . ,” and must determine that the opposing party “will not be prejudiced in maintaining that party’s action or defense on the merits.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2034.620, subd. (a)-(b).)

Additionally, the court must determine that “[t]he moving party would not in the exercise of reasonable diligence have determined to call that expert witness or have decided to offer the different or additional testimony of that witness . . . ,” or that “[t]he moving party failed to determine to call that expert witness, or to offer the different or additional testimony of that expert witness as a result of mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect, and the moving party has done both of the following: [¶] Sought leave to augment or amend promptly after deciding to call the expert witness or to offer the different or additional testimony. [¶] Promptly thereafter served a copy of the proposed expert witness information concerning the expert or the testimony described in Section 2034.260 on all other parties who have appeared in the action.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2034.620, subd. (c).) Finally, the moving party must “mak[e] the expert available immediately for a deposition.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2034.620, subd. (d).) The court may also condition leave to amend on any other term the court deems just. (Ibid.)

DISCUSSION

A. Motion to Reopen Discovery

Plaintiff relies on a declaration of her counsel, H. Gavin Long (“Counsel”). However, Counsel provides no satisfactory explanation for his failure to request a site inspection prior to the close of fact discovery. Indeed, this case was filed on July 14, 2016, and Defendant answered on March 6, 2017, so Plaintiff has had ample time to conduct a site inspection. Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion is denied.

B. Motion to Augment Expert Designations

Defendant relies on the declaration of its counsel, Lee B. Ackerman (“Counsel”). Counsel states that Defendant decided not to retain an aquatic expert because Defendant determined that such an expert was unnecessary. (Declaration of Lee B. Ackerman, ¶ 8.) However, Counsel concedes that, on December 23, 2019, Plaintiff designated Alison Osinski, Ph.D. (“Osinki”) to testify on “the water safety standards concerning the subject premises . . . .” (Declaration of Lee B. Ackerman, Exhibit D.) Counsel provides no satisfactory explanation for why Defendant did not supplement its expert witness designation when it learned Plaintiff had designated an expert to testify about water safety standards, or within 20 days, per Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.280. Therefore, Defendant’s motion is denied.

Conclusion and Order

These motions suggest that the parties have failed to work collaboratively and cooperate in resolving basic discovery issues. A fair resolution would have been for the parties to stipulate that Plaintiff may conduct a site inspection and Defendant may augment its expert designations. In the absence of a stipulation, however, the Court denies both motions. As discussed, neither motion is supported by good cause. Simply, the parties have had ample time to conduct discovery and to prepare this case for trial. The Court’s clerk shall provide notice.

DATED: July 22, 2020 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BC627222    Hearing Date: January 28, 2020    Dept: 32

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 32

niurka hernandez,

Plaintiff,

v.

beverly hot springs, inc.,

Defendant.

Case No.: BC627222

Hearing Date: January 28, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to bifurcate

Plaintiff Niurka Hernandez (“Plaintiff” alleges that she received a bacterial infection at a spa owned and operated by Defendant Beverly Hot Springs, Inc. (“Defendant”). Now, Defendant moves to bifurcate the trial of this case into two phases: The first addressing the validity and effect of Plaintiff’s release, and the second addressing any remaining issues. Plaintiff opposes the motion.

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 598, “The court may, when the convenience of witnesses, the ends of justice, or the economy and efficiency of handling the litigation would be promoted thereby . . . make an order . . . that the trial of any issue or any part thereof shall precede the trial of any other issue or any part thereof in the case[.]”  (Code Civ. Proc. § 598.)

In this case, Defendant has failed to demonstrate that trial on the validity and effect of the release separately from all remaining issues would result in efficiencies. As the Court noted in its order of June 5, 2019, issues of fact exist as to whether Defendant is liable for its gross negligence, notwithstanding the waiver Plaintiff signed. (See City of Santa Barbara v. Superior Court (2007) 41 Cal.4th 747, 751.) Thus, the trier of fact will need to determine whether Defendant’s conduct amounts to gross negligence in order to determine if the release bars Plaintiff’s claims. It is logical and efficient for Plaintiff to present evidence on Defendant’s alleged gross negligence along with other pertinent issues. Therefore, Defendant’s motion is denied.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendant properly sought a bifurcation order in advance of the trial date. However, a trial court may also “on its own motion . . . make such an order at any time.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 598.) This order is without prejudice to Defendant’s ability to request that the trial court consider bifurcation on its own motion. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: January 28, 2020 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court

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