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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/18/2019 at 14:12:11 (UTC).

RAMEZAN ABBAS-LARKI ET AL VS BMW OF NORTH AMERICA LLC

Case Summary

On 09/01/2016 RAMEZAN ABBAS-LARKI filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against BMW OF NORTH AMERICA 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 RICHARD E. RICO. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2625

  • Filing Date:

    09/01/2016

  • 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 Judge

RICHARD E. RICO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

ABBASI MAHAN

ABBAS-LARKI RAMEZAN

Defendants and Respondents

BMW OF NORTH AMERICA LLC

DOES 1 THROUGH 100

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

YASHAR LAW APLC

Defendant Attorney

LEHRMAN LAW GROUP

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

8/1/2018: Minute Order

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES OF DEFENDANT BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES TO SIXTH SET OF REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION

8/16/2018: MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES OF DEFENDANT BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES TO SIXTH SET OF REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS OF DEFENDANT BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC TO DECLARATION OF NADIA YASHAR

8/16/2018: EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS OF DEFENDANT BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC TO DECLARATION OF NADIA YASHAR

Proof of Service

8/22/2018: Proof of Service

NOTICE OF RULING RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, ETC

9/12/2018: NOTICE OF RULING RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, ETC

Motion in Limine

10/26/2018: Motion in Limine

Trial Brief

11/28/2018: Trial Brief

Jury Question

11/28/2018: Jury Question

Minute Order

1/22/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

5/14/2019: Minute Order

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) BREACH OF CONTRACT/EXPRESS WARRANTY; ETC

9/1/2016: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) BREACH OF CONTRACT/EXPRESS WARRANTY; ETC

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

9/30/2016: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

Unknown

1/3/2017: Unknown

NOTICE OF MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS AGAINST BEVERLY HILLS BMW AND; ETC.

6/27/2017: NOTICE OF MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS AGAINST BEVERLY HILLS BMW AND; ETC.

NOTICE OF JOINDER AND JOINDER OF DEFENDANT, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC, TO BEVERLY HILLS BMW'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION AND FOR MO

7/18/2017: NOTICE OF JOINDER AND JOINDER OF DEFENDANT, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC, TO BEVERLY HILLS BMW'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION AND FOR MO

DECLARATION OF NADIA YASHAR IN REPLY OF NOTICE OF MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION

7/27/2017: DECLARATION OF NADIA YASHAR IN REPLY OF NOTICE OF MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION

Minute Order

7/31/2017: Minute Order

Minute Order

10/27/2017: Minute Order

60 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/14/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal - Held - Continued

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  • 05/14/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/22/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal - Held - Continued

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  • 03/22/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/22/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal - Held - Continued

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  • 02/22/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/22/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 01/22/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/19/2018
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Status Conference (final status conference) - Held - Continued

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  • 12/19/2018
  • Minute Order ((Status Conference final status conference)); Filed by Clerk

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110 More Docket Entries
  • 11/18/2016
  • CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

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  • 10/25/2016
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/25/2016
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 10/24/2016
  • Answer; Filed by BMW of North America, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 10/24/2016
  • BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT; DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

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  • 09/30/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Ramezan Abbas-Larki (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/30/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 09/01/2016
  • SUMMONS

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  • 09/01/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Ramezan Abbas-Larki (Plaintiff); Mahan Abbasi (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/01/2016
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) BREACH OF CONTRACT/EXPRESS WARRANTY; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC632625    Hearing Date: January 19, 2021    Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

RAMEZAN ABBAS-LARKI and MAHAN ABBASI

vs.

BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC

Case No.: BC632625

Hearing Date: January 19, 2020

BMW NA’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

On September 1, 2016, Plaintiff Ramezan Abbas-Larki and Mahan Abbasi (collectively, Plaintiffs) filed suit against BMW of North America, LLC (BMW NA), alleging: (1) breach of contract/express warranty; (2) breach of implied warranties; (3) negligence; (4) violation of statute/restitution; and (5) misrepresentation/fraud.

On January 23, 2019, the parties signed a settlement agreement. (Motion, Exh. 14.) A condition of the settlement agreement was that once BMW NA had completed its two rounds of payments, Plaintiffs would dismiss the action. BMW NA contends that, while it has fulfilled all payments, Plaintiffs have refused to dismiss the action.

Now, BMW NA moves to for summary judgment to compel the dismissal of this action.

Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (a) provides that a “party may move for summary judgment in any action or proceeding if it is contended that the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding.” The motion shall be granted if there is no triable issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).) Subdivision (p)(2) of the same section provides that where a defendant presents evidence showing one or more elements of a cause of action cannot be established, then the burden shifts to plaintiff to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact. (See Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Co. v. Superior Court (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 727, 732.) A party is also permitted to move for summary adjudication of a particular issue, which can be granted “only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).)

The moving party’s burden on summary judgment “is more properly one of persuasion rather than proof, since he must persuade the court that there is no material fact for a reasonable trier of fact to find, and not to prove any such fact to the satisfaction of the court itself as though it were sitting as the trier of fact.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850 fn.11, original italics.)

Factual Background

Trial was set for December 4, 2019. The parties reached a settlement before trial, and on January 23, 2019, a settlement agreement was finalized and executed. (Abbasi Decl. ¶ 18; Exh. F.) The essence of the settlement agreement is the following:

a. Defendant will pay $65,387.78 (Sixty-Five Thousand Three Hundred Eighty-Seven Dollars and Seventy-Eight Cents) in the form of a check payable to BMW Financial Services NA, LLC, for payment of the remaining balance on the loan financed through BMW Financial, Account Number 4001843030. The payment made to BMW Financial Services NA, LLC, will pay off the above-referenced loan. The amount to be paid to the lien holder is subject to change if additional payments and/or finance charges are made to/by the lien holder. The parties agree that any payment(s) made by Plaintiff post-settlement shall be refunded to Plaintiff by the lien holder.

b. Defendant will pay $15,204.37 (Fifteen Thousand Two Hundred Four Dollars and Thirty-Seven Cents) in the form of a check payable to Plaintiff and Plaintiff s attorneys of record, Yashar Law, APLC.

BMW NA has since made both payments to Plaintiffs. (SS ¶6.) What remains in controversy is the $8,050 deposit Plaintiffs put down when they first leased the BMW. It was Plaintiffs’ understanding and intent that they would receive this deposit back after BMW paid off the lease under the settlement agreement. (Abbasi Decl. ¶ 20.) However, BMW has paid off the lease and has informed Plaintiffs that they are not entitled to the return of the deposit. (Ibid.)

Discussion

The questions before the Court are: (1) whether or not Plaintiffs are entitled to their $8,050 deposit under the settlement agreement; and (2) if they are not, whether this means that the settlement agreement is unenforceable.

On September 20, 2019, Plaintiff brought a motion to enforce the settlement agreement. The Honorable Judge Rico denied the motion writing, “Here, the evidence is insufficient to demonstrate that the parties had the same mutual intention regarding whether the deposit was to be returned to Plaintiff. Because there was a defect in the formation of the settlement contract, for the purposes of this motion, settlement has not occurred.” (9/20/19 Ruling, p. 3.) However, the ruling explicitly noted that “[t]his Tentative Ruling does not have the legal effect of voiding or otherwise nullifying the settlement agreement as a contract. All that the court determines is that the evidence presented on this motion is insufficient to justify entering judgment pursuant to section 664.6.

Given the language in the 9/20/19 ruling, the Court finds that it is not precluded from taking up the question, once again, of whether an enforceable settlement agreement was formed.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court find that an enforceable settlement agreement was formed, and that BMW NA has fulfilled its obligations under the agreement.

integration’ means the extent to which a writing constitutes the parties' final expression of their agreement. To the extent a contract is integrated, the parol evidence rule precludes the admission of evidence of the parties' prior or contemporaneous oral statements to contradict the terms of the writing, although parol evidence is always admissible to interpret the written agreement.” (Esbensen v. Userware Internat. Inc. (1992) 11 Cal.App.4th 631, 636-637.)

Here, Section 12 of the executed Settlement Agreement provides:

This Agreement is the entire agreement between and among the parties, and may not be modified except by an instrument in writing duly executed by both parties. The parties acknowledge and represent that, in executing this Agreement, they have not relied on any inducements, promises, or representations other than those expressly set forth herein.”

(Oaks Decl., Exh. 2.)

The language of this provision is clear and unambiguous. By entering in the settlement agreement, Plaintiffs agreed that the settlement agreement constituted the “entire” agreement, and that their assent was not based on any antecedent understandings and negotiations which were not already reflected in the agreement. In opposition, Plaintiff did not submit any evidence to suggest that the instrument was not carefully and formally drafted, or that the parties did not have sufficient time to consider the terms of the contract. Accordingly, the Court concludes that the Settlement Agreement was an integrated agreement.

Given this conclusion, the Court is barred from considering extrinsic evidence which contradicts the clear language of the settlement agreement. (Esbensen, supra, 11 Cal.App.4th at p. 636-637.) In a signed declaration, Plaintiff Abassi stated that, “Throughout all settlement discussions, I have been told over and over that the sum of $65,387.78 pays off the above-cited account exclusive of my deposit.” Decl., ¶ 18.) Plaintiffs also submitted evidence of emails in which counsel attempted to discover if the deposit was included in the settlement. However, such evidence contradicts section 12 of the settlement agreement in that this evidence suggests that the terms of the settlement agreement did not constitute the entire agreement. As contradictory evidence which concerns antecedent understandings and negotiations, Plaintiffs’ evidence is barred by the parol evidence rule. (Ibid.)

The Court is also unpersuaded by Plaintiffs’ argument that their parol evidence is admissible because of ambiguity in the settlement language as to whether or not the deposit amount would be included. In support of their position, Plaintiffs cite to Section 1 which provides:

(a) Defendant will pay $65.387.78 (Sixty-Five Thousand Three Hundred Eighty Seven Dollars and Seventy-Eight Cents) in the form of a check payable to BMW Financial Services NA. LLC. for payment of the remaining balance on the loan financed through BMW Financial. Account Number 4001843030. The payment made to BMW Financial Services NA, LLC, will pay off the above-referenced loan. The amount to be paid to the lien holder is subject to change if additional payments and/or finance charges are made to/by the lien holder. The parties agree that any payment(s) made by Plaintiff post-settlement shall be refunded to Plaintiff by the lien holder.

(Oaks Decl., Exh. 2, emphasis added.)

Plaintiffs argue that this language provides for the possibility of additional payments, including the deposit amount. However, the Court concludes that the only reasonable interpretation of this provision is that it was meant to reference future, post-settlement payments. This is based on two considerations.

First, the language itself refers to “additional payments” and “any payment(s) made by Plaintiff post-settlement.” (Ibid, emphasis added). The plain meaning of this language suggests that it was meant to encompass payments which did not yet exist, but which could exist due to future payments and/or finance charges.

Second, there is no dispute that Plaintiffs had already paid the initial deposit at the time of negotiations. If the settlement agreement intended to include the deposit sum, why would allocation of this payment be triggered by contingent settlement language? (“The amount to be paid to the lien holder is subject to change if additional payments…are made to/by the lien holder”? (Ibid, emphasis added.) In other words, because the deposit amount was an already incurred charge, its reimbursement would not have been an “if,” but a “when”. Given the use of “if,” it is difficult to see how payment of the deposit could be triggered under this language.

Put together, there is nothing in the settlement terms which suggest that the two outlined payments were meant to be exclusive of the deposit, and there is no ambiguity in the payment sums. Given this absence of ambiguity, there is nothing which could suggest that the settlement language is reasonably susceptible to the interpretation urged by Plaintiffs. (Wolf v. Superior Court (2004) 114 Cal.App.4th 1342, 1351.)

In sum, the Court concludes that an enforceable and integrated settlement agreement was reached between the parties. BMW NA has complied with the terms of the agreement by issuing both the $65,387.78 sum and the $15,204.37 sum. Plaintiffs are ordered to dismiss this action, pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement.

BMW NA’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

It is so ordered.

Dated: January , 2021

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.

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