This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/05/2019 at 04:03:33 (UTC).

T S VS TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION

Case Summary

On 03/30/2016 T S filed a Personal Injury - Other Product Liability lawsuit against TOYOTA MOTOR 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 WILLIAM D. STEWART, RALPH C. HOFER and RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5438

  • Filing Date:

    03/30/2016

  • 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

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

WILLIAM D. STEWART

RALPH C. HOFER

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Guardian Ad Litems

SMITH LAUREL CARINI

CARINI LAUREL

ARNEMANN DAWN

LEVITAS KARIN

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Defendants

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION

DENSO INTERNATIONAL AMERICA INC. A CORP

TOYOTA MOTOR NORTH AMERICA INC.

VARTANIAN VARTAN BART

HAMER TOYOTA INC.

DENSO CORPORATION

TOYOTA MOTOR SALES USA INC.

HAMER TOYOTA

DENSO INTERNATIONAL AMERICA INC.

TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING

HAMER TOYOTA & SCION

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

VARTANIAN VARTAN BART

Minors

T.S.

E.R.

A.E

Guardian Ad Litems

A.E.

SMITH LAUREL CARINI

Other

FORD WALKER HAGGERTY & BEHAR

20 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant, Respondent, Minor and Plaintiff Attorneys

LIGHTFOOT MARY P. ESQ.

HOMAMPOUR ARASH ESQ.

KILPACTRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON LLP

HERICH EMIL W. ESQ.

HOMAMPOUR ARASH

MARTIN MICHAEL G. ESQ.

GALVIN VINCENT JR. ESQ.

YUKEVICH JAMES J. ESQ.

Defendant, Cross Plaintiff, Minor and Plaintiff Attorneys

YUKEVICH CAVANAUGH

BOWMAN AND BROOKE LLP

LIGHTFOOT MARY P. ESQ.

MARTIN MICHAEL G. ESQ.

RAND MICHAEL J. ESQ.

DAY ASHLEY E.

BOWMAN & BROOKE

FORD WALKER HAGGERTY & BEHAR

GALVIN VINCENT JR. ESQ.

TSENG & ASSOCIATES

YUKEVICH JAMES J. ESQ.

GRAVES & KING LLP

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

YUKEVICH CAVANAUGH

TSENG & ASSOCIATES

TSENG JENNIFER T. ESQ.

11 More Attorneys Available

 

Court Documents

Order

7/27/2018: Order

Order

8/14/2018: Order

Declaration

8/17/2018: Declaration

Minute Order

12/7/2018: Minute Order

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

3/30/2016: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL

3/30/2016: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL EX PARTE

5/3/2016: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL EX PARTE

PLAINTIFFS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR GOOD FAITH DETERMINATION OF SETTLEMENT [CCP ? 877.6(A)(1)I; ETC.

5/24/2016: PLAINTIFFS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR GOOD FAITH DETERMINATION OF SETTLEMENT [CCP ? 877.6(A)(1)I; ETC.

PROOF OF ELECTRONIC SERVICE

6/8/2016: PROOF OF ELECTRONIC SERVICE

NOTICE OF SUBMISSION OF PETITION TO INCLUDE CERTAIN ADD-ON ACTION IN COORDINATED PROCEEDING

6/14/2016: NOTICE OF SUBMISSION OF PETITION TO INCLUDE CERTAIN ADD-ON ACTION IN COORDINATED PROCEEDING

PETITION TO APPROVE COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS OF JUDGMENT FOR MINOR OR PERSON WITH A DISABILITY (MISCELLANEOUS)

6/16/2016: PETITION TO APPROVE COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS OF JUDGMENT FOR MINOR OR PERSON WITH A DISABILITY (MISCELLANEOUS)

Minute Order

6/17/2016: Minute Order

ORDER APPROVING COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS OF JUDGMENT FOR MINOR OR PERSON WITH A DISABILITY

6/21/2016: ORDER APPROVING COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS OF JUDGMENT FOR MINOR OR PERSON WITH A DISABILITY

NOTICE OF RULING RE ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' JOINT MOTION FOR GOOD FAITH DETERMINATION OF SETTLEMENT

6/23/2016: NOTICE OF RULING RE ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' JOINT MOTION FOR GOOD FAITH DETERMINATION OF SETTLEMENT

SPECIALLY APPEARING DENSO INTERNATIONAL AMERICA, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AU

6/23/2016: SPECIALLY APPEARING DENSO INTERNATIONAL AMERICA, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AU

ORDER APPROVING: COMPROMISE OF PENDING ACTION- MINOR

7/5/2016: ORDER APPROVING: COMPROMISE OF PENDING ACTION- MINOR

NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DENSO CORPORATION'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

7/7/2016: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DENSO CORPORATION'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DENSO INTERNATIONAL AMERICA, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

7/7/2016: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DENSO INTERNATIONAL AMERICA, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

106 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/03/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Jury Trial - Held - Continued

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  • 05/03/2019
  • at 10:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 05/03/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 04/12/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 03/08/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 03/04/2019
  • Order Granting Plaintiff's T.S.'s Motions to Compel Defendant Hertz to Provide Further Responses to Written Discovery; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/27/2019
  • Notice (of Continued Final Status Conference and Trial Dates); Filed by T.S. Smith (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/15/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery")

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  • 02/15/2019
  • at 3:22 PM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 02/15/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (to continue trial date and all related dates); Filed by T.S. Smith (Plaintiff)

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674 More Docket Entries
  • 03/30/2016
  • Application ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/30/2016
  • Application ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/30/2016
  • Application ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/30/2016
  • Complaint

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  • 03/30/2016
  • APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL

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  • 03/30/2016
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 03/30/2016
  • Application-Miscellaneous (FOR E.R. A MINOR GUARDIAN AD LITEM ); Filed by Attorney for Pltf/Petnr

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  • 03/30/2016
  • Application-Miscellaneous (FOR A.E. A MINOR GUARDIAN AD LITEM ); Filed by Attorney for Pltf/Petnr

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  • 03/30/2016
  • Application-Miscellaneous (FOR T.S. GUARDIAN AD LITEM ); Filed by Attorney for Pltf/Petnr

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  • 03/30/2016
  • APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC615438    Hearing Date: July 02, 2020    Dept: A

The Superior Court is re-opening under “Here for You | Safe for You” Conditions and Orders

Counsel are urged to use remote appearance technology such as Court Call or LACourtConnect )(when it becomes available on August 3 for Branch Civil)

If it is indispensable for counsel to be present in court, face masks are mandated (unless a court orders otherwise) and social distancing rules are in force.

T.S. v Toyota

Motion to Seal Settlement Amount

Calendar:

17

Case No.:

BC615438

Hearing Date:

July 2, 2020

Action Filed:

March 30, 2016

Trial Date:

June 26, 2020

MP:

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; Toyota Motor Corporation; Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; Hamer Toyota and Scion

RP:

N/A

ALLEGATIONS:

T.S., A.E., and E.R., all minors by and through their respect guardians ad litem ("Plaintiffs") filed suit against Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; Toyota Motor Corporation; Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; Hamer Toyota and Scion (and collectively, "Toyota"); Hertz Corporation ("Hertz"); Denso Corporation; Denso International America, Inc.; and Vartan Bart Vartanian ("Vartanian") (and collectively, "Defendants") regarding an automobile accident. Plaintiffs allege they were struck at a crosswalk by a Toyota Prius driven by Vartanian because the Prius' brakes failed. Plaintiffs filed a Complaint on March 30, 2016 alleging three causes of action sounding in: (1) General Negligence; (2)Products Liability; and (3) Motor Vehicle.

PRESENTATION:

Toyota filed its Motion to Seal Settlement Amount on June 4, 2020. There is no opposition nor reply filed. The original hearing date was scheduled on June 26, 2020.

On Date, the Court continued the instant motion to July 2, 2020.

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Toyota moves for an order sealing the settlement amount reached between T.S., Toyota, and Hertz, including (1) paragraphs 11, 12, 14-19, and 21 of the Petition; (2) paragraph 7 of the Order Approving Compromise of Pending Action; and (3) the portions of Arash Homampour and Laurel Carini's declarations that disclose the settlement amount or enable calculation of the settlement amount.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review

"An order sealing the record must: (A) Specifically state the facts that support the findings; and (B) Direct the sealing of only those documents and pages, or, if reasonably practicable, portions of the documents and pages, that contain the material that needs to be placed under seal. All other portions of each document or page must be included in the public file." (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 2.550, subd. (e).)

Regarding the "facts that support the findings", pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 2.550(d): “The court may order that a record be filed under seal only if it expressly finds facts that establish:

(1) There exists an overriding interest that overcomes the right of public access to the record;

(2) The overriding interest supports sealing the record;

(3) A substantial probability exists that the overriding interest will be prejudiced if the record is not sealed;

(4) The proposed sealing is narrowly tailored; and

(5) No less restrictive means exist to achieve the overriding interest.”

Merits

Toyota argues that the settlement amount should be sealed because (1) & (2) all parties possess an overriding privacy interest due to their contractual agreement to maintain confidentiality; T.S. possesses an overriding privacy interest in maintaining the privacy of her financial affairs; and Toyota and Hertz both possess a privacy interest in shielding their settlement amount from public record as competitive commercial information; and that there is no overriding public interest to know the settlement amount as the case will not be adjudicated on the merits. Toyota argues (3) Toyota's overriding interest will be prejudiced if the record is not sealed because Toyota faces potential "serious injury" in unwanted disparagement and damage to Toyota's reputation and impairment to its ability to dispose of other like claims; and that T.S.' overriding interest will be prejudiced because she is in a vulnerable state and may potentially be financially exploited; (4) the proposed sealing is narrowly tailored because Toyota is only moving to seal the settlement amount and those portions of publicly filed settlement documents revealing the settlement amount; and (5) no other method can be used to achieve the parties' confidentiality interests because T.S. must file a petition to obtain the settlement proceeds, and sealing the settlement amounts in the Petition is the only way to protect the above overriding interests.

  1. Element 1 & 2: Overriding Interest Overcomes Right of Public Access; Overriding Interest Supports Sealing the Record

    A contractual obligation not to disclose a settlement agreement may constitute an overriding interest under Rule 2.550. (Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Superior Court (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1273, 1283.) But the sealing of court documents is not permitted solely based on the agreement of the parties "without a specific showing of serious injury." (Id. at 1282; Huffy Corp. v. Superior Court (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 97, 106.) Regarding the serious injury, "[b]road allegations of harm, bereft of specific examples or articulated reasoning, are insufficient." (Huffy, supra, 112 Cal.App.4th at p. 106) (quoting In re Cendant Corp. (3d Cir. 2001) 260 F.3d 183, 194.)

    Toyota argues that 3 valid overriding interests exist: All parties' contractual interest, T.S.' privacy interest, and Toyota and Hertz's competitive commercial interest. Toyota argues that the parties' interest in enforcing the confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement is in alignment with public policy, which promotes settlements among parties. (Motion to Seal, p. 9, lines 15-25.) Toyota further argues that T.S. is uniquely vulnerable and must be protected from the harassment and annoyance concerning the amount of money she will receive through the settlement. Toyota cites expert discovery testimony that states T.S.' "judgment is poor. . . she can't really be trusted to make good decisions" due to the traumatic brain injury she received from the accident and argues that this puts her at increased risk of exploitation by individuals who are alerted to the settlement amount she has received. (Motion to Seal, p. 8, lines 8-24; p. 11, lines 1-2.) Toyota further argues that both itself and Hertz have interests in preventing the settlement amount from being used against them, contending that competitors and future plaintiffs may point to the settlement amount to support allegations that the Prius is defective. The Court finds that Toyota has not demonstrated that Toyota and Hertz's competitive commercial interests outweigh the public right to know the settlement amount, as knowledge of the settlement amount on its own does not demonstrably prove that the Prius is defective. The Court, however, finds that the parties' contractual agreement and Toyota's articulated reasoning showing potential serious injury with regard to T.S.' financial privacy interests together constitute an overriding interest pursuant to Rule 2.550.

  2. Element 3: Substantial Probability That Overriding Interest Prejudiced

Toyota makes similar arguments here in support of a substantial probability that the parties' overriding interests would be prejudiced if the settlement amount were not sealed. The Court finds that Toyota has likewise shown the parties' contractual agreement and T.S.' financial privacy overriding interests would have a substantial probability of being prejudiced if the settlement amount were not sealed.

  1. Element 4: Narrowly Tailored Sealing

Toyota argues it moves only to seal the settlement amount and the portions of court documents that contain the settlement amount, or information that could reasonably lead to the public calculating the settlement amount. The Court finds that Toyota has shown the information sought to be sealed is narrowly tailored with regard to the parties' contractual agreement and T.S.' financial privacy overriding interest.

  1. Element 5: No Less Restrictive Means

    Finally, Toyota argues that the parties have no other less restrictive means to achieve their overriding interests other than to seal the settlement amount within the Petition and associated documents because T.S. must file a Petition to obtain the Court Order distributing her settlement proceeds. The Court finds that Toyota has shown that there exists no less restrictive means with regard to the parties' contractual agreement and T.S.' financial privacy overriding interest.

  2. Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Court will grant the Motion to Seal.

RULING: BELOW,

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Toyota's Motion to Seal Settlement Amount came on regularly for hearing on July 2, 2020, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION TO SEAL SETTLEMENT AMOUNT IS GRANTED

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE

Case Number: BC615438    Hearing Date: December 20, 2019    Dept: A

T.S. v Toyota

Motion to Compel Destructive Testing

Calendar No. 11

No Tentative. Counsel are requested to address generally the question(s):

If this part, "inverter" is an integral active component in the entire braking system of the subject vehicle, is it not important to all parties that the subject vehicle's inverter be tested/examined, such that each side may answer or address the question whether that part was or was not involved in the alleged failure of some technologically integral unit?

Also, if the only destructive activity is the cutting of transistor pins in order to reach a subjacent component, cannot the transistors be replaced with like transistors?

Case Number: BC615438    Hearing Date: December 13, 2019    Dept: A

T.S. v Toyota

Motion to Compel Expert Depositions

Calendar:

09

Case No.:

BC615438

Hearing Date:

December 13, 2019

Action Filed:

March 30, 2016

Trial Date:

March 03, 2020

MP:

Defendants Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota North America, Inc.; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; Hamer Toyota & Scion

RP:

Plaintiff T.S. by and through her Guardian Ad Litem, Laurel Carini

ALLEGATIONS:

In this action Plaintiffs T.S., A.E., and E.R. (“Plaintiffs”), by and through their respective guardians ad litem, allege that while they were crossing the street, they were struck by a motor vehicle driven by Defendant Vartan Bart Vartanian (“Vartanian”) on June 4, 2014. At that time, Vartanian was driving a rental car, a 2013 Toyota Prius, from Defendant The Hertz Corporation (“Hertz”). Plaintiffs have also sued various defendants on the basis that they negligently designed, assembled, manufactured, sold, leased, supplied, or distributed the subject vehicle driven by Vartanian, and that the vehicle had a defective braking system.

The Compliant was filed on March 30, 2016, and the operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) was filed on November 21, 2017, alleging causes of action sounding in (1) Motor Vehicle, (2) General Negligence, (3) Products Liability, (4) Violation of Bus. & Prof. Code §17200 et seq., and (5) Violation of Civ. Code §1750 et seq.

PRESENTATION:

Defendants filed the instant motion on November 14, 2019, opposition was received on November 26, 2019, and a reply brief was filed on December 06, 2019.

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Defendants move to compel the deposition of Plaintiffs’ six (6) designated liability experts to attend depositions within 30 days, and produce the 17 categories of documents requested.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review – A propounding party may move to compel the production of an expert witness for deposition pursuant to Code of Civ. Proc. §§2034.410 & 2025.450 upon providing specific facts showing good cause.

On review of the moving and opposing papers, there appears to be no substantive dispute between the parties that the expert witnesses should be produced within 30 days. Opposition, 2:1-2 (“Plaintiff will timely produce the experts in January”).

As there is no substantive dispute that the experts should be produced, the Court will grant the motion in part, ordering the experts to appear within 30 days of the instant hearing, and order the parties to submit their schedules within 20 days.

---

RULING: GRANT

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Defendants Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota North America, Inc.; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; Hamer Toyota & Scion’s Motion to Compel Expert Depositions came on regularly for hearing on December 13, 2019, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION IS GRANTED; AND

PLAINTIFFS’ EXPERTS ARE ORDERED TO ATTEND THEIR DEPOSITIONS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 12, 2019. COUNSEL ARE TO PROVIDE SCHEDULES OF AGREED DATES AND TIMES AND ANY EXCEPTIONS WITHIN TWENTY DAYS.

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE