This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2019 at 09:42:41 (UTC).

VICTORIA GRIFFITH VS NAVANJUN GREWAL, M.D., ET AL.,

Case Summary

On 07/20/2016 VICTORIA GRIFFITH filed a Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice lawsuit against NAVANJUN GREWAL, M D , . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Santa Monica Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are LISA HART COLE and BOBBI TILLMON. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7780

  • Filing Date:

    07/20/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Santa Monica Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

LISA HART COLE

BOBBI TILLMON

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

GRIFFITH VICTORIA

Defendants and Respondents

GREWAL NAVANJUN M.D.

ROXBURY CLINIC AND SURGERY CENTER INC.

ROXBURY SURGERY CENTER INC.

DOES 1 TO 200

ROXBURY SPECIALTY SURGERY CENTER LLC

GREWAL M.D. NAVANJUN

ROCKSTAR BEAUTY PC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

WATKINS ASHTON R.

Defendant Attorneys

TOMLINSON RODNEY G. ESQ.

CINQUEMANI KIRSTEN K.

WOOD SMITH HENNING & BERMAN

JAMES ADAM R.

 

Court Documents

Order

6/24/2019: Order

Notice

7/1/2019: Notice

Declaration

7/11/2019: Declaration

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

4/11/2017: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Legacy Document

8/3/2017: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

9/6/2017: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

9/14/2017: Legacy Document

Case Management Statement

1/2/2018: Case Management Statement

Legacy Document

1/9/2018: Legacy Document

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

1/10/2018: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice of Ruling

2/23/2018: Notice of Ruling

Legacy Document

4/19/2018: Legacy Document

Opposition

8/24/2018: Opposition

Notice of Case Management Conference

8/30/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference

Motion for Summary Judgment

2/22/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Reply

5/1/2019: Reply

Minute Order

5/8/2019: Minute Order

REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

1/11/2017: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

99 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/23/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department O at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Hearing on Motion to Tax Costs

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  • 10/21/2019
  • Hearingat 09:15 AM in Department O at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Jury Trial

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  • 10/18/2019
  • Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department O at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Final Status Conference

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  • 09/13/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department O at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 04/01/2047
  • DocketNotice (NOTICE OF TRANSFER OF ACTION ); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/22/2019
  • DocketMotion to Tax Costs; Filed by VICTORIA GRIFFITH (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/17/2019
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by Roxbury Specialty Surgery Center, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 07/17/2019
  • DocketNotice (of Entry of Judgment); Filed by Roxbury Specialty Surgery Center, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 07/15/2019
  • DocketJudgment (- Summary Judgment - Before Trial - 07/15/2019 entered for Defendant Roxbury Specialty Surgery Center, LLC against Plaintiff GRIFFITH, VICTORIA.); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/15/2019
  • DocketJudgment (as Defendant Roxbury Specialty Surgery Center, LLC); Filed by Roxbury Specialty Surgery Center, LLC (Defendant)

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201 More Docket Entries
  • 01/06/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF DEFENDANT, ROXBURY SURGERY CENTER, INC. TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; ETC

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  • 11/30/2016
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 11/30/2016
  • DocketSUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 10/31/2016
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons

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  • 10/13/2016
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/20/2016
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by VICTORIA GRIFFITH (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/20/2016
  • DocketComplaint Filed

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  • 07/20/2016
  • DocketPLAINTIFF S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

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  • 07/20/2016
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC627780    Hearing Date: November 17, 2020    Dept: O

Case Name: Griffith v. Grewal, et al.

Case No.: BC627780

Hearing: 11-17-20

Calendar #: 8

Notice: OK

Complaint Filed: 7-20-16

Motion C/O: 6-21-21

Discovery C/O: 7-6-21

Trial Date: 7-19-21

______________________________________________________________________________

SUBJECT: MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF JUNE 30, 2020 DECISION DENYING REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO CLAIM PUNITIVE DAMAGES AGAINST DEFENDANTS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Victoria Griffith

RESP. PARTY: Defendants Rockstar Beauty, PC and Navanjun S. Grewal, MD

TENTATIVE RULING

Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of the June 30, 2020 Decision Denying Request for Leave to Claim Punitive Damages against Defendants is DENIED.

Timeliness—CCP §1008(a) requires that any motion for reconsideration must be brought “within 10 days after service upon the party of written notice of entry of the order…” Novak v. Fay (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 329, 335-336 (10-day limit did not apply where no notice of entry of order served). Plaintiff waived notice at the 6-30-20 hearing. Neither party offers any case law regarding the impact of waiver of notice on the 10-day requirement.

Under the prior version of CCP §1008(a), “knowledge of the order” triggered the 10-day requirement and where the moving party waived notice, the 10-day deadline was triggered the day the hearing was held. See In re Imperial Ins. Co. (1984) 157 Cal.App.3d 290, 293, 299-301 (“party has knowledge of court order for purpose of section 1008, subdivision (a) if he or his attorney is present in court when the decision is announced and waives notice”). Based on the Legislative Counsel’s Digest, “knowledge of the order” was replaced with “service upon the party of written notice of entry of the order” and carries the same meaning and purpose—to ensure knowledge of the order by the moving party seeking reconsideration. See 1992 Cal.Legis.Serv. Ch. 460 (B.B. 1805). “The wording of the statute suggests there is no time limit when notice is waived. But this seems contrary to the statutory purpose, and judges may therefore hold the 10-day period runs from the date of waiver. (In any case, the longer the delay, the less receptive the court may be to the motion.)” Edmon and Karnow, California Prac. Guide: CPBT, (Rutter Group June 2020), ¶9:326.

For this reason, the 10-day deadline was triggered on 6-30-20, when Plaintiff waived notice of the order. The motion for reconsideration was therefore due on 7-10-20. The motion was filed on 7-13-20 and is denied as untimely.

No new facts or circumstances—Plaintiff argues the continuance of the trial date is a new fact or circumstance justifying reconsideration of the Court’s 6-30-20 order on Plaintiff’s motion for leave to add punitive damages. Plaintiff argues the continuance of the trial date eliminates any prejudice if leave to amend were permitted.

The continuance of the trial date and absence of prejudice to the Defendants are not grounds for reconsideration of the 6-30-20 order for several reasons. First, neither “new” fact is material to the challenged rulings. A motion for reconsideration must be based on new or different facts, circumstances or law that are material to the underlying ruling challenged. See Gilberd v. AC Transit (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 1494, 1499. Facts or circumstances which are wholly collateral to the merits of the initial motion are insufficient to warrant reconsideration. Id.

Based on the 9-21-18 Order, the continuance of the trial date and prejudice are immaterial and irrelevant to that ruling and the Court’s 6-30-18 ruling, which reaffirmed the reasoning of the 9-21-18 Order. The 9-21-18 Order found that (1) CCP §425.13 applies to Plaintiff’s fraud claim and (2) any request for leave to amend appeared untimely under CCP §425.13.

In order to avoid this time bar, Plaintiff was required to establish (1) the impossibility or impracticability of this time limitation; (2) he or she was unaware of facts or evidence necessary to make a proper motion under § 425.13 more than 9 months prior to the first assigned trial date; (2) he or she made reasonable, diligent and good faith efforts to discover the necessary facts or evidence to support such a motion prior to the first assigned trial date; (3) after assignment of the trial date, he or she made reasonable, diligent and good faith efforts to complete the necessary discovery; (4) he or she filed the § 425.13 motion to amend as soon as reasonably practicable after completing such discovery (but in no event more than 2 years after commencement of the action); and (5) defendant will suffer no surprise or prejudice by reason of any shortened time period and will be given reasonable opportunity to complete all necessary discovery to meet plaintiff's punitive damages allegations. See Goodstein v. Sup.Ct. (Pittman) (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 1635, 1638 (trial set within 9 months although pleadings still at issue and discovery incomplete). Demonstrating grounds for relief from the deadline is a “heavy burden.” Id. (no reasonably possible for Plaintiff to comply with 9-month deadline under CCP §425.13 where initial trial date was set when pleadings were still at issue and discovery incomplete).

In its 9-21-18 Order, the Court expressly stated that any motion seeking leave under CCP §425.13 “must address the timeliness issue.” See 9-21-18 Order. Plaintiff did not address the timeliness issue in its 2-20-20 ex parte Motion for Leave under CCP §425.13 or this motion for reconsideration. Prejudice and the continuance of the trial date are therefore collateral to the 6-30-20 order.

Second, the 9-21-18 Order found that CCP §425.13 applied to Plaintiff’s fraud claim, despite it being an intentional tort. Although Plaintiff’s 2-20-20 ex parte application was framed as one for leave to add punitive damages under CCP §425.13, Plaintiff reargued the issue of whether CCP §425.13 even applied. The Court had already resolved that issue on the motion to strike and there was no basis to change its finding. Again, this reasoning was incorporated in to the 6-30-20 ruling on the ex parte motion for leave to add punitive damages under CCP §425.13 and the trial date and prejudice to the defendant were not part of the analysis.

Finally, in her reply memorandum, Plaintiff argues Plaintiff” “has a compelling fraud claim.” The Court Court did not address in its 6-30-20 the sufficiency of Plaintiff’s substantive evidentiary showing under CCP §425.13, because Plaintiff failed to address the timeliness issue in its 2-20-20 ex parte application, despite the Court’s express instruction to do so in the 9-21-18 Order. Without overcoming the procedural hurdle of timeliness under CCP §425.13, there was not need to address the substantive merits of Plaintiff’s evidentiary showing and in no way has the Court found, implicitly or otherwise , that Plaintiff has made a prima facia evidentiary showing for fraud. In that regard, in her reply memorandum Plaintiff mischaracterizes the Court’s 9-13-19 ruling on the motion for summary judgment. The Court never evaluated Plaintiff’s evidence to determine if she stated a prima facie case for fraud. In fact, the Court found that Defendant had not met its burden as moving party on the fraud cause of action and denied it on that ground. Because Defendant did not meet its initial burden as moving party, the burden on MSJ never shifted to Plaintiff and the Court did not discuss the sufficiency of Plaintiff’s case for fraud or whether Plaintiff’s evidence was sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact. See 9-13-19 Minute Order, pp. 2-3.

Case Number: BC627780    Hearing Date: June 30, 2020    Dept: O

Case Name: Griffith v. Grewal, et al. 
Case No.: BC627780
Hearing: 6-25-20
Calendar #: 4
Notice: OK 
Complaint Filed:      7-20-16
Motion C/O: 10-7-19
Discovery C/O: 9-23-19
Trial Date: 9-14-20 
______________________________________________________________________________
SUBJECT: MOTION TO SEEK PUNITIVE DAMAGES     
MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Victoria Griffith  
RESP. PARTY: Defendants Rockstar Beauty, PC and Navanjun S. Grewal, MD 
TENTATIVE RULING
Plaintiff’s Motion to Seek Punitive Damages is DENIED. 
“[I]dentifying a cause of action as an ‘intentional tort’ as opposed to ‘negligence’ does not itself remove the claim from the requirements of section 425.13(a). The allegations that identify the nature and cause of a plaintiff's injury must be examined to determine whether each is directly related to the manner in which professional services were provided…And, contrary to plaintiffs' argument, section 425.13(a) applies regardless of whether the complaint purports to state a single cause of action for an intentional tort or also states a cause of action for professional negligence. The clear intent of the Legislature is that any claim for punitive damages in an action against a health care provider be subject to the statute if the injury that is the basis for the claim was caused by conduct that was directly related to the rendition of professional services.”  Central Pathology Service Medical Clinic, Inc. v. Superior Court (1992) 3 Cal.4th 181, 192.
In Central Pathology, the Supreme court found CCP §425.13 applied to the plaintiff’s IIED claim.  The plaintiff’s fraud and IIED claims was based on the defendant’s alleged intentional or reckless failure to inform Plaintiff of her PAP smear results, which showed abnormal cells, and her need to be retested.  Id. at 185.  The conduct upon which these intentional causes of action were based was “directly related to the manner in which defendants provided professional services.”  Id. at 192-193.  “The claim emanates from the manner in which defendants performed and communicated the results of medical tests, a matter that is an ordinary and usual part of medical professional services.”  Id. at 193.
Applying Central Pathology, the Court of Appeals in Davis v. Superior Court (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 623, 629 found CCP §425.13 applied to the plaintiff’s fraud and conspiracy claims against his physicians and insurer, who misrepresented their ability to treat plaintiff’s injury and affirmatively concealed the physician defendants’ negligence in treating his injury.  The Court found that these fraudulent misrepresentations “directly related to the manner in which a health practitioner provides professional services.”  Id. at 630.  
As explained in Davis, “[t]he focus is on the physician's conduct. Our inquiry begins with whether the doctor accused of the improper behavior was engaged in the practice of medicine at the time he or she was consulted by the patient. If so, we next examine the physician's activity. If the acts performed were those in which a medical practitioner ordinarily would be expected to perform in his or her capacity as a health care provider, we then examine the misrepresentation allegedly made. If it relates to the acts performed by the physician in his or her capacity as a health care provider, as a matter of law the misrepresentation occurred during the rendition of medical services and section 425.13(a) applies.”  Davis, supra, 27 Cal.App.4th at 629.  
In United Western Medical Centers v. Supr. Ct. (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 500, 502, the Court of Appeals applied CCP §425.13 to plaintiff’s sexual assault claim against a hospital.  Two of the hospital’s workers sexually assaulted her while she was recovering from a traumatic brain stem injury. United Western Medical Centers, supra, 42 Cal.App.4th at 502.  The Court reasoned that plaintiff’s sexual assault claim against the hospital was rooted in plaintiff’s patient relationship with the hospital and the hospital’s failure to carry out its duty to protect its patients. As such, the Court found plaintiff’s punitive damages against the hospital properly stricken on grounds that plaintiff failed to first obtain leave under CCP §425.13, but the Court also found that CCP §425.13 did not apply to the hospital workers who actually carried out the assault:
“Real party contends hospital either negligently or intentionally failed to supervise its staff, or hired incompetent staff and thereby allowed real party to be sexually assaulted. While plaintiff may assert a right to recover punitive damages from the two assailants, Diaz and Garcia, without following the procedures of section 425.13, the same does not hold true for their employer….The basis for the claim against hospital is directly related to its performance of professional services.”  Id. at 505.  
A year after Davis, the Court of Appeals found that CCP 425.13 applied to a plaintiff’s sexual assault claim against her physician, who sexually assaulted during a gynecological procedure.  See Cooper v. Supr. Ct. (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 744, 746.  The Court reasoned that, while in most instances a physician’s sexual assault of a patient cannot be deemed in any way related to the provision of medical services, “[a] doctor rendering gynecological care, by contrast, cannot render the full panoply of gynecological services without touching, probing or otherwise manipulating a woman's genitalia.”  Id. 
Thus, whether CCP §425.13 applies to Plaintiff’s fraud claim depends upon the conduct upon which that claim is based and whether it is “directly related to the manner in which a health practitioner provides professional services.”  See Central Pathology, supra, 3 Cal.4th at 192-193; Davis, supra, 27 Cal.App.4th at 630.  As demonstrated in United Western Medical, the connection to provision of medical services need not in itself be medically oriented.  A hospital’s duty to protect a patient from sexual assault is not medical in nature, e.g. it does not involve performance of medical services by a licensed medical professional.  However, it is “ directly related” to the “manner” in which medical services are provided, because the patient is dependent upon the hospital to provide such protection and the patient is only dependent upon the hospital due to the patient-health care provider relationship.  See United Western Medical, supra, 42 Cal.App.4th at 505.
Under the applicable case law, all conduct alleged in the fraud claim is “directly related to the manner” in which Defendant provided the health care services provided.  Pricing, billing and whether Defendant would arrange and pay for Plaintiff’s after care all arise from Plaintiff’s relationship with Defendant and how Defendant would provide that medical care to Plaintiff.  There is an especially direct relationship between the manner in which Defendant would provide medical care and Defendant’s promise to provide a particular third-party aftercare provider at Defendant’s own expense.  Although provided through a third-party, aftercare is itself medical care and whether Defendant would be paying and arranging for it with a third party qualifies as the “manner” in which such aftercare would be provided.  Likewise, Defendant’s allegedly fraudulent promises regarding how much Plaintiff would be charged and how she would be billed are directly related to the surgery.  Although not medical in nature, the price at which a medical procedure will be performed is “directly related to the manner,” because rendition of the medical services is dependent upon an agreement to pay.  
In addition, the Court previously found CCP §425.13 applicable to Plaintiff’s fraud claim in connection with Defendant’s Motion to Strike Punitive Damages, which was heard by Judge Tillmon on 9-21-18.  As stated by the Court in its 9-21-18 order:
“The insurance coverage, billing and aftercare nursing services were all directly related to Defendant Grewal’s provision of breast augmentation surgery. As with conveyance of medical test results, the billing and aftercare for a medical procedure are matters that are “an ordinary and usual part of medical professional services.” Central Pathology Service Medical Clinic, Inc. v. Superior Court, supra, 3 Cal.4th at 192. Plaintiff’s argument that a number of the fraudulent statements were made to solicit her business does not change the analysis. The fraudulent promises intended to solicit her business were about Defendant’s provision of medical services, including the provision of full time after care and the cost of such medical services. A medical professional’s representations to potential patients regarding the type and quality of medical services he or she will provide is an ordinary part of medical professional services.”  See Defendant’s Supplemental Opposition, Ex. A, Notice of Ruling, Ex. A, p. 2.
Plaintiff’s current motion to seek punitive damages is an improper attempt to seek reconsideration of the Court’s 9-21-18 order striking the claim for punitive damages for failure to comply with CCP §425.13.  The Court finds no basis to reject the reasoning articulated by Judge Tillmon in denying the Defendant’s Motion to Strike on 9-21-18.  
Moreover, as explained in detail in the 9-21-18 order, any request for leave under CCP §425.13 would be time barred without further explanation.  See Defendant’s Supplemental Opposition, Ex. A, Notice of Ruling, Ex. A, p. 2.  Plaintiff fails to address the timeliness issue at all and only takes the position that CCP 425.13 does not apply.  
CCP §425.13 applies to Plaintiff’s fraud claim.  Plaintiff’s request to seek punitive damages on grounds that CCP §425.13 does not apply is DENIED.  
 --------------------------
SUBJECT: MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION      
MOVING PARTY: Defendants Rockstar Beauty, PC and Navanjun S. Grewal, MD 
RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Victoria Griffith   
TENTATIVE RULING
Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED.  Defendants’ Motion to Reopen Discovery is GRANTED.  
A court acts in excess of its jurisdiction when it grants a motion to reconsider that is not based upon new or different facts, circumstances or law.  See Gilberd v. AC Transit (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 1494, 1499.  Reconsideration under CCP §1008(a) requires that the request be based on new or different facts, circumstances or law that could not have been presented earlier with reasonable diligence.  See New York Times Co. v. Supr. Ct. (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 206, 212-213.  The new or different facts, circumstances or law must also be material to the underlying ruling challenged.  Facts or circumstances which are wholly collateral to the merits of the initial motion are insufficient to warrant reconsideration.  Gilberd, supra, 32 Cal.App.4th at 1499.
Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration was timely filed within 10 days of issuance of the 2-21-20 minute order.  CCP §1008(a).  Defendants’ motion is supported by the declaration required under CCP §1008(a), identifying “what application was made before, when and to what judge, what order or decisions were made, and what new or different facts, circumstances, or law are claimed to be shown.”  Id.  Defendants’ request for reconsideration is based on the continuance of the trial date from 3-2-20 to 4-20-20.  See Dec. of A. James, ¶¶17-19.  Since that time, due to COVID-19, the trial date was continued again to 9-14-20.  
The Court’s prior ruling weighed multiple factors under CCP §2024.050 to conclude that the request to reopen discovery should be denied, including the trial date, the amount of time the case had been pending and Defendant’s diligence in seeking the requested discovery.  The COVID 19 closure of the court, continuance of the trial date in this matter and limitations on jury trials are all new facts and circumstances justifying reconsideration of the motion to reopen discovery.  The motion for reconsideration is therefore GRANTED.  
Any party shall be entitled as a matter of right to complete discovery proceedings on or
before 30th day, and to have motions concerning discovery heard on or before the 15th day,
before the date initially set for trial.  See CCP 2024.020.  In order to complete discovery or have
motions heard closer to the trial date, the party must seek leave of court to do so.  See CCP
2024.050. The motion must be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration and it must also
explain the reasons for discovery, the diligence or lack of diligence of the party seeking
discovery or hearing on the discovery motion, the reasons the motion was not brought earlier, the
likelihood that hearing the motion will prevent going to trial on the date set and the length of
time between when the trial date was previously set and when it is presently set.  Id.
Pursuant to CCP §2024.050, the court shall take into consideration any matter relevant to
the leave requested, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) The necessity and the
reasons for the discovery; (2) The diligence or lack of diligence of the party seeking the
discovery or the hearing of a discovery motion, and the reasons that the discovery was not
completed or that the discovery motion was not heard earlier; (3) Any likelihood that permitting
the discovery or hearing the discovery motion will prevent the case from going to trial on the
date set, or otherwise interfere with the trial calendar, or result in prejudice to any other party;
and (4) The length of time that has elapsed between any date previously set, and the date
presently set, for the trial of the action.  
The Court agrees the discovery requested is crucial to Defendants’ defense.  Defendants will be faced with a trial by surprise if they are not allowed to depose Beibel and Washington, who are central to Plaintiff’s fraud case.  Given the high likelihood that jury trial of this matter will not take place in 2020 because of COVID 19 restrictions, reopening discovery will not impact the trial date.  Defendants do not provide a satisfactory reason for failing to obtain the requested discovery earlier.  However, balancing these competing considerations, Defendants’ Motion to Reopen Discovery is GRANTED.  
  
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