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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/28/2019 at 09:51:54 (UTC).

WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOC. LLC VS. ROBERT WINSTON WEBB, ET. AL.

Case Summary

On 09/21/2016 WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOC LLC filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against ROBERT WINSTON WEBB. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Compton Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MAURICE A. LEITER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8566

  • Filing Date:

    09/21/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Compton Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MAURICE A. LEITER

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES LLC

WESTERN FIDELITY TRUSTEES

WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES LLC DBA WESTERN FIDELITY TRUSTEES

Defendants

ROBERT WINSTON WEBB

ESTATE OF ROBERT C. WEBB AND THE TESTATE

DOES 1 THROUGH 10 INCLUSIVE

ALL PERSONS UNKNOWN CLAIMING ANY LEGAL

SAMPSON BREE ASHLEY - DOE #2

WEBB - DOE 5 JOSEPH SAMUEL

WEBB ROBERT WINSTON

SAMPSON BRANDON LAVELLE - DOE 1

SAMPSON BRITTANY NICOLE - DOE 3

SAMPSON BRAXTON - DOE 4

Other

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT

Not Classified By Court

MICHEL WEBB DOUGLAS

WEBB APRIL

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

HITCHCOCK BOWMAN SCHACTER & BEVERLY .

SCHACHTER ROBERT BAILEY

 

Court Documents

Legacy Document

8/17/2017: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

9/14/2017: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

11/30/2017: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

12/26/2017: Legacy Document

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

1/11/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

1/11/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Legacy Document

3/8/2018: Legacy Document

Minute Order

4/17/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

5/29/2018: Minute Order

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

6/7/2018: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Legacy Document

6/7/2018: Legacy Document

Minute Order

10/24/2018: Minute Order

Certificate of Mailing for

12/21/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Minute Order

1/24/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

2/25/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

3/1/2019: Minute Order

Declaration

4/17/2019: Declaration

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

4/17/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

72 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/14/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (For the Disbursement of Interplead Funds) - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 05/10/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Setting of Hearing - Other to Determine Disbursement of Surplus Funds on Deposit Pursuant to Civil Code 2924j(d)) - Held

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  • 05/10/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Reconsideration of Discharge of Western Fidelity and re Status of Defaults of Non-Answering Defendants) - Held

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  • 05/10/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Reconsideration of Discharge of Weste...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/09/2019
  • Request for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/23/2019
  • Request for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/17/2019
  • Declaration (of Robert Schachter Re Status of Defaults); Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/17/2019
  • Request for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/16/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (For the Disbursement of Interplead Funds) - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/10/2019
  • Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
91 More Docket Entries
  • 02/15/2017
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Case Management Conference (Conference-Case Management; Matter continued) -

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  • 02/15/2017
  • Minute order entered: 2017-02-15 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/09/2017
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff); WESTERN FIDELITY TRUSTEES (Legacy Party)

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  • 01/05/2017
  • Declaration; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff); WESTERN FIDELITY TRUSTEES (Legacy Party)

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  • 01/05/2017
  • Notice; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff); WESTERN FIDELITY TRUSTEES (Legacy Party)

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  • 01/05/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff); WESTERN FIDELITY TRUSTEES (Legacy Party)

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  • 09/21/2016
  • Summons; Filed by null

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  • 09/21/2016
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/21/2016
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/21/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by WESTERN FIDELITY ASSOCIATES, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: TC028566    Hearing Date: December 03, 2020    Dept: A

# 2. Mateo Ancira v. St. Francis Medical Center, et al.

Case No.: 19STCV23682

Matter on calendar for: OSC Re: Additional Request as to Special Needs Trust

Tentative ruling:

  1. Background

    This is a medical malpractice action. Plaintiff, by and through his mother and guardian ad litem Yolanda Frias, alleges that he was born September 18, 2017 and at birth he had a sacral dimple which went untreated for approximately 1 year. The sacral dimple caused a dermal sinus tract infection in claimant's spinal cord. All of the named defendants failed to properly treat and refer Plaintiff for definitive neurosurgical treatment, which resulted in severe injuries.

    On November 10, 2020, Yolanda Frias petitioned the Court for approval of Plaintiff’s settlement. The motion was unopposed. The Court granted the petition in part, but required additional information as to the household’s utility costs, clothing costs for Mateo and attorney’s fees requested by Susan Katzen. The Court scheduled an Order to Show Cause Re: additional request as to Special Needs Trust for December 3, 2020.

    This hearing is limited to these issues: the household’s utility costs, Mateo’s clothing costs, and attorney’s fees requested by Susan Katzen.

  2. Standard

    Court approval is required to establish an enforceable settlement of a minor’s claim. (Prob. Code, §§ 2504, 3500, 3600, et seq.; C.C.P., § 372.) Indeed, until a petition for such approval is granted by the court, there is no final settlement, and any prior settlement agreement is voidable. (Scruton v. Korean Air Lines Co. (1995) 39 Cal.App.4th 1596, 1603–1605.)

California Rules of Court, Rule 7.950, et seq., governs the procedures for Court approval of a minor’s compromise under the Probate Code. The Application forms must properly state the age and sex of the minors, the nature and extent of the injuries, and the facts and circumstances out of which the injuries arose. Plaintiff’s counsel must disclose his interest. (Ibid.)

Under California Rules of Court, Rule 7.955(a)(1), the Court “must use a reasonable fee standard when approving and allowing the amount of attorney’s fees payable from money or property paid or to be paid for the benefit of a minor…” Also, the court must give weight to the terms of any existing representation agreement. (See CRC, Rule 7.955(a)(2).) Other non-exclusive factors to consider include: (1) the fact that a minor is involved, and her particular circumstances; (2) the length and nature of representation; and (3) the time and labor required. (See CRC, Rule 7.955(b)(1–14).)

  1. Analysis

        1. Household Utility Costs and Clothing Costs

The Court’s tentative for the hearing on November 10, 2020 stated:

“Regarding the requests to pay a portion of the household utility costs and to pay $150 per month for

purchase of clothing for the beneficiary, the Court requires additional financial information from Plaintiff’s parents. Specifically, no specific information has been provided regarding the monthly cost of utilities directly attributable to the beneficiary’s medical equipment, nor specific information regarding the parents’ ability or inability to pay the whole costs. With respect to the purchase of clothing, although the petition states that additional clothing may be necessary due to wear and tear caused by the beneficiary’s medical condition and frequent washing, no specific information has been provided as to the parents’ inability to pay the entire cost, or what portion of the cost they are able to pay. Nothing prevents the trustee from reimbursing the parents for some of this cost based upon presentation of receipts, without court order. Accordingly, the Court requires additional financial information to approve these requests.”

The petition requests that the Special Needs Trust “[pay] for the partial utility payments in an amount not to exceed $400.00 per month and clothing and grooming supplies in an amount not to exceed $150.00 per month because Mateo’s parents do not have the duty to financially support such extraordinary expenses that are beyond the scope of the parental duty to support a minor child.” (Decl. Sheldon, 3:22-26.)

Petitioner provides the following information in her declaration: (1) the family has a monthly income of $2,442. $1,700 comes from IHSS, $572 comes from Mateo’s social security, and $170 comes from WIC/food stamps. (Frias Decl., ¶ 2.); (2) the household’s utility costs have increased. Mateo’s ventilator runs 24/7, causing the household to incur a $130 monthly electricity bill, a $75 monthly water bill, and $20 monthly gas bill. The household expects these amounts to increase, as they are looking to move into a bigger resident to better accommodate Mateo. (Id. at ¶¶ 5.); and (3) Mateo requires clothes more often than other children because of his condition. His ventilator causes him to soil his clothes, which in turn, causes his clothes to be constantly washed. He also needs warmer clothes to maintain his body temperature. (Id. at ¶ 4.)

The Court is satisfied that these expenses are necessary and appropriate. The Court approves Petitioner’s requests that the Special Needs Trust pay an amount not to exceed $400 per month for Mateo’s utility expenses and an amount not to exceed $150 per month for Mateo’s clothing and grooming supplies.

        1. Attorney’s Fees Requested by Susan Katzen

          The Court’s tentative for the hearing on November 10, 2020 stated:

The Court also requires additional information to approve the payment of attorney’s fees requested by Susan Katzen. No attorney-client fee agreement is provided. There is also no indication who will be representing the Co-Trustees in the Trust proceeding, but it is possible that it will be Ms. Katzen. Further, no explanation has been provided as to why a portion of the requested fees are to be paid by the parents, and a portion by attorney Silberberg.”

The petition requests attorney’s fees in the amount of $13,032.50 to be paid to Susan Katzen. (Decl. Sheldon, 4:18.)

Ms. Katzen provides: (1) the Declaration in Support of Request for Attorney’s Fees and Statement of Services in support thereof (initially attached to the underlying Minor’s Compromise Petition), and (2) the Letter of Engagement between her and the Law Offices of Marshall Silberberg.

The supporting declaration states that the Law Offices of Marshall Silberberg represent Petitioner, and that Ms. Katzen is the attorney for Silberberg. (Decl. Sheldon, Exh. 1, ¶ 1.) Ms. Katzen was retained, among other things, to draft and prepared a Special Needs Trust for court approval and establishment. (Id. at ¶ 4.) Ms. Katzen’s “legal fees are subject to court approval and will be paid from the funds that will be used to fund the Special Needs Trust, from attorney Silberberg out of the costs of the litigation, and parents of the beneficiary out of their settlement recovery paid to them as individuals.” (Id. at ¶ 12.) Ms. Katzen asks that her fee of $13,032.50 be divided as follows: (a) $9,032.50 from the Special Needs Trust; (b) $1,408 from Silberberg; and (c) $2,592 from Mateo’s parents. (Id. at ¶ 17.)

The Letter of Engagement shows that Silberberg is Ms. Katzen’s client, and that Ms. Katzen was retained to draft the Special Needs Trust. (Decl. Sheldon, Exh. 2.) Ms. Katzen’s billing statements show that she incurred $13,032.50 in fees, and that her billing statement is addressed to Silberberg. (Decl. Sheldon, Exh. 1.) According to the evidence submitted, there is an attorney-client relationship between Ms. Katzen and Silberberg, and Silberberg is responsible for Ms. Katzen’s attorney’s fees.

Sheldon states that, “It is intended that [Katzen] will represent the Co-Trustees, Lee Ann Hitchman and Annelise Hitchman, for the administration of the Mateo Ancira Irrevocable Special Needs Trust.” (Decl. Sheldon, 4:16-17.) Sheldon also states, “Pursuant to communications with the Law Offices of Marshall Silberberg, payment of this firm’s fees are [sic] requested to be allocated in this manner in an effort to maximize the net settlement funds that will ultimately fund the Special Needs Trust.” (Decl. Sheldon, 4:21-24.) Ms. Katzen has no agreement with Petitioner as to the payment of attorney’s fees from the Special Needs Trust. (See Sheldon Decl., Exh. 2, pg. 7, ¶ 16 [signed, written instrument is required to modify letter of engagement].) Nor is there an agreement for part of her fees to be paid by Mateo’s parents.

The information provided does not show that Ms. Katzen is entitled to attorney’s fees from the Special Needs Trust or from Mateo’s parents.

The request is denied.

  1. Ruling

    The Court approves Petitioner’s request that the Special Needs Trust pay an amount not to exceed $400 per month for Mateo’s utility expenses and an amount not to exceed $150 per month for Mateo’s clothing and grooming supplies. The Court denies the request for attorney’s fees for Susan Katzen to be paid from the Special Needs Trust or from Mateo’s parents.

    Next dates:

    Notice:

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