On 06/28/2016 WILLIAM O DE LEON CASTRO filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against FORD MOTOR COMPANY. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is ROBERT B. BROADBELT. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
ROBERT B. BROADBELT
DE LEON JAIMIE ANGELICA
CASTRO WILLIAM O DE LEON
FORD MOTOR COMPANY
DOES 1 THROUGH 10
O'CONNOR & MIKHOV LLP
SHIPPEN-MURRAY BRIAN TATE
PROUDFOOT MATTHEW M.
4/4/2018: STIPULATION AND ORDER TO USE CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER
6/6/2018: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING
8/17/2018: NOTICE OF TRIAL
10/19/2018: Minute Order
10/25/2018: Jury Instructions
1/18/2019: Minute Order
9/8/2017: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 7 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LJMINE TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY ARGUMENT. OR; ETC.
9/8/2017: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 4 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LIMINE TO PROHIBIT EVIDENCE RELATING TO PLAINTIFF'S FINANCIAL CONDITION
9/8/2017: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 12 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LIMINE MOTION TO PROHIBIT TESTIMONY OR REFERENCE TO INCREASED COSTS OF VEHICLES
9/8/2017: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 10 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE OPINIONS AS TO THE APPLICABILITY OF WARRANTY COVERAGE
9/19/2017: PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 4 TO EXCLUDE QUESTIONING OF DEFENDANT'S EMPLOYEES AND FORMER EMPLOYEES ON THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF THE SONGBEVERLY CONSUMER WARR
9/19/2017: PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.7 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF FORD'S POLICIES OR PROCEDURES REGARDING CUSTOMER HANDLING OR VEHICLE REPURCHASES
9/20/2017: FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 15 TO PROHIBIT ARGUMENT THAT DEFENDANT WAS NOT GIVEN A REASONABLE NUMBER OF REPAIR OPPORTUNITIES TO REPAIR PLAINTIFFS' VEHICLE
9/20/2017: DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 13 TO PRECLUDE DEFENDANT FROM REFERENCING IN ANY WAY TO ANY PURPORTED DISCLAIMER OF THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY
10/19/2017: Minute Order
Disassociation of Attorney; Filed by William O De Leon Castro (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 10:00 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Voluntary Settlement Conference - Not Held - Continued - Party's MotionRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Jury Trial; Voluntary Settlement Conference;)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Order (to Continue Trial and All Related Trial Dates); Filed by William O De Leon Castro (Plaintiff); Jaimie Angelica De Leon (Plaintiff); Ford Motor Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Stipulation - No Order (TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND ALL RELATED DATES); Filed by William O De Leon Castro (Plaintiff); Jaimie Angelica De Leon (Plaintiff); Ford Motor Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Association of Attorney; Filed by William O De Leon Castro (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Final Status Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Final Status Conference;)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIALRead MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Ford Motor Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by Ford Motor Company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
ANSWER TO COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by William O De Leon Castro (Plaintiff); Jaimie Angelica De Leon (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT 1. SONG-BEVERLY ACT; ETCRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by William O De Leon Castro (Plaintiff); Jaimie Angelica De Leon (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC625321 Hearing Date: September 03, 2020 Dept: 53
Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles – Central District
william O. de leon castro
ford motor company
September 3, 2020
[Tentative] Order RE:
plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file FIRST amended complaint
MOVING PARTIES: Plaintiffs William O. De Leon Castro and Jaimie Angelica De Leon
RESPONDING PARTY: Defendant Ford Motor Company
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint
The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.
Plaintiffs William O. De Leon Castro and Jaimie Angelica De Leon (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed this “Lemon Law” action on June 28, 2016 against defendant Ford Motor Company (“Defendant”). The operative Complaint asserts a cause of action for violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and a cause of action for violation of the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Trial is set for December 30, 2020.
Plaintiffs now seek leave to file an amended complaint in order to add (1) a cause of action for violation California Business and Professions Code section 17200, et seq.; (2) a cause of action for violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code section 1750, et seq.; and (3) a prayer for injunctive relief based on the new allegations and causes of action. Defendant opposes the motion.
Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a)(1) provides, in relevant part: “[t]he court may . . . in its discretion, after notice to the adverse party, allow, upon any terms as may be just, an amendment to any pleading . . . .” The court may, in furtherance of justice, allow the amendment of any pleading at any time before or after commencement of trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 576.) “[T]he court’s discretion will usually be exercised liberally to permit amendment of the pleadings. [Citations.] The policy favoring amendment is so strong that it is a rare case in which denial of leave to amend can be justified.” (Howard v. County of San Diego (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1422, 1428.) “If the motion to amend is timely made and the granting of the motion will not prejudice the opposing party, it is error to refuse permission to amend . . . .” (Morgan v. Sup. Ct. (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 527, 530.) Prejudice includes “delay in trial, loss of critical evidence, or added costs of preparation.” (Solit v. Tokai Bank, Ltd. New York Branch (1999) 68 Cal.App.4th 1435, 1448.)
A motion to amend a pleading before trial must include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered to differentiate it from previous pleadings or amendments. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1324(a).) The motion must also state what allegations are proposed to be deleted or added, by page, paragraph, and line number. (Ibid.) Finally, rule 3.1324(b) states: “A separate declaration must accompany the motion and must specify: (1) The effect of the amendment; (2) Why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) When the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) The reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.”
The court finds that Plaintiffs’ proposed amendments would not be in furtherance of justice because Plaintiffs unreasonably delayed in seeking leave to add allegations regarding improper buybacks and the requested amendments would substantially prejudice Defendant.
Plaintiffs seek leave to allege facts regarding Defendant’s buyback offers to Plaintiff and other consumers in order to show Defendant’s willful violations of the Song-Beverly Act and to assert new causes of action for violations of Business and Professions Code section 17200, et seq., and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Plaintiffs state that “it has recently come to light” that Defendant has been providing consumers, including Plaintiffs, with improper buybacks (Plaintiffs’ Memo of P’s & A’s, p. 7:4-8), but Defendant’s buyback offer to Plaintiffs, which Plaintiffs have submitted in support of the motion, is dated March 21, 2016, three months before Plaintiffs filed this action. (Morse Decl., Ex. B.) In support of their motion, Plaintiffs have submitted the declaration of their counsel, Amy Morse. In her declaration, Morse states that “[i]t was not until Plaintiffs’ counsel had reviewed buyback offers with the same terms in a number of cases involving a number of different vehicle models that it became clear that Defendant’s inappropriate buyback offer was not an isolated action . . . .” (Morse Decl., ¶ 7.) However, Plaintiffs’ counsel fails to explain why the request for amendment was not made earlier.
Contrary to Plaintiffs assertion that “trial is yet to be set” in this action (Plaintiffs’ Memo of P’s & A’s, p. 6:11-12), the original trial date in this action was set for October 18, 2017. The trial date was subsequently continued several times. More recently, Plaintiffs stipulated to continuing the trial date from March 25, 2020 to August 19, 2020. (Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial, filed March 27, 2020.) Plaintiffs filed this motion on May 13, 2020, and trial is currently set for December 30, 2020. In its opposition, Defendant states that the case has been ready for trial since 2017 and that Defendant has already completed discovery on the claims and allegations in the original Complaint. Defendant contends that it will be substantially prejudiced by the proposed amendments because trial will have to be continued by at least one year, and Defendant will have to incur costs for additional discovery, dispositive motions, and trial preparation.
The court agrees that the amendments requested by Plaintiffs would substantially prejudice Defendant by causing (1) the trial to be continued again (in a case that is now already over 4 years old), and (2) Defendant to incur substantial attorney’s fees and costs to take additional discovery, to file dispositive motions, and to prepare for trial in connection with the new causes of action. The court therefore finds that Plaintiffs have not shown that the proposed amendments would be in furtherance of justice, and Defendant would be substantially prejudiced by Plaintiffs’ proposed amendments.
For the reasons set forth above, the court denies plaintiffs William O. De Leon Castro and Jaimie Angelica De Leon’s motion for leave to file their First Amended Complaint.
The court orders defendant Ford Motor Company to give notice of this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: September 3, 2020
Robert B. Broadbelt III
Judge of the Superior Court
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