On 09/27/2016 WILLIE MCMILLIAN filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS and HOLLY J. FUJIE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
MARC D. GROSS
HOLLY J. FUJIE
LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS
DOES 1 TO 50
LAW OFFICES OF VAHDAT & ASSOCIATE
VAHDAT & ABOUDI A.P.C.
VAHDAT G. AMY ESQ.
RUIZ RODOLFO F. ESQ.
RODOLFO F. RUIZ ESQ.
1/10/2018: EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND ALL RELATED CUT-OFF DATES; ETC.
1/10/2018: EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND ALL RELATED CUT-OFF DATES; MEMORAMDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF JACQUELINE M. SPARAGNA
1/26/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET THREE (NO. 25) AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION (NO. 24) IN PLAINTIFF'S DEPOSITION NOTICE; DECLARATION OF JACQUELIN
3/1/2018: Minute Order
3/13/2018: NOTICE OF ORDER TRANSFERRING PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO DEPARTMENT M, SOUTHWEST DISTRICT, THE HONORABLE JUDGE SEE
3/29/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference
4/18/2018: Case Management Statement
10/3/2016: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS
11/10/2016: DEMURRER OF DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
2/3/2017: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES
8/4/2017: DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL VETERAN'S ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER TO COMPLY WITH DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS; ETC.
10/10/2017: DEFENDANT'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL VETERAN'S ADMIMSTRATION MEDICAL CENTER TO COMPLY WITH DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS
10/17/2017: ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS PURSUANT TO SUBPOENA
Stipulation and Order (for an Order Continuing Trial Date, Final Status Conference Date, and All Related Cut-Off Dates); Filed by LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Declaration (of Jacqueline M. Sparagna in Support of Motion for Leave to File Cross-Complaint); Filed by LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Motion for Leave to File a Cross-Complaint; Filed by LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:34 AM in Department M; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
at 08:32 AM in Department M; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
Stipulation and Order (to Continue Trial Date, Final Status Conference Date); Filed by LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 92; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
at 10:00 AM in Department 92; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
at 08:33 AM in Department M; Unknown Event Type - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Case Management Order; Filed by CourtRead MoreRead Less
DEMURRER OF DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
Demurrer (TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT ); Filed by Attorney for Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
Demurrer; Filed by Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
Proof of Service (LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS ); Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. NEGLIGENCE; ETCRead MoreRead Less
ComplaintRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by WILLIE MCMILLIAN (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC635553 Hearing Date: August 19, 2020 Dept: B
LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT
Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Department B Calendar No. 9
Willie McMillian v. Los Angeles World Airports, et al.
Southwest Airlines Co.’s (“Southwest” or “SWA”) Motion for Summary Judgment, or, Alternatively, Summary Adjudication
Southwest Airlines Co.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.
Defendant’s objection to Plaintiff’s request for judicial notice of Exhibits 1 to 4 is sustained. Exhibit 1 is an excerpt from the deposition of Plaintiff. Exhibit 2 is Plaintiff’s hand drawn map of the airport terminal entrance. Exhibit 3 is an airport terminal diagram. Exhibit 4 is an email from Defense counsel for Southwest notifying the parties that the Court had vacated the trial date and final status conference date and that Southwest is withdrawing the portion of its motion directed against Los Angeles World Airports (“LAWA”). None of these items are proper matters to which the Court may take judicial notice. However, the Court does note that, alternatively, these exhibits were attempted to be authenticated by Kevin Davis. Thus, the Court will rule separately on the specific objections to Exhibits 2 to 4.
Defendant’s objections to Exhibits 2 to 4 are sustained.
Request for Judicial Notice
As noted above, Plaintiff’s request for judicial notice is denied.
Defendant’s request for judicial notice of the First Amended Complaint and Cross-Complaint is granted pursuant to Evidence Code section 452(d).
Motion for Summary Judgment
The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal. App. 4th 1110, 1119.)
“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal. App. 4th 1510, 1519.) A defendant moving for summary judgment or summary adjudication “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “Once the defendant . . . has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal. App. 4th 463, 467.
“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi, 159 Cal.App.4th at 467; CCP § 437c(c).)
Plaintiff filed his Complaint on September 27, 2016. Plaintiff filed his operative First Amended Complaint on November 21, 2016. Plaintiff Willie McMillian (“McMillian”) allegedly incurred injures at the Los Angeles International Airport while sitting at the wheelchair check-in area in front of Terminal 1 in a chair that collapsed. Plaintiff claims to have sustained neck, back, left wrist, left shoulder, and head injuries. Plaintiff set forth causes of action for: 1. Damages (Civ. Code § 3333) for Personal Injuries Against Public Entities and Employees (Gov. Code §§ 835; 840.2; 840.4) Based on a Dangerous Condition of Public Property. On June 20, 2019, Los Angeles World Airports filed a Cross-Complaint.
Defendant/Cross-Defendant Southwest Airlines (“SWA” or “Southwest”) moved for summary judgment and/or summary adjudication as to the Cross-Complaint of Los Angeles World Airport (“LAWA”) and the Complaint of Plaintiff McMillan. The motion was made on the ground that there was no triable issue of material fact as to each cause of action. Subsequent to the filing, SWA withdrew the portion of the motion seeking summary judgment and/or adjudication as to the Cross-Complaint. Thus, this leaves only the motion for summary judgment and/or adjudication of the sole cause of action brought by Plaintiff for Damages (Civ. Code § 3333) for Personal Injuries Against Public Entities and Employees (Gov. Code §§ 835; 840.2; 840.4) Based on a Dangerous Condition of Public Property delineated as Issue 5 in the Notice of Motion.
Defendant has met its burden to show that Plaintiff’s cause of action has no merit by showing that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established and/or that a complete defense exists to the cause of action. Plaintiff has not met his burden to provide specific facts to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact as to the cause of action. Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(p)(2).
Plaintiff’s “cause of action consists of the following elements: (1) a dangerous condition of public property; (2) a foreseeable risk, arising from the dangerous condition, of the kind of injury the plaintiff suffered; (3) actionable conduct in connection with the condition, i.e., either negligence on the part of a public employee in creating it, or failure by the entity to correct it after notice of its existence and dangerousness; (4) a causal relationship between the dangerous condition and the plaintiff's injuries; and (5) compensable damage sustained by the plaintiff.” Cole v. Town of Los Gatos (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 749, 757–758.
Defendant has established that the area where Plaintiff fell was an area over which Southwest had no ownership and/or control, therefore, negating the essential element of duty with respect to Plaintiff’s cause of action. “[A] carrier owes its passengers the highest degree of care. But this rule applies while the passengers are in transitu, and until they have safely departed from the carrier's vehicle …. [A]s a passenger's entrance to the carrier's station is characterized by none of the hazards incident to the journey itself, the rigor of the rule above announced [the rule of highest degree of care] is justly relaxed, in that at such a time and place the carrier is bound to exercise only a reasonable degree of care for the protection of [its] passengers.” Marshall v. United Airlines (1973) 35 Cal.App.3d 84, 86–87 (internal citations and quotations omitted). “Liability for the negligent maintenance of property arises from the rule expressed by Civil Code section 1714 stating, as relevant, ‘Everyone is responsible, ... for an injury occasioned to another by his want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his property ....’ This responsibility, of course, extends not only to the owner, but also to the occupant who has the right of control of the property. The ‘crucial element [of liability for the dangerous condition of property] is control. ...’ In the absence of agreement or other special circumstances, there can be no duty to maintain property, and hence no liability for its negligent maintenance, where there is no ownership or right of control or management of the property.” Id. at 88 (internal citations omitted).
Southwest has established with competent evidence through the declaration of Kathi Woodley, the Corporate Facilities Regional Manager at Los Angeles International Airport ("LAX") for Southwest Airlines Co., and through the lease’s terms describing Southwest's Demised Premises (as the premises controlled by Southwest), that the wheelchair check-in area in front of Terminal 1 was not part of the Demised Premises. Further, section 9.1 of the Lease requires Southwest to maintain the Demised Premises only. Section 9.2 of the Lease provides it is LAWA’s responsibility to maintain the public area. The Wheelchair Area is located on the outside of Terminal 1, on the sidewalk. Therefore, the competent uncontroverted evidence establishes that Southwest had no control over the area where Plaintiff fell. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 107-141.)
Plaintiff provided no competent evidence to dispute Defendant’s evidence. Plaintiff argues that a triable issue of fact is created due to his own subject belief that the area that he fell was controlled by Defendant. However, Plaintiff fails to provide any authority that establishes that his subjective belief that a party has ownership or control over the premises would have any bearing as to the essential element of control. Presumably, this absence of authority exists because the duty of care based on ownership and control cannot be subject to the subjective perception of any individual who may encounter the condition of property. Plaintiff admits that the sole basis for disputing Defendant’s facts is via the deposition testimony of Plaintiff wherein he stated that he saw a sign indicating this was the Southwest check in area. Plaintiff then held the belief that, therefore, Southwest should be held liable. Again, no authority was provided to show that a triable issue of fact can be created merely through Plaintiff’s own subjective belief that an entity had ownership or control over the property in contravention of the Defendant’s actual evidence which established no ownership or control.
Therefore, Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted.
Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.
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