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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/25/2021 at 12:40:52 (UTC).

ALICE DURAN VS CITY OF GARDENA, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 08/03/2020 ALICE DURAN filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against CITY OF GARDENA, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is EDWARD B. MORETON. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******9085

  • Filing Date:

    08/03/2020

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

EDWARD B. MORETON

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

DURAN ALICE

Defendants

BRITT DEBORAH ANN

CITY OF GARDENA A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Defendant Attorneys

MARCUS GERALD LEE

DUMONT LOUIS R

 

Court Documents

Judgment - JUDGMENT [PROPOSED] JUDGMENT

3/15/2021: Judgment - JUDGMENT [PROPOSED] JUDGMENT

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore - ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE VICKI A. SABER, CSR#6212

1/25/2021: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore - ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE VICKI A. SABER, CSR#6212

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

1/25/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

1/6/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Declaration - DECLARATION PLF'S COMOPENDIUM OF OUT OF STATE AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF OPP. TO DEMURRER

1/6/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION PLF'S COMOPENDIUM OF OUT OF STATE AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF OPP. TO DEMURRER

Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF

1/15/2021: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

12/30/2020: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

11/20/2020: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

12/3/2020: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF TAKING DEFENDANTS CITY OF GARDENA AND DEBORAH ANN BRITTS DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT OFF-CALENDAR

12/4/2020: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF TAKING DEFENDANTS CITY OF GARDENA AND DEBORAH ANN BRITTS DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT OFF-CALENDAR

Proof of Service by Mail

11/3/2020: Proof of Service by Mail

Proof of Personal Service

9/28/2020: Proof of Personal Service

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [PI GENERAL ORDER], STANDING ORDER RE PI PROCEDURE AND HEARING DATES

8/12/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [PI GENERAL ORDER], STANDING ORDER RE PI PROCEDURE AND HEARING DATES

PI General Order

8/12/2020: PI General Order

Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

8/3/2020: Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

Civil Case Cover Sheet

8/3/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

8/3/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Complaint

8/3/2020: Complaint

8 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/19/2021
  • DocketNotice (of Entry of Judgment); Filed by City of Gardena, a municipal corporation (Defendant); Deborah Ann Britt (Defendant)

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  • 03/15/2021
  • DocketJudgment ([Proposed] Judgment); Filed by City of Gardena, a municipal corporation (Defendant); Deborah Ann Britt (Defendant)

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  • 02/03/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by City of Gardena, a municipal corporation (Defendant); Deborah Ann Britt (Defendant)

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  • 01/25/2021
  • Docketat 3:30 PM in Department 27, Edward B. Moreton, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Held

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  • 01/25/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/25/2021
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore (Vicki A. Saber, CSR#6212); Filed by City of Gardena, a municipal corporation (Defendant)

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  • 01/15/2021
  • DocketReply (DEFENDANTS? REPLY TO PLAINTIFF?S OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF); Filed by City of Gardena, a municipal corporation (Defendant); Deborah Ann Britt (Defendant)

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  • 01/06/2021
  • DocketDeclaration (Plf's Comopendium of Out of State Authorities in Support of Opp. to Demurrer); Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/06/2021
  • DocketOpposition (Opposition to Demurrer to First Amended Complaint); Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/30/2020
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by City of Gardena, a municipal corporation (Defendant); Deborah Ann Britt (Defendant)

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2 More Docket Entries
  • 12/03/2020
  • DocketAmended Complaint ( (1st)); Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/20/2020
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by City of Gardena, a municipal corporation (Defendant)

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  • 11/03/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/28/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([PI General Order], Standing Order re PI Procedure and Hearing Dates); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketPI General Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Alice Duran (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STCV29085    Hearing Date: January 25, 2021    Dept: 27

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

ALICE DURAN,

Plaintiff,

vs.

CITY OF GARDENA, et al.,

Defendants.

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.20STCV29085 

[TENTATIVE] ORDER CITY OF GARDENA’S DEMURRER

Dept. 27

3:30 p.m.

January 25, 2021

I.INTRODUCTION

On August 3, 2020, Plaintiff Alice Duran filed this action against Defendants City of Gardena (“Defendant”) and Deborah Ann Britt (“Britt”).  In Plaintiff’s operative First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), she es causes of action for negligence .  She alleges that on July 17, 2019, she mistakenly boarded an express transit bus driven by Britt and operated by Defendant.  She did not realize the southbound bus route from Downtown Los Angeles to Gardena did not provide full service Instead, the bus route was “pick-up only,” meaning that the bus only stopped at certain bus stops to pick up passengers and otherwise did not give a chance to exit the bus until the end of the route.  (FAC, ¶¶ 7, 9, 15, 17.)  Plaintiff alleges that when she asked Britt to stop the bus, Britt stated “No drop-offs.  No, I don’t have any.”  (Compl., ¶ 23.)   Plaintiff next alleges she threatened, trapped, and believed she was being kidnapped because she did not realize the bus was “pick up only,” so she opened the emergency window and jumped out .   (FAC, ¶ 24.)  

Plaintiff alleges Defendant acted negligently because : (1) inform passengers that the bus route did not allow passengers to disembark before reaching the terminusand (2) failed to train its drivers, such as Britt, to inform passengers and make reasonable accommodations for individuals who boarded this bus in error or allow them to safely leave the bus, or otherwise prevent a distraught passenger from taking dangerous and/or harmful actions.  

II.LEGAL STANDARDS

A demurrer tests the legal sufficiency of the pleadings and will be sustained only where the pleading is defective on its face.¿(City of Atascadero v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner ¿(1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 445, 459.)¿¿“We treat the demurrer as admitting all material facts properly pleaded but not contentions, deductions or conclusions of fact or law.¿¿We accept the factual allegations of the complaint as true and also consider matters which may be judicially noticed.¿¿[Citation.]”¿¿(Mitchell v. California Department of Public Health¿(2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 1000, 1007;¿Del E. Webb Corp. v. Structural Materials Co.¿(1981) 123 Cal.App.3d 593, 604 [“the facts alleged in the pleading are deemed to be true, however improbable they may be”].)¿¿Allegations are to be liberally construed.¿¿(Code Civ. Proc., § 452.)¿¿A demurrer may be brought if insufficient facts are stated to support the cause of action asserted.¿(Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e).)¿

Leave to amend must be allowed where there is a reasonable possibility of successful amendment.¿¿(Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 348.)¿¿The burden is on the complainant to show the Court that a pleading can be amended successfully.¿¿(Ibid.)

III.DISCUSSION

Before filing a demurrer, the demurring party shall meet and confer with the party who has filed the pleading and shall file a declaration detailing their meet and confer efforts.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (a).)  

Defense counsel Johnny Rundell The parties were unable to reach an agreement.  

First and Second Causes of Action for Negligence against Defendant and Britt

Plaintiff states her action is being brought under Government Code sections 815.2 (a) and 820.  Government Code section 815.2 provides that a public entity is vicariously liable for the torts of their employees committed within the scope of employment if the employee is liable. (See Govt. Code § 815.2(a);¿Chambi¿v. Regents of Univ. of Cal.¿(2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 822, 827.) Thus employee, Britt, is Britt had a legal duty of care which she breached, thus causing injury to Plaintiff.¿¿

To plead a cause of action for negligence, one must allege (1) a legal duty owed to plaintiffs to use due care; (2) breach of duty; (3) causation; and (4) damage to plaintiff. (County of Santa Clara v. Atlantic Richfield Co.¿(2006) 137 Cal. App. 4th 292, 318.) “In order to state a cause of action for negligence, the complaint must allege facts sufficient to show a legal duty on the part of the defendant to use due care, a breach of such legal duty, and the breach as the proximate or legal cause of the resulting injury.” (Bellah¿v.¿Greenson¿(1978) 81 Cal.App.3d 614, 619.)¿ 

Factors to consider in determining whether a defendant owes a duty of care are¿(1) the extent to which the transaction was intended to affect the plaintiff, (2) the foreseeability of harm to the plaintiff, (3) the degree of certainty that the plaintiff suffered injury, (4) the closeness of the connection between the defendant's conduct and the injury suffered, (5) the moral blame attached to the defendant's conduct, and (6) the policy of preventing future harm.¿ (Biakanja¿v. Irving¿(1958) 49 Cal.2d 647, 650.)¿

Defendants argue Plaintiff’s claims for negligence showing Defendant also argues that its failure to provide signs or an announcement

In opposition, Plaintiff argues Defendant’s duty arises from being a common carrier.  Plaintiff contends Defendant’s failure to inform passengers that this particular bus route did not stop and allow passengers to exit the bus before reaching the terminus she panicked and feared she was being kidnapped.  

Plaintiff cites a number of cases that purportedly support her argument that Defendants violated their duty of care as common carriers for failing to transport her to her intended destination.  But, as Defendants extensively discuss on reply, these cases are factually inapposite.  Ultimately, Plaintiff does not show how an individual’s decision to intentionally open the emergency window of a bus and jump based on the mere provide additional signage or further communicate the fact that a public route is “pickup-only.” 

Furthermore, Plaintiff cannot rely on to excuse her voluntary decision to open a bus’s emergency window and jump out onto a freeway. – she was on a bus (See Reply, 8:3-23.)  

Third Cause of Action for Negligent Hiring

Based on the above analysis, Plaintiff’s cause of action against Defendant for negligent hiring also fails Plaintiff did not allege facts that show Britt was negligent.  

IV.CONCLUSION

As the burden to show how amendment is possible lies with Plaintiff, and because Plaintiff has not shown how amendment is possible to state a cause of action, Defendants’ Demurrer is SUSTAINED without leave to amend.  

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  

Dated this 25th January 21

Hon. Edward B. Moreton, Jr.

Judge of the Superior Court

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