This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/04/2020 at 05:01:55 (UTC).

ANA CECILIA HERNANDEZ VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/19/2018 ANA CECILIA HERNANDEZ filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is LAURA A. SEIGLE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8428

  • Filing Date:

    03/19/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

LAURA A. SEIGLE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

HERNANDEZ ANA CECILIA

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

BANNER PACKING & CRATING

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

DOES 1 TO 100

A-1 BANNER PACKING AND CRATING

HALLING FAMILY TRUST

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

GARY LEE HALLING CHRIS WARREN HALLING AND LESLIE A. ROUSSELET AS SUCCESSOR TRUSTEES OF THE BYPASS TRUST AND THE DECEDENT'S TRUST OF WARREN L. HALLING

Defendants and Cross Defendants

HALLING FAMILY TRUST

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

ROES 1-50 INCLUSIVE

ROES 1-50

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

NELSON BRIAN S. ESQ.

YAMADA BRIAN W.

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

FEUER MICHAEL N. CITY ATTORNEY

CARPINELLI ADAM G.

CORDAY BRANDON

LEWIS HONEY A ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Unknown - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE DUE TO COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS

4/23/2020: Unknown - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE DUE TO COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS

Cross-Complaint

4/7/2020: Cross-Complaint

Request for Dismissal - REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE AS TO CROSS-COMPLAINT FILED BY CITY OF LOS ANGELES ON 8/20/18 & 8/23/19 AS TO GARY LEE HALLING, CHRIS WARREN HALLING, AND LESLIE A. RO

3/6/2020: Request for Dismissal - REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE AS TO CROSS-COMPLAINT FILED BY CITY OF LOS ANGELES ON 8/20/18 & 8/23/19 AS TO GARY LEE HALLING, CHRIS WARREN HALLING, AND LESLIE A. RO

Request for Dismissal

3/6/2020: Request for Dismissal

Declaration - DECLARATION AMENDED AND SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF SHERMAN TORRES IN SUPPORT OF CITY'S MSJ

3/12/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION AMENDED AND SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF SHERMAN TORRES IN SUPPORT OF CITY'S MSJ

Response - RESPONSE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF'S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL UNDISPUTED FACTS

3/12/2020: Response - RESPONSE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF'S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL UNDISPUTED FACTS

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

11/22/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

11/18/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF MAGDI SOLIMAN IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

9/13/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF MAGDI SOLIMAN IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF LISA C. JACOBS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

9/13/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF LISA C. JACOBS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Motion for Summary Judgment

9/13/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Separate Statement

9/13/2019: Separate Statement

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

9/13/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Amendment to Cross-Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

5/29/2019: Amendment to Cross-Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

8/15/2018: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

Summons on Cross Complaint -

8/20/2018: Summons on Cross Complaint -

ANSWER OF THE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

8/20/2018: ANSWER OF THE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

7/24/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

49 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/29/2020
  • Hearing10/29/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department M at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Case Management Conference

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  • 10/29/2020
  • Hearing10/29/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department M at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 06/22/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Ana Cecilia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/01/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 06/01/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M; Case Management Conference - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 05/29/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Gary Lee Halling, Chris Warren Halling and Leslie A. Rousselet as Successor Trustees of the Bypass Trust and the decedent's Trust of Warren L. Halling (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 04/23/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/23/2020
  • DocketNotice of Continuance Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Declarations; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/07/2020
  • DocketNotice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Gary Lee Halling, Chris Warren Halling and Leslie A. Rousselet as Successor Trustees of the Bypass Trust and the decedent's Trust of Warren L. Halling (Defendant on defendant's claim)

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  • 04/07/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Gary Lee Halling, Chris Warren Halling and Leslie A. Rousselet as Successor Trustees of the Bypass Trust and the decedent's Trust of Warren L. Halling (Defendant on defendant's claim)

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68 More Docket Entries
  • 07/24/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/24/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/24/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Ana Cecilia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/24/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Ana Cecilia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/24/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/24/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Ana Cecilia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/24/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 03/19/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Ana Cecilia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/19/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

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  • 03/19/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC698428    Hearing Date: March 17, 2020    Dept: M

Relevant factual and Procedural Background

On March 15, 2018, Plaintiff Ana Cecilia Hernandez filed a complaint against Defendants the City of Los Angeles, Banner Packing & Crating, A-1 Banner Packing and Crating, and Does 1-100 for negligence, premises liability, and violation of California Government code section 835.

In the general allegations, Plaintiff alleges that on February 23, 2017, she was injured at or near the threshold of 344 N. La Cienega Street, Los Angeles, CA. (Compl. ¶ 1.) The Complaint refers to this address as the “PREMISES.” (Id.) Plaintiff hardly uses the word premises in her third cause of action. However, throughout the complaint, Plaintiff also alleges that she was “severely injured when she fell in a defective, uneven, sloping surface at or near the threshold of 334 N. La Cienega Street, Los Angeles, CA.” (Compl. ¶ 30; see also 23, 27.) Plaintiff alleges that the City of Los Angeles owned and controlled the property where Plaintiff fell.

 

On September 13, 2019, the city of Los Angeles filed its motion for summary judgment. On November 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed an opposition. On November 22, 2019, the PI Court transferred this case to Department M. On March 12, 2020, the City filed a reply.

GROUNDS FOR MOTION

Defendant the City of Los Angeles moves for summary judgment on the grounds that there are no issues of material fact as to Plaintiff’s dangerous condition of public property claim because the City does not own or control the alleged dangerous condition that caused Plaintiff’s accident.

Legal Standard

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. Atl. 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.) 

“The supporting papers shall include a separate statement setting forth plainly and concisely all material facts which the moving party contends are undisputed. Each of the material facts stated shall be followed by a reference to the supporting evidence. The failure to comply with this requirement of a separate statement may in the court's discretion constitute a sufficient ground for denial of the motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(b)(1); see also Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1350(c)(2) & (d).)

“The opposition papers shall include a separate statement that responds to each of the material facts contended by the moving party to be undisputed, indicating if the opposing party agrees or disagrees that those facts are undisputed. The statement also shall set forth plainly and concisely any other material facts the opposing party contends are disputed. Each material fact contended by the opposing party to be disputed shall be followed by a reference to the supporting evidence. Failure to comply with this requirement of a separate statement may constitute a sufficient ground, in the court's discretion, for granting the motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437b(b)(3) (emphasis added).)

“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.)  The moving party is entitled to summary judgment if they can show that there is no triable issue of material fact or if they have a complete defense thereto. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfiend Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.)  

In analyzing motions for summary judgment, courts must apply a three-step analysis: “(1) identify the issues framed by the pleadings; (2) determine whether the moving party has negated the opponent's claims; and (3) determine whether the opposition has demonstrated the existence of a triable, material factual issue.” (Hinesley v. Oakshade Town Center (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 289, 294.) Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 437c(p)(2):

A defendant or cross-defendant has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if that party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action, even if not separately pleaded, cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to that cause of action. Once the defendant or cross-defendant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff or cross-complainant to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto. The plaintiff or cross-complainant may not rely upon the mere allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto.

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.)   

“A moving defendant now has two means by which to shift the burden of proof under subdivision (o)(2) of section 437c to the plaintiff to produce evidence creating a triable issue of fact. The defendant may rely upon factually insufficient discovery responses by the plaintiff to show that the plaintiff cannot establish an essential element of the cause of action sued upon…. Alternatively, the defendant may utilize the tried and true technique of negating (‘disproving’) an essential element of the plaintiff's cause of action.” (Brantley v. Pisaro (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 1591, 1598. See also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(p)(2).) A moving defendant must show that plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain evidence to prove a cause of action, which is more than simply arguing that there is an absence of evidence. (Gaggero v. Yura (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 884, 891.)  

A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(f)(1).)

Evidentiary Objections

Plaintiff’s Objections

Plaintiff submits 5 objections to the evidence submitted by the City of Los Angeles.

Objection nos. 1-2 and 5 are sustained. Mr. Soliman did not prepare the engineering survey, and there is no declaration laying the foundation for the survey. Therefore, the underlying engineering survey is hearsay, and opinions based upon that survey are inadmissible for the purpose of this motion.

Objection nos. 3-4 are overruled.

In addition, Plaintiff included separate evidentiary objections with her response to Defendant’s separate statement. These objections were not stated separately. Objections to evidence and a parties’ own separate statement of material facts must be presented separately. (See Cal. Rules of Court, Rules 3.1350(e)(2), 3.1354.) “Objections to specific evidence must be referenced by the objection number in the right column of a separate statement in opposition or reply to a motion, but the objections must not be restated or reargued in the separate statement.” (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1354(b).) To the extent that Plaintiff includes new objections that were not included in her objections to Defendant’s evidence in compliance with California Rule of Court Rule 3.1354, the Court declines to rule on the written objections set forth in Plaintiff’s response to Defendant’s separate statement.

DEFENDANT’S OBJECTIONS

Defendant submits 17 objections. Defendant submits six evidentiary objections to the exhibits attached to the declaration of Brian Yamada.

Objections nos. 1-6 and 8-17 are sustained.

Objection no. 7 is overruled.

Analysis

  1. Dangerous condition of public property

The City argues that it is entitled to summary judgment because it did not own or control the property where Plaintiff was injured.

Of note, there are discrepancies in the complaint as to the address of the location where Plaintiff’s injuries occurred. In paragraph one of the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the events took place in the vicinity and premises located at or near the threshold of 344 N. La Cienega Street, Los Angeles, CA. However, throughout the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the accident occurred at the threshold of 334 N. La Cienega Street. (See e.g., Compl. ¶ 11.)

Plaintiff’s third cause of action alleges that the City is responsible for her injuries when she was harmed by a dangerous condition of a defective, uneven, sloping surface at or near the threshold of 334 N. La Cienega Street, Los Angeles, CA. (Compl. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff alleges that the City owned the property and had a duty to maintain the property. (Compl. ¶¶ 24-25, 27, 30.) Since Plaintiff’s complaint has contradictory allegations and since Plaintiff’s specific allegations as to the City are in paragraphs 18-32, the Court treats the vicinity of 334 N. La Cienega address as the place where the accident occurred.

To hold a public entity liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition of its property, a Plaintiff must prove:

(1) that the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury,

(2) that the injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition,

(3) that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred, and

(4) that either a

(a) negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment created the dangerous condition; or

(b) the public entity had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition and sufficient time prior to the injury to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.

(Gov. Code, § 835.)

To meet Defendant’s initial burden on summary judgment, Defendant must demonstrate that Plaintiff lacks evidence that Defendant owned the property, or alternatively, that Defendants do not in fact own the property. “[I]n order to be liable . . . the public entity must be the owner or in control of the property at the time of the injury.” (Tolan v. State of California ex rel. Dept. of Transportation (1979) 100 Cal.App.3d 980, 983.) Defendant argues that it has evidence that demonstrates that it does not own the property where Plaintiff was injured. Defendant notes that Plaintiff alleges that she was injured at 334 N. La Cienega. (Compl. ¶¶ 23-25.) In the form of the declarations of Magdi Soliman and Sherman Torres, Defendants attempt to put forth evidence that the property where Plaintiff was injured was not owned by the City of Los Angeles and that the property was private. However, the declarations are insufficient. The Declarants rely on an engineering survey of the property but neither of the declarants performed the survey, and without the proper foundation, the underlying survey is inadmissible. As a result, the declarants have no basis to assert that the property at issue was on private property. Since Defendant’s declarations lack the proper foundation and rely on inadmissible hearsay, Defendants have not met their initial burden on summary judgment.

Defendants have failed to meet their burden of establishing that there are no triable issues of material fact. Therefore, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied.