This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/30/2019 at 04:31:53 (UTC).

ANDREA Y OBREON PULIDO ET AL VS MICHAEL JOSEPH BONGIORNO

Case Summary

On 10/23/2017 ANDREA Y OBREON PULIDO filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against MICHAEL JOSEPH BONGIORNO. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Pomona Courthouse South located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0836

  • Filing Date:

    10/23/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Pomona Courthouse South

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Guardian Ad Litems and Cross Defendants

OBREGON-PULIDO ANDREA Y.

CRUZ JHONNY

Plaintiff and Petitioner

CRUZ JHONNY

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Defendants

BONGIORNO MICHAEL JOSEPH

CT FREIGHT USA INC

SALAZAR DAVID RODRIGUEZ

HA TIMMY

DOES 1 TO 50

OBREGON-PULIDO ANDREA Y.

C & T FREIGHT LLC

Defendants, Respondents, Cross Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

SALAZAR DAVID RODRIGUEZ

HA TIMMY

C & T FREIGHT LLC

Minors

CRUZ CHRISTOPHER

CRUZ BYRON

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Minor, Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

DOMINGUEZ TIMOTHY L.ESQ

HAYNES-GARRETTY REETHA

Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

VANDERFIN GARRICK P.

MURPHY ROBERT EUGENE

PAPPAS LOUIS WILLIAM

DOMINGUEZ TIMOTHY L. ESQ

KANDARIAN-STEIN GINA Y.

Cross Defendant Attorneys

REISINGER ROBERT LEE

ATTORNEYS CLOUSESPANIAC

 

Court Documents

Cross-Complaint

2/8/2018: Cross-Complaint

CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES)

2/8/2018: CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES)

Unknown

2/8/2018: Unknown

CROSS-COMPLALNT?PERSONA INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH

2/15/2018: CROSS-COMPLALNT?PERSONA INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

2/15/2018: DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Unknown

2/15/2018: Unknown

REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL

2/15/2018: REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL

AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

3/6/2018: AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

4/4/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

5/4/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

8/23/2018: AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

Cross-Complaint

10/18/2018: Cross-Complaint

Answer

10/18/2018: Answer

Proof of Personal Service

10/24/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Answer

10/30/2018: Answer

Order

2/27/2019: Order

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIV1L - EX PARTE

11/9/2017: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIV1L - EX PARTE

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

10/23/2017: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

28 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/23/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 04/17/2019
  • Motion to Quash; Filed by MICHAEL JOSEPH BONGIORNO (Defendant)

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  • 04/17/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by MICHAEL JOSEPH BONGIORNO (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 03/25/2019
  • Answer; Filed by ANDREA Y. OBREGON-PULIDO (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/21/2019
  • Answer; Filed by DAVID RODRIGUEZ SALAZAR (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 03/20/2019
  • Answer; Filed by MICHAEL JOSEPH BONGIORNO (Defendant)

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  • 02/27/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Strike (Portions of Defendants Cross-Complaint) - Held

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  • 02/27/2019
  • Order Transferring Complicated Personal Injury (PI) Case to an Independent Calendar (IC) Court; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/27/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Strike Portions of Defendants Cross-Comp...)); Filed by Clerk

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51 More Docket Entries
  • 11/17/2017
  • Summons; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/09/2017
  • APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIV1L - EX PARTE

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  • 11/09/2017
  • APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIV1L - EX PARTE

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  • 11/09/2017
  • Application ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 11/09/2017
  • APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL - EX PARTE

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  • 11/09/2017
  • Application ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 11/09/2017
  • Application ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 11/07/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 10/23/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by JHONNY CRUZ (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/23/2017
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC680836    Hearing Date: October 06, 2020    Dept: O

Petitioner Andrea Y. Obregon-Pulido on behalf of Minors Christopher, Jhonny and Byron Cruz’s petition to approve compromise of pending action of minor is GRANTED.

An enforceable settlement of a minor's or incompetent's claim can only be consummated with court approval. (Probate Code §§ 2504, 3500, 3600 et seq.; CCP § 372.) For this purpose, a petition for approval must be presented to the court. Until it is granted (signed), there is no final settlement. Any settlement agreement therefore is voidable by the minor's guardian ad litem. (Scruton v. Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. (1995) 39 CA4th 1596, 1603-1605.)

Section 3600 et seq., of the Probate Code governs how the settlement proceeds are to be paid. Under section 3601, the Order shall approve payment of reasonable expenses from the settlement. Section 3601(a) provides:

The court making the order or giving the judgment referred to in Section 3600, as a part thereof, shall make a further order authorizing and directing that such reasonable expenses (medical or otherwise and including reimbursement to a parent, guardian, or conservator), costs, and attorney’s fees, as the court shall approve and allow therein, shall be paid from the money or other property to be paid or delivered for the benefit of the minor or incompetent person.

Under the California Rules of Court:

(1) In all cases under Code of Civil Procedure section 372 or Probate Code sections 3600-3601, unless the court has approved the fee agreement in advance, 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 or a person with a disability.

(2) The court must give consideration to the terms of any representation agreement made between the attorney and the representative of the minor or person with a disability and must evaluate the agreement based on the facts and circumstances existing at the time the agreement was made, except where the attorney and the representative of the minor or person with a disability contemplated that the attorney's fee would be affected by later events.

(CRC 7.955(a).)

Petitioner Andrea Y. Obregon-Pulido (“Petitioner”) moves for the compromise of minors, Christopher Cruz (“Christopher”), Jhonny Cruz (“Jhonny”) and Byron Cruz (“Byron” and collectively the “Minors”) for $150,000.00 with Defendants Michael Joseph Bongiorno, David Rodriguez Salazar, Timmy Ha and CT Freight, LLC (collectively “Defendants”). The compromise appears fair and reasonable. The current attorneys’ fees total $32,331.39, costs of $20,674.44 and medical expenses of $21,968.45 for a total of $74,974.28. Minors’ net total recovery would be $75,025.72 with Christopher receiving $52,843.65, Jhonny receiving $10,656.00 and Byron receiving $11,526.07.

Accordingly, petition is GRANTED.

Case Number: BC680836    Hearing Date: March 17, 2020    Dept: O

Defendant David Rodriguez Salazar’s motion to compel non-party/unserved consolidated Defendant Wayne Castillo to comply with deposition subpoena is GRANTED.

Defendant David Rodriguez Salazar (“Salazar”) moves to compel non-party and unserved consolidated Defendant Wayne Castillo (“Castillo”) to appear and testify at deposition pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450. Castillo was not named a Defendant by Plaintiffs Andrea Y. Obregon-Pulido, Jhonny Cruz, Christopher Cruz and Byron Cruz (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”) but was named as a Defendant in the consolidated action filed by Defendant Michael Joseph Bongiorno (“Bongiorno”) (Case No. 19STCV04566). Castillo was never served by Bongiorno in that case.

Under section 2025.450:

If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent's attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

(CCP § 2025.450(a).)

The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice; and shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance. (CCP § 2025.450(b).)

Various parties to the consolidated action noticed Castillo’s deposition on a number of occasions with the last being by Salazar on September 24, 2019. (See Declaration of Aldwin Tanala ¶¶ 3, 5.) The deposition was to take place on October 17, 2019. (Id.) Castillo did not object to the deposition and failed to appear at the deposition. (Id. at ¶ 4.) Castillo also did not file an opposition to this motion. Plaintiffs do not oppose this motion.

Thus, motion is GRANTED.

Case Number: BC680836    Hearing Date: January 15, 2020    Dept: O

Defendant David Rodriguez Salazar’s motion to compel non-party/unserved consolidated Defendant Wayne Castillo to comply with deposition subpoena is GRANTED.

Defendant David Rodriguez Salazar (“Salazar”) moves to compel non-party and unserved consolidated Defendant Wayne Castillo (“Castillo”) to appear and testify at deposition pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450. Castillo was not named a Defendant by Plaintiff Andrea Y. Obregon-Pulido (“Plaintiff”) but was named as a Defendant in the consolidated action filed by Defendant Michael Joseph Bongiorno (“Bongiorno”) (Case No. 19STCV04566). Castillo was never served by Bongiorno in that case.

Under section 2025.450:

If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent's attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

(CCP § 2025.450(a).)

The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice; and shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance. (CCP § 2025.450(b).)

Castillo was noticed of his deposition on a number of occasions by various parties to this litigation, the last being by Salazar on September 24, 2019 and on which this motion is based upon. (See Declaration of Aldwin Tanala ¶¶ 3, 5.) The deposition was to take place on October 17, 2019. (Id.) Castillo did not object to the deposition and failed to appear at the deposition. (Id. at ¶ 4.) Castillo also did not file an opposition to this motion.

Thus, motion is GRANTED.

Case Number: BC680836    Hearing Date: December 18, 2019    Dept: O

ANALYSIS

1-4. Defendant David Rodriguez Salazar’s motion to compel Defendant C&T Freight, LLC’s responses to request for production of documents, form interrogatories, special interrogatories, and vehicle inspection is GRANTED. No sanctions.

Defendant David Rodriguez Salazar (“Salazar”) moves to compel Defendant C&T Freight, LLC’s (“Defendant C&T Freight”) responses to request for production of documents, form interrogatories, special interrogatories, and vehicle inspection.

A corporation suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board may not participate in litigation activities. (Rev. & Tax Code § 23301; Palm Valley Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Design MTC (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 553.) Under the California Revenue and Taxation Code section 23301, however, a corporation still has a duty to respond to these requests despite it being unable to defend against the legal claims against it. (See Kaufman & Broad Communities, Inc. v. Performance Plastering (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 212, 217-18.)

Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.290(b) and 2031.300(b) allow the propounding party to file a motion to compel responses to interrogatories and document demands if a response has not been received. If responses are untimely, responding party waives objections. (CCP §§ 2030.290(a) and 2031.300(a).)

Section 2025.450 allows the propounding party to a motion to compel file a motion to compel production of items at a deposition if the responding party fails to appear or produce the items. A vehicle inspection would fall under the purview of section 2025.450.

Sections 2023.010(d), 2025.450(g)(1), 2030.290(c), and 2031.300(c) authorize a court to impose sanctions for failure to respond to discovery without substantial justification.

Salazar contends that he propounded discovery to Defendant C&T Freight as early as February 4, 2019 and up until June 3, 2019. These discovery requests included a request for production of documents, form interrogatories, special interrogatories, and a request for vehicle inspection. Salazar contends that despite numerous meet and confer attempts, Defendant C&T Freight has failed to provide responses.

Intervenor American Sentinel Insurance Company (“American Sentinel”) contends on behalf of Defendant C&T Freight that given Defendant C&T Freight’s suspended status, it was unable to respond on behalf of and instead Salazar should have directed his discovery requests at American Sentinel. While the Court agrees that would have been the most prudent course for Salazar and his counsel to propound discovery on American Sentinel instead of a suspended corporation, that issue is not before the Court in these discovery motions. Here, the Court only addresses whether it should compel Defendant C&T Freight to respond to discovery propounded by Salazar, and it finds that it should.

Thus, these four discovery motions as to Defendant C&T Freight are GRANTED and C&T Freight through American Sentinel will be ordered to comply with responses to the four above-referenced discovery motions within 30 days. Sanctions will not be awarded in this matter for these motions given the timing of American Sentinel’s intervention in this litigation and Defendant C&T Freight’s continued suspended status.

5-7. Salazar’s motion to compel Defendant Timmy Ha’s responses to request for production of documents, form interrogatories, and special interrogatories is MOOT. No sanctions.

Sections 2030.290(b) and 2031.300(b) allow the propounding party to file a motion to compel responses to interrogatories and document demands if a response has not been received. If responses are untimely, responding party waives objections. (CCP §§ 2030.290(a) and 2031.300(a).) Sections 2023.010(d), 2030.290(c), and 2031.300(c) authorize the court to impose sanctions for failure to respond to discovery without substantial justification.

On February 4, 2019, Salazar served his discovery requests on Defendant Timmy Ha (“Defendant Ha”). (See Declaration of Lawya Rangel (“Rangel Decl.”) ¶ 2.) On May 30, 2019, Defendant Ha served his responses, but the responses were unverified and did not include any documents. (See Declaration of Xena Mashburn ¶ 6.) Defendant Salazar asserts that Defendant Ha had not provided verified responses and documents as of the date this motion was filed. (Rangel Decl., ¶ 11.) However, Defendant Ha contends that he already served verified responses without objections to Defendant Salazar on October 24, 2019.

These motions, then, are MOOT. It appears to this Court that Defendant Ha acted in a dilatory manner in serving his verified responses in large part due to his work schedule, but Salazar should have withdrawn these motions once he received the verified responses in late October 2019. The Court finds that neither party acted in good faith and NO SANCTIONS will be awarded.

Case Number: BC680836    Hearing Date: October 31, 2019    Dept: O

American Sentinel Insurance Company’s motion for leave to intervene is GRANTED, in part, and DENIED, in part. American Sentinel Insurance Company shall file and serve a new complaint in intervention in compliance with this order 10 days from this hearing.

American Sentinel Insurance Company (“American”) moves the court for leave to intervene in this action pursuant to the permissive intervention provision of CCP § 387(d)(2).

The court “may upon, timely application, permit a nonparty to intervene in the action or proceeding if the person has an interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both.” (CCP § 387(d)(2).) The court has the discretion to allow intervention where the proper procedures are followed, provided: (1) the intervenor has a direct and immediate interest in the litigation, (2) the intervention will not enlarge the issues in the case, and (3) the reasons for intervention outweigh opposition by the existing parties. (Hinton v. Beck (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 1378, 1382-83.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 387 should be liberally construed in favor of intervention. (Lindelli v. Town of San Anselmo (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 1499, 1505.)

Direct and Immediate Interest in the Action

“To support permissive intervention, it is well settled that the proposed intervener’s interest in the litigation must be direct rather than consequential, and it must be an interest that is capable of determination in the action. [Citations.] … ‘A person has a direct interest justifying intervention in litigation where the judgment in the action of itself adds to or detracts from his legal rights without reference to rights and duties not involved in the litigation.’ [Citation.] Conversely, ‘an interest is consequential and thus insufficient for intervention when the action in which intervention is sought does not directly affect it although the results of the action may indirectly benefit or harm its owner.’ [Citation.]” (City and County of San Francisco v. State of California (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1030, 1037.)

“[I]ntervention by an insurer is permitted where the insurer remains liable for any default judgment against the insured, and it has no means other than intervention to litigate liability or damage issues.” (Reliance Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (2000) 84 Cal.App.4th 383, 385.) However, “an insurer who denies coverage and refuses to defend its insured does not have a direct interest in the litigation between the plaintiff and the insured to warrant intervention. The rationale behind this rule is that by its denial, the insurer has lost its right to control the litigation.” (Hinton, supra, 176 Cal.App.4th at 1384.) In Hinton, the injured plaintiff settled with the insured by agreeing to forego execution of her default judgment against him in exchange for an assignment of his rights against the insurer. The insurer could not then inject itself into the litigation because it lost its right to control the litigation when it refused to defend or indemnify the insured. Because the insurer had denied coverage and refused to provide a defense, the requisite direct and immediate interest in the litigation did not exist, even though the injured plaintiff, as a judgment creditor, could have proceeded directly against the insurer under Insurance Code section 11580.

American argues that it has a direct interest in the outcome of this litigation because it may be liable for any judgment against Defendants C&T Freight LLC and Timmy Ha (collectively “Inactive Defendants”). Particularly, American may be liable for any judgment against its insured Defendant C&T Freight LLC. American also explains that it has no means other than intervention to litigable liability or damage issues in this matter because Defendant C&T Freight LLC has had its status suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board, and Defendant Ha appears to have abandoned this action and has become unresponsive to his counsel’s communications.

Plaintiffs Andrea Y. Obregon-Pulido, Jhonny Cruz, Chirstopher Cruz, and Byron Cruz (collectively “Plaintiffs”) do not oppose American’s motion. Defendant Salazar does not oppose American’s motion with respect to its ability to intervene on behalf of the Inactive Defendants, but opposes the motion with respect to American expanding the scope of this litigation by adding issues which were already settled in this case. Specifically, American’s independent complaint in intervention against Defendant Salazar asserts affirmative defenses that this Court had already previously stricken.

American’s Complaints in Intervention

It is clear that American has an interest in this litigation with respect to Plaintiffs’ claim against Defendants because American has “admitted coverage” of Defendant C&T Freight’s claim. (Bean Decl., ¶ 3.) Thus, it has direct interest in the litigation between the plaintiff and the insured under Hinton. Furthermore, Plaintiffs do not oppose this motion. Thus, the motion is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiff’s action.

It is also clear that American has a direct interest in the litigation in defending C&T Freight from Salazar’s cross-complaint against Defendant C&T Freight. Defendant Salazar does not oppose the filing of American’s complaint in intervention insofar as it does not relitigate issues already dealt with by this Court, such as the issue of attorney fees.

Thus, the motion is GRANTED, in part, with respect to Defendant Salazar’s action. American shall file and serve a new complaint in intervention against Defendant Salazar in compliance with this order 10 days from this hearing.

American’s Cross-Complaint in Intervention against Salazar and Bongiorno

However, it is not as clear whether American has an interest to intervene independent of Defendant C&T Freight (i.e., for American, on behalf of itself, to assert a claim against Salazar). Defendant Salazar contends that the proposed cross-complaint in intervention is improper and not supported by statute or case law. The Court agrees. The mechanism that American seeks relief (i.e., this motion to intervene) only permits American to intervene on behalf of Defendant C&T Freight. American has not demonstrated that it has an independent direct interest in this litigation apart from being Defendant C&T Freight’s insurer.

Thus, American’s motion for leave to intervene pursuant to a cross-complaint in intervention is DENIED.