Search

Attributes

This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/11/2019 at 10:29:00 (UTC).

APREL JOHNSON GABRIEL VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL

Case Summary

On 07/13/2017 APREL JOHNSON GABRIEL 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 GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8579

  • Filing Date:

    07/13/2017

  • 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

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff, Petitioner and Cross Defendant

JOHNSON-GABRIEL APREL

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

HAWTHORNE CITY OF

LOS ANGELES COUNTY OF

DOES 1 TO 100

SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY INC. DOE 3

BLUEBIRD REAL ESTATE LLC

SAAKVITNE DOE 2 NICHOLAS L.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

GHERMEZIAN RAYMOND ESQ.

GHERMEZIAN RAYMOND

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

STEVENS ALISON S. ASSISTANT CITY ATTY

MIYAHIRA RUSSELL I

STOCKALPER PATRICK EDWARD ESQ.

STEVENS BARBARA ALISON ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY

LEON LUCIO

MIYAHIRA RUSSELL I DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY

 

Court Documents

Unknown

10/3/2018: Unknown

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

10/18/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

10/18/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Proof of Service by Mail

3/7/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Reply

3/28/2019: Reply

Declaration

4/4/2019: Declaration

Supplemental Declaration

4/4/2019: Supplemental Declaration

Reply

4/4/2019: Reply

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

4/11/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Ex Parte Application

4/25/2019: Ex Parte Application

Minute Order

5/23/2019: Minute Order

Cross-Complaint

6/5/2019: Cross-Complaint

Summons

6/5/2019: Summons

DECLARATION OF DONALD KRAUSE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

8/7/2018: DECLARATION OF DONALD KRAUSE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

DEFENDANT CITY OF HAWRHORNE'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

8/24/2017: DEFENDANT CITY OF HAWRHORNE'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

SUMMONS

7/13/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: LIABILITY FOR DANGEROUS CONDITION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY, PURSUANT TO GOVERNMENT CODE 835 ET SEQ.; ETC

7/13/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: LIABILITY FOR DANGEROUS CONDITION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY, PURSUANT TO GOVERNMENT CODE 835 ET SEQ.; ETC

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

7/26/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

45 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/05/2019
  • Cross-Complaint; Filed by Los Angeles, City of (Cross-Complainant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/05/2019
  • Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Los Angeles, City of (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/05/2019
  • Summons (on Amended Complaint (1st)); Filed by Los Angeles, City of (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/05/2019
  • Answer; Filed by Los Angeles, City of (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/23/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/23/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/16/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/10/2019
  • Amended Complaint (1st); Filed by Aprel Johnson-Gabriel (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/10/2019
  • Notice (of Timely Filing of First Amended Complaint in Response to Demurrer by Systems Technology, Inc,'s Demurrer); Filed by Aprel Johnson-Gabriel (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/10/2019
  • Complaint (1st); Filed by Aprel Johnson-Gabriel (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
63 More Docket Entries
  • 08/08/2017
  • REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/27/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Aprel Johnson-Gabriel (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/27/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/26/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Aprel Johnson-Gabriel (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/26/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Aprel Johnson-Gabriel (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/26/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/26/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/13/2017
  • SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/13/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: LIABILITY FOR DANGEROUS CONDITION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY, PURSUANT TO GOVERNMENT CODE 835 ET SEQ.; ETC

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/13/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Aprel Johnson-Gabriel (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC668579    Hearing Date: December 02, 2020    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

Department B Calendar No. 15

PROCEEDINGS

Aprel Johnson Gabriel v. City of Los Angeles, et al.

BC668579

  1. System Technology, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, or, in the Alternative, Summary Adjudication

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Defendant System Technology, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

    Objections

    The Court makes the following ruling to Plaintiff’s objections:

    Plaintiff’s objections 1 to 5 are overruled.

    The Court makes the following ruling to Defendant’s objections:

    Defendant’s objections 1 to 5 are overruled. It appears that Defendant may be objecting to portions of Plaintiff’s deposition testimony as set forth in Exhibit 1. However, Defendant’s objections did not comply with Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1354(b)(2) because Defendant did not set forth the page and line number of the portions of the deposition testimony. In addition, it appears that Defendant did not set forth the passages of the deposition testimony verbatim.

    Defendant’s objections 6 to 14 to the declaration of Erin Barillas are sustained.

    Background

    Plaintiff Aprel Johnson-Gabriel alleges that on or about December 23, 2016, she suffered injuries after slipping and falling on the sidewalk near 13746 Hawthorne Boulevard, Hawthorne. Defendant System Technology, Inc. allegedly owns the real property adjacent to the sidewalk where the incident occurred. Plaintiff filed her Complaint on July 13, 2017. Plaintiff’s operative First Amended Complaint was filed on May 10, 2019. Plaintiff set forth causes of action for: 1. Dangerous Condition of Public Property; 2. Vicarious Liability for Wrongful Acts and/or Retention of Unfit Employee; 3. Negligence. Moving Defendant is only named as a party Defendant as to the third cause of action.

    Defendant System Technology, Inc. moves for an order granting summary judgment in its favor as against Plaintiff or, in the alternative, summary adjudication. The Court notes that Defendant did not specifically set forth the issues that it seeks to adjudicate. Thus, the Court will treat this motion solely as a motion for summary judgment.

    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).)

Moving party has met its initial burden to show that an essential element of Plaintiff’s third cause of action cannot be established -- duty. Plaintiff has not met her burden to provide specific facts to show that a triable issue of material fact exists as to Plaintiff’s third cause of action for negligence against Defendant. CCP § 437c(p)(2).

Negligence

As to the cause of action for Negligence, plaintiff must establish the following elements: “the existence of a legal duty of care, breach of that duty, and proximate cause resulting in injury.” McIntyre v. Colonies-Pacific, LLC (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 664, 671. “The threshold element of a cause of action for negligence is the existence of a duty to use due care toward an interest of another that enjoys legal protection against unintentional invasion. As a general rule, each person has a duty to use ordinary care and is liable for injuries caused by his failure to exercise reasonable care in the circumstances[.] . . . Whether a given case falls within an exception to [the] general rule, or whether a duty of care exists in a given circumstance, is a question of law to be determined [by the court] on a case-by-case basis.” Laabs v. Southern California Edison Co. (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1260, 1271–72 (internal citations and quotations omitted). “The existence and scope of duty are legal questions for the court.” Merrill v. Navegar, Inc. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 465, 477.

Defendant argues that it owed no legal duty to Plaintiff because it does not own, lease, occupy, or control the subject premises. “A defendant cannot be held liable for the defective or dangerous condition of property which it did not own, possess, or control. Where the absence of ownership, possession, or control has been unequivocally established, summary judgment is proper.” Isaacs v. Huntington Memorial Hospital (1985) 38 Cal.3d 112, 134. There is no common law duty upon the owner or occupant of a premises abutting on a public street to keep the sidewalk in good repair. Schaefer v. J.W. Lenahan (1944) 63 Cal.App.2d 324, 326. A party owes no duty to maintain an abutting sidewalk in a safe condition or warn others of a dangerous condition not created by him but known to him. Seaber v. Hotel Del Coronado (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 481, 487-88. One only has a duty to warn of a dangerous condition on an adjacent sidewalk if that party altered the sidewalk for the benefit of their property or has actually created the dangerous condition by his affirmative conduct. Seaber, supra, 1 Cal.App.4th at 488. Abutting landowners owe a duty to pedestrians for defects in the sidewalk that are attributable to the owners’ own conduct. Jones v. Deeter (1984) 152 Cal.App.3d 798, 803.

Here, Defendant has established, with competent evidence, that the area of the sidewalk where Plaintiff fell is a public sidewalk, not owned or controlled by Defendant, subject to an easement in favor of the City of Hawthorne. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 16-17.) Thus, Defendant only owes a duty to Plaintiff if there were defects in that sidewalk created by Defendant’s own conduct. See, Jones v. Deeter, supra, 152 Cal.App.3d at 803. Defendant provided competent evidence that it never owned, maintained, controlled, managed, operated, altered, inspected, modified, guarded, supervised, repaired and/or secured the sidewalk where Plaintiff fell. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 18-19.)

Plaintiff has not provided any evidence to establish that Defendant owned, maintained, controlled, managed, operated, altered, inspected, modified, guarded, supervised, repaired and/or secured the sidewalk where Plaintiff fell. Plaintiff has not provided any evidence that Defendant created the alleged dangerous condition on the sidewalk.

Instead, Plaintiff argues that California Streets and Highways Code § 5610 and Hawthorne Municipal Code §12.04.031 create a duty of care mandating sidewalk maintenance and repair upon the owner of the abutting/adjacent land. However, neither of these Code sections create such a duty of care.

Streets & Highways Code § 5610 states:

“The owners of lots or portions of lots fronting on any portion of a public street or place when that street or place is improved or if and when the area between the property line of the adjacent property and the street line is maintained as a park or parking strip, shall maintain any sidewalk in such condition that the sidewalk will not endanger persons or property and maintain it in a condition which will not interfere with the public convenience in the use of those works or areas save and except as to those conditions created or maintained in, upon, along, or in connection with such sidewalk by any person other than the owner, under and by virtue of any permit or right granted to him by law or by the city authorities in charge thereof, and such persons shall be under a like duty in relation thereto.”

Streets and Highways Code § 5610 simply memorializes the Sidewalk Accident Decisions doctrine, as it specifies that owners of land abutting a sidewalk have a duty to maintain the sidewalk, “except as to those conditions created or maintained in, upon, along, or in connection with such sidewalk by any person other than the owner.” Streets and Highways Code § 5610. Again, there is no evidence that Defendant created the condition which allegedly caused Plaintiff’s fall. Plaintiff’s expert only opines that Defendant knew or should have known that the condition on the sidewalk was dangerous.

Streets and Highways Code § 5600 et seq. regulates the maintenance of public sidewalks but imposes the primary duty of maintenance and repair on the cities. Abutting landowners are required to maintain sidewalks, parkways and streets in a non-dangerous condition (including a condition not interfering with public convenience) and to make timely repairs only if given notice to do so by the Superintendent of Streets. See, Alpert v. Villa Romano Homeowners Ass'n (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1320, 1331. Section 5610 is intended to create a means of facilitating reimbursement to cities for the costs of maintenance and repair. The statute does not create a duty owed by abutting landowners to the public at large. Section 5610 does not render abutting property owners liable to members of the public injured from the failure to repair a defective sidewalk or road. See, Williams v. Foster (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 510, 521.

Plaintiff also argues that Hawthorne Municipal Code §12.04.031 imposes a duty of care upon property owners to maintain and repair city sidewalks. HMC § 12.04.031 states: “The owners of lots or portions of lots adjacent to or fronting on any portion of a sidewalk area between the property line of the lots and the street pavement line, including parkway lawn strips, sidewalks, driveway aprons, curbs and gutters, and persons in possession of such lots by virtue of any permit or right shall repair and maintain such sidewalk areas and pay the costs and expenses therefor, including a charge for the city of Hawthorne’s costs of inspection and administration. If the owner fails to take action within the appropriate time frame, and if the city has to undertake such remedial actions due to a hazardous condition, the cost of such undertaking will be invoiced to the property owner for the costs of maintenance and repair under subsection A. of this section, or the imposition of a lien placed on the property due to failure of the property owner to promptly pay such assessments.” Nowhere in HMC §12.04.031 does it state that the abutting property owner will have an affirmative duty to pedestrians to inspect and repair the abutting public sidewalks.

A private landowner's duty to clean, maintain or repair adjacent public sidewalks and streets may also be imposed by municipal ordinance. However, here, as similar to the analysis under Streets and Highways Code § 5610, no liability to the general public will lie for a breach of that duty unless the applicable ordinance expressly creates such a duty of care. See, Williams v. Foster (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 510, 521. Any alleged failure on Defendant’s part to abide by the Municipal Code would involve a controversy between Systems and the City of Hawthorne.

Thus, for the foregoing reasons, Defendant Systems Technology, Inc.’s motion for summary judgment is granted.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where HAWTHORNE CITY OF is a litigant