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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/18/2019 at 23:19:26 (UTC).

BREAKWATER STUDIO LLC VS THE WILLIAM WARREN GROUP ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/29/2017 BREAKWATER STUDIO LLC filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against THE WILLIAM WARREN GROUP. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8715

  • Filing Date:

    12/29/2017

  • 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

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

BREAKWATER STUDIO LLC

Defendants and Respondents

BLACK COMPANY

DOES 1 TO 20

`THE WILLIAM WARREN GROUP

STORQUEST

STORQUEST CLACK COMPANY

THE WILLIAM WARREN GROUP

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

GLICKFELD MARTIN ESQ

GLICKFELD MARTIN NEIL

Defendant Attorney

BERGSTEN ROBERT TROY

 

Court Documents

Unknown

3/21/2018: Unknown

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

5/7/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Unknown

6/15/2018: Unknown

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF BENJAMIN L. GOLDSTEIN; [PROPOSED] ORDER

6/19/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF BENJAMIN L. GOLDSTEIN; [PROPOSED] ORDER

NOTICE OF HEARING ON DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES, AND DECLARATION OF BENJAMIN L. GOLDSTEIN PURSUANT TO CCP ?430.41, IN SUPPORT THEREOF; [PROP

6/19/2018: NOTICE OF HEARING ON DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES, AND DECLARATION OF BENJAMIN L. GOLDSTEIN PURSUANT TO CCP ?430.41, IN SUPPORT THEREOF; [PROP

Unknown

7/2/2018: Unknown

CASE MANAGEMENT

7/6/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT

NOTICE OF RULING ON CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

7/9/2018: NOTICE OF RULING ON CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

BREAKWATER STUDIOS, LLC'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

7/11/2018: BREAKWATER STUDIOS, LLC'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

CIVIL DEPOSIT

7/16/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

JURY FEES POSTED

7/16/2018: JURY FEES POSTED

REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE

7/18/2018: REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE

Minute Order

7/25/2018: Minute Order

RULING (1) DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; (2) MOTION TO STRIKE

7/25/2018: RULING (1) DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; (2) MOTION TO STRIKE

NOTICE OF RULING RE DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE

7/27/2018: NOTICE OF RULING RE DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

4/19/2019: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

SUMMONS

12/29/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

12/29/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

15 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/19/2019
  • Motion to Strike; Filed by The William Warren Group (Defendant); Storquest, Clack Company (Defendant)

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  • 05/24/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Post-Mediation Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Filed by The William Warren Group (Defendant)

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  • 03/12/2019
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by The William Warren Group (Defendant)

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  • 10/22/2018
  • Answer (to First Amended Complaint); Filed by The William Warren Group (Defendant)

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  • 10/16/2018
  • Request for Dismissal (Other*Fifth cause of action for fraud only. Without prejudice)

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  • 07/27/2018
  • NOTICE OF RULING RE DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE

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  • 07/27/2018
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by The William Warren Group (Defendant); Storquest, Clack Company (Defendant)

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  • 07/25/2018
  • at 08:31 AM in Department 47; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Held

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  • 07/25/2018
  • Minute order entered: 2018-07-25 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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33 More Docket Entries
  • 05/07/2018
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 3; Court Order - Held

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  • 05/07/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/07/2018
  • Minute order entered: 2018-05-07 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/07/2018
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 04/26/2018
  • Minute Order

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  • 03/21/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by The William Warren Group (Defendant)

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  • 03/21/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 12/29/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Breakwater Studio LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/29/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 12/29/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC688715    Hearing Date: August 10, 2020    Dept: 47

Breakwater Studios, LLC v. The William Warren Group individually and dba Storquest, et al.

 

GIVEN THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, THE COURT STRONGLY ENCOURAGES REMOTE APPEARENCES BY “LACourtConnect.” PLEASE MAKE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS IF YOU WISH TO APPEAR REMOTELY AT WWW.LACOURT.ORG/LACC/. NO OTHER TYPES OF REMOTE APPEARANCES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THIS PARTICULAR COURTROOM, INCLUDING COURT CALL. IF YOU APPEAR IN PERSON AT THE HEARING, YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ALL SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES, INCLUDING THE WEARING OF AN APPROPRIATE FACE MASK/COVERING (ABSENT ANY EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES) AS CONTAINED IN THE APPLICABLE GENERAL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE L.A.S.C.

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION FOR [SUMMARY] ADJUDICATION

MOVING PARTY: Defendant William Warren Properties, Inc. dba Storquest – Hollywood/Sunset

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Breakwater Studios, LLC

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant mistakenly concluded that Plaintiff had abandoned a storage unit Plaintiff rented from Defendant and that Defendant disposed of Plaintiff’s property.

Defendant William Warren Properties, Inc. dba Storequest – Hollywood/Sunset moves for summary judgment or, alternatively, summary adjudication.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant William Warren Properties, Inc. dba Storequest – Hollywood/Sunset’s motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

Defendant’s alternative motion for summary adjudication is DENIED AS MOOT as to Issue No. 3 and is DENIED as to the remaining issues.

DISCUSSION:

Motion For Summary Judgment

In the 1AC, Plaintiff alleges five causes of action: (1) negligence, (2) breach of contract; (3) violation of Business & Professions Code § 17200; (4) conversion; and (5) fraud. Plaintiff notes in its opposition, however, that it chose not to amend its fifth cause of action for fraud after the demurrer to that cause of action was sustained. Therefore, the first four causes of action are currently at issue. Defendant’s alternative motion for summary adjudication, however, purports to address only two of these four causes of action: the second cause of action for breach of contract and the third cause of action for violation of Business & Professions Code § 17200. Defendant makes no explicit arguments regarding Plaintiff’s negligence or conversion causes of action. Where only certain claims or defenses are raised, the court has no power to adjudicate others. (Maryland Cas. Co. v. Reeder (1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 961, 974.) Here, for example, Defendant could have sought summary adjudication of its seventeenth affirmative defense, which was that “plaintiff’s damages are limited pursuant to an enforceable contractual limitation of liability.” (Defendant’s Answer ¶ 18.) Defendant’s arguments suggest that Defendant intended to do just that. Yet Defendant never so much as mentions this affirmative defense, let alone identifies any allegedly undisputed facts in connection with it.

In addition, the separate statement must “separately” identify “[e]ach cause of action . . . that is the subject of the motion.” (CRC 3.1350(d)(1)(A), bold emphasis added.) At best, Defendant’s separate statement identifies one cause of action: fraud. Having stated five “issues” in its alternative motion for summary adjudication, Defendant was required to “separately” identify “[e]ach supporting material fact claimed to be without dispute with respect to the cause of action” – that is, each cause of action or other proper issue – “that is the subject of the motion.” (CRC 3.1350(d)(1)(B), bold emphasis added.) Instead, Defendant has 16 numbered facts without any corresponding heading followed by additional facts under nine headings, only two of which correspond to two of Defendant’s five issues for summary adjudication. To make matters worse, Defendant’s facts are not consecutively numbered throughout the separate statement, rendering it impossible to refer to these facts in any coherent way. Is the Court to refer to a fact as the fourth undisputed fact number “3” on page 17 under the third unnumbered heading? It is utterly incomprehensible how Defendant expected this to be used by the Court to determine any issues. The undisputed facts must be stated “in numerical sequence,” not with a new numerical sequence for every purported issue. (CRC 3.1350(d)(3), bold emphasis added.)

The Court has the “inherent power to strike proposed ‘undisputed facts’ that fail to comply with the statutory requirements and that are formulated so as to impede rather than aid an orderly determination whether the case presents triable material issues of fact. (Reeves v. Safeway Stores, Inc. (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 95, 106.) “If such an order leaves the required separate statement insufficient to support the motion, the court is justified in denying the motion on that basis.” (Ibid.) The appellate courts have “affirm[ed] the existence of the inherent power, . . . remind[ed] trial courts of it, and encourage[d] them to use it when appropriate.” (Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243, 290.)

Here, it would be entirely appropriate for the Court to exercise its discretion strike Defendant’s separate statement in its entirety and deny both the motion for summary judgment and the alternative motion for summary adjudication on that basis. Rather than take that approach, however, the Court will consider the motion.

As to the motion for summary judgment, as discussed above, by not discussing two causes of action in its motion and identifying no facts as support for any argument that summary judgment would be appropriate as to those causes of action, the motion for summary judgment is DENIED.[1]

Motion for Summary Adjudication

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.)

When deciding whether to grant summary judgment or adjudication, 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. (Ibid.)

When a defendant moves for summary judgment or summary adjudication, it must show that one or more elements of the cause of action at issue cannot be established or that there is a complete defense to that cause of action. (CCP § 437c(p)(2).) If the defendant meets its burden to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that an essential element of a cause of action cannot be established, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to prove the existence of a triable issue of fact regarding that element. (Consumer Cause, Inc. v. SmileCare (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 454, 468.) If the plaintiff is unable to do so, the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (Ibid.)

Issue No. 1: “The second cause of action for Breach of Contract fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.”

Defendant appears to argue that it is entitled to judgment on the pleadings as to this cause of action, given that it argues that the cause of action “fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action,” and given that Defendant did not include any heading in its separate statement corresponding to this issue. However, Defendant’s demurrer to this cause of action was already overruled. (Ruling on Defendant’s Demurrer and Motion to Strike, 7/25/2018, at p. 2.)

To the extent that Defendant can be taken to argue that Plaintiff cannot state a cause of action for breach of contract because of the release in the storage agreement, Defendant’s arguments again cite to no evidence whatsoever, either directly or indirectly by reference to any allegedly undisputed fact. (Motion, at pp. 12-15.)

To the extent that Defendant can be taken to argue that Plaintiff cannot claim breach of contract because it stored items with an aggregate value over $5,000, that argument was already rejected in the context of Defendant’s demurrer.

Defendant has not met its prima facie burden to show by a preponderance of the evidence that plaintiff cannot establish one or more elements of its breach of contract claim. Thus, the burden does not shift to Plaintiff to demonstrate the existence of any triable issue of material fact. Even if it did, however, Plaintiff has shown that there are issues of material fact as to whether Defendant unilaterally terminated the agreement prior to the time of loss, among other contested issues. (Plaintiff’s Separate Statement No. 3 [p. 2].)

Accordingly, the motion for summary adjudication is DENIED as to Issue No. 1.

Issue No. 2: “The third cause of action for B&P Code § 17200 is ambiguous and uncertain, and fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.”

Defendant has not made any actual argument regarding this cause of action, and there is no part of the separate statement that purports to identify any undisputed facts as corresponding to this cause of action.

Accordingly, summary adjudication is DENIED as to Issue No. 2.

Issue No. 3: “The fifth cause of action for Fraud fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against the demurring [?] defendants.”

Plaintiff notes, in opposition, that it chose not to amend its fifth cause of action for fraud after the demurrer to that cause of action was sustained. The Court did enter a dismissal of this cause of action, at Plaintiff’s request, on October 16, 2018.

Accordingly, the motion for summary adjudication is DENIED AS MOOT as to Issue No. 3.

Issue No. 4: Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages fails.

Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages fails as a matter of law. In making this argument, Defendant relies only on the allegations of the complaint, without referring to any of the evidence cited in connection with this issue in its separate statement. (Motion, at pp. 9-10.)

The Court already rejected Defendant’s argument that Plaintiff’s punitive damages claim fails as a matter of law in connection with Defendant’s motion to strike. There are sufficient allegations that Defendant acted with “malice” or “oppression,” i.e., despicable conduct carried on with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights of Plaintiff or subjecting Plaintiff to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of Plaintiff’s rights. Converting Plaintiff’s property without giving Plaintiff the proceeds of the sale of such property is sufficient to demonstrate malice or oppression, if proven.

Accordingly, the motion for summary adjudication is DENIED as to Issue No. 4.

Issue No. 5: Compensatory and Consequential damages are limited to $5,000.00 per the contract.

Defendant seeks summary adjudication that compensatory and consequential damages are limited to $5,000.00 per the contract. This is not an issue that can be summarily adjudicated.

A party may move for summary adjudication of “one or more claims for damages . . . if the party contends that . . . there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in Section 3294 of the Civil Code.” (CCP § 437c(f)(1), bold emphasis added.) In other words, Defendant may properly seek summary adjudication as to punitive damages, as it did above. The same is not true, however, for compensatory or consequential damages. CCP § 437c(f)(1) “does not permit summary adjudication of a single item of compensatory damage which does not dispose of an entire cause of action.” (DeCastro West Chodorow & Burns, Inc. v. Superior Court (1996) 47 Cal.App.4th 410, 422.)

Accordingly, summary adjudication is DENIED as to Issue No. 5.

Moving party to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: August 10, 2020 ___________________________________

Randolph M. Hammock

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] In addition, as discussed below, even if Defendant had made a sufficient showing as to these causes of action, it did not show that it was entitled to summary adjudication of the two causes of action that are actually discussed in the motion. Therefore, the motion would have been denied even if Defendant had addressed all four causes of action.

Case Number: BC688715    Hearing Date: February 25, 2020    Dept: 47

Breakwater Studios, LLC v. The William Warren Group individually and dba Storquest, et al.

 

MOTION TO COMPEL ANSWERS TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET TWO; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant William Warren Properties, Inc. dba Storquest – Hollywood/Sunset

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Breakwater Studios, LLC

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiffs allege that Defendant erroneously concluded that Plaintiff had abandoned its storage unit being rented from Defendant, and Defendant disposed of Plaintiff’s property.

Defendant William Warren Properties, Inc. dba Storequest – Hollywood/Sunset moves to compel answers to its request for production, set two, and for sanctions.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant William Warren Properties, Inc. dba Storequest – Hollywood/Sunset’s motion to compel answers to request for production, set two, is DENIED AS MOOT.

Defendant’s request for sanctions is GRANTED in the amount of $60.00 against Plaintiff’s counsel of record only, Law Offices of Martin Glickfield. ($60 filing fee.) The Court will consider revising the sanctions award if Defendant’s counsel provides a basis for his request for $1,250.00 in attorney’s fees at the hearing.

DISCUSSION:

Motion To Compel Responses To Request for Production of Documents (Set Two)

When a party to whom an inspection demand is directed fails to respond under CCP § 2031.300(b), a party making the demand may move for an order compelling a response to the inspection demand. A party who fails to provide timely responses waives any objection, including one based on privilege or work product. (CCP § 2031.300(a).)

Here, although Defendant has labeled its motion a motion to compel, and its notice of motion also asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to answer, the motion itself makes clear that Plaintiff already answered. Therefore, Defendant appears to be requesting that the Court compel compliance with these requests, because Plaintiff “has not produced the documents agreed to be produced.” (Motion, at p. 7.) Under those circumstances, a motion to compel compliance would have been appropriate.

However, Plaintiff’s opposition indicates that Plaintiff has now served verified responses to these requests. (Declaration of Martin Glickfield ¶ 7.) Thus, there is no longer any need to compel the responses or to compel compliance with the requests. If Defendant is dissatisfied with the responses that Plaintiff has provided, the proper motion would be a motion to compel further responses, keeping in mind the 45-day jurisdictional limit for that motion. (CCP § 2031.310(c).)

Accordingly, the motion to compel responses to requests for production (set two) is DENIED as MOOT.

Defendant’s request for sanctions, which are mandatory (CCP §§ 2031.300(c); 2031.320(b)), is GRANTED in the amount of $60.00 against Plaintiff’s counsel of record only, Law Offices of Martin Glickfield. ($60 filing fee.) There is no evidence that Plaintiff’s failure to respond was the fault of Plaintiff. As for fees in addition to the filing fee, the Declaration of Benjamin Goldstein provides no basis for the request for attorney’s fees in the amount of $1,250.00. The declarant has not stated his hourly rate or indicated how many hours of work are represented in the $1250.00 total. The Court will consider revising the sanctions award if Defendant’s counsel provides this information at the hearing.

Moving party give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: February 25, 2020 ___________________________________

Randolph M. Hammock

Judge of the Superior Court

Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org

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