This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 03/19/2022 at 12:26:35 (UTC).

CAHUENGA BICYCLE, LLC A CALIFORNIA LIABILITY COMPANY, VS PRINCETON EXCESS AND SURPLUS LINES) INSURANCE COMPANY, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION FORM UNKNOWN, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/13/2020 CAHUENGA BICYCLE, LLC A CALIFORNIA LIABILITY COMPANY, filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against PRINCETON EXCESS AND SURPLUS LINES INSURANCE COMPANY, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION FORM UNKNOWN,. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******9226

  • Filing Date:

    10/13/2020

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Cross Defendant and Plaintiff

CAHUENGA BICYCLE LLC

Defendants and Cross Defendants

CAMPBELL ANTHONY

PRINCETON EXCESS AND SURPLUS LINES INSURANCE COMPANY

CAHUENGA BICYCLE LLC

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

PRINCETON EXCESS AND SURPLUS LINES INSURANCE COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

STARGARDTER GAILANN Y.

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

THORPE SARA M

Cross Defendant Attorneys

SAPIR ERIC

LEVITT JOHN S.

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

2/14/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE) OF 02/14/2022

2/14/2022: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE) OF 02/14/2022

Request for Dismissal

2/18/2022: Request for Dismissal

Order - Dismissal

2/22/2022: Order - Dismissal

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-JURY TRIAL; FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

2/22/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-JURY TRIAL; FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-JURY TRIAL; FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE) OF 02/22/2022

2/22/2022: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-JURY TRIAL; FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE) OF 02/22/2022

Request for Dismissal

10/25/2021: Request for Dismissal

Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service

11/9/2021: Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service

Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service

11/9/2021: Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service

Unknown - AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT (1ST)

10/21/2021: Unknown - AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT (1ST)

Request for Dismissal

10/22/2021: Request for Dismissal

Request for Dismissal

10/25/2021: Request for Dismissal

Request for Dismissal

10/25/2021: Request for Dismissal

Request for Dismissal

10/25/2021: Request for Dismissal

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL

10/8/2021: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL

Notice of Ruling

9/29/2021: Notice of Ruling

Association of Attorney

10/7/2021: Association of Attorney

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

9/21/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE CROSS-COMPLAIN...)

60 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/22/2022
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 24; Non-Jury Trial - Held

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  • 02/22/2022
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 24; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 02/22/2022
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Non-Jury Trial; Final Status Conference) of 02/22/2022); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/22/2022
  • DocketOrder - Dismissal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/22/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Non-Jury Trial; Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/18/2022
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Cahuenga Bicycle, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/14/2022
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 24; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 02/14/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/14/2022
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Final Status Conference) of 02/14/2022); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/15/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 24; Non-Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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67 More Docket Entries
  • 01/21/2021
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Cahuenga Bicycle, LLC (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 12/22/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 12/22/2020
  • DocketSummons (Cross-Complaint); Filed by Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 12/22/2020
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 12/08/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Cahuenga Bicycle, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/15/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Cahuenga Bicycle, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Cahuenga Bicycle, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Cahuenga Bicycle, LLC (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: *******9226 Hearing Date: July 30, 2021 Dept: 24

This case involves the extent of a pre-suit release signed by Defendant/Cross-Defendant Anthony Campbell (“Campbell) regarding injuries he sustained on September 6, 2015, when he was injured in a fight at a nightclub operated on premises owned by Cahuenga Bicycle, LLC. Campbell allegedly signed the release on November 21, 2016, discharging the nightclub owner—Tokio Los Angeles, LLC dba Couture Nightclub (“TLA”) and all persons acting by, though, or in concert with TLA from all actual or potential claims, whether those claims were known or unknown. In exchange, Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Company paid Campbell $45,000.00. Nevertheless, in 2017, Campbell filed suit against Cahuenga regarding the injuries. Cahuenga immediately tendered suit, who then sent it to their insurance. Princeton failed to respond to the suit, and Campbell took a default judgment against Cahuenga. Princeton refused to take to take any steps, claiming that the settlement released Plaintiff and that because the policy limits were exhausted, it had no duty to defend. Campbell believes that the release does not include Cahuenga. The Complaint and Cross-Complaint both state causes for declaratory relief regarding this controversy.

Campbell demurs to the second cause of action for declaratory relief. Plaintiff opposes.

Legal Standard

A demurrer for sufficiency tests whether the complaint states a cause of action. (Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 747.) When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. In a demurrer proceeding, the defects must be apparent on the face of the pleading or via proper judicial notice. (Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994.) A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed. (CCP ;; 430.30, 430.70.) At the pleading stage, a plaintiff need only allege ultimate facts sufficient to apprise the defendant of the factual basis for the claim against him. (Semole v. Sansoucie (1972) 28 Cal. App. 3d 714, 721.) A “demurrer does not, however, admit contentions, deductions or conclusions of fact or law alleged in the pleading, or the construction of instruments pleaded, or facts impossible in law.” (S. Shore Land Co. v. Petersen (1964) 226 Cal.App.2d 725, 732 [internal citations omitted].)

Meet and Confer

Before filing a demurrer or motion to strike, the moving party must meet and confer in person or by telephone with the party who filed the pleading to attempt to reach an agreement that would resolve the objections to the pleading. (CCP ;; 430.41, 435.5.) Counsel’s declaration satisfies the meet and confer requirement.

Request for Judicial Notice

Campbell’s request for judicial notice is GRANTED.

Demurrer:

Campbell asserts that the declaratory relief claims are not necessary or proper and must be dismissed. Campbell contends that the Complaint demonstrates that Cahuenga is not a party to the subject release. Moreover, Campbell argues that the default judgment was not obtained by fraud and is thereby not a void judgment, and this case would be barred by claim/issue preclusion.

Code of Civil Procedure section 1060 provides that “Any person interested . . . under a contract, . . . may, in cases of actual controversy relating to the legal rights and duties of the respective parties, bring an original action or cross-complaint in the superior court for a declaration of his or her rights and duties . . . including a determination of any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument or contract.” A declaratory relief complaint must specifically allege that an actual, present controversy exists, and must state the facts of the respective claims concerning the disputed subject matter. (City of Cotati v. Cashman (2002) 29 Cal.4th 69, 79.) The complaint will be found sufficient if it sets forth facts showing the existence of an actual controversy relating to the parties’ legal rights and duties, and requests the court to adjudge these rights and duties. (Ludgate Ins. Co. v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 592, 606.)

“Strictly speaking, a demurrer is a procedurally inappropriate method for disposing of a complaint for declaratory relief.” (Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Continental Ins. Co. (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 187, 221, disapproved on other grounds; see Teachers Management & Investment Cop. v. City of Santa Cruz (1976) 64 Cal.App.3d 438, 449 [the court should not sustain a general demurrer on the theory that the declaration would be adverse to the plaintiff].) Nevertheless, the court may sustain a demurrer to a declaratory relief claim if the complaint fails to allege an actual or present controversy, or that the controversy is not “justiciable.” The court also may sustain a demurrer without leave to amend if it determines that a judicial declaration is not “necessary or proper at the time under all the circumstances.” (CCP ; 1061; DeLaura v. Beckett (2006) 137 Cal.App.4th 542, 545.) If no facts are alleged with would render necessary or proper a declaration with respect to the future conduct of the parties, resolution by demurrer is appropriate. (Osseous Technologies of America, Inc. v. DiscoveryOrtho Partners LLC (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 357, 376 [there is no basis for declaratory relief where only past wrongs are involved]; Meyer v. Sprint Spectrum L.P. (2009) 45 Cal.4th 634, 648 [demurrer properly sustained where no allegations that declaratory relief would “have any practical consequences.”].)

Campbell contends that Plaintiff is not a released party, since their name does not appear in the contract. However, the release is broader than that. Read most favorably to the Plaintiff, the Complaint provides sufficient facts to support Cahuenga’s inclusion as a released party. The relevant contract has a broad provision that would release agents or other persons acting by, through, under or in concert with Tokio. The agreement specifically releases the parties’ “respective past, present, and future parent and affiliated corporations and entities, owners, partners, directors, officers, employees, subsidiaries, agents, representatives, heirs, beneficiaries, shareholders, attorneys, predecessors, successors, assigns, insurers, and underwriters and each of them, and all persons acting by, through, under or in concert with such persons…” (Compl., Ex. B, ; 1.5.) The Complaint alleges that Cahuenga was a named insured under the Policy. (Compl., ¶ 5, Ex. A.) Cahuenga tendered the suit to Tokio, who then tendered the claims to Princeton. Princeton then hired a firm to handle the settlement. (Compl., ¶ 7.) Based on these allegations, a fact-finder could determine that Cahuenga fits into that broad category. The second cause of action asks this court to adjudicate whether Plaintiff is a released party under the Release. (See Prayer ¶ 1.) Since Plaintiff states the existence of an actual controversy relating to the parties’ legal rights and duties with the Release, the second cause of action is well-stated.

Defendant contends that claim preclusion applies to bar this action based on the underlying default. However, Plaintiff was not given the full opportunity to litigate the matter.

The doctrine of res judicata generally precludes parties, or their privies, from relitigating a cause of action determined with finality in a prior proceeding. (E.g., Smith v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1407, 1413-14; Wright v. Ripley (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1189, 1193.) The doctrine has two aspects: it applies to both a previously litigated cause of action, referred to as claim preclusion, and to an issue necessarily decided in a prior action, referred to as issue preclusion. (Vandenberg v. Superior Court (1999) 21 Cal.4th 815, 828.) “[R]es judicata does not merely bar relitigation of identical claims or causes of action. Instead, in its collateral estoppel aspect, the doctrine may also preclude a party to prior litigation from redisputing issues therein decided against him, even when those issues bear on different claims raised in a later case. Moreover, because the estoppel need not be mutual, it is not necessary that the earlier and later proceedings involve the identical parties or their privies. Only the party against whom the doctrine is invoked must be bound by the prior proceeding. [Citations.]” (Ibid.)

For purposes of applying the doctrine of res judicata, the phrase “cause of action” has a more precise meaning: The cause of action is the right to obtain redress for a harm suffered, regardless of the specific remedy sought or the legal theory (common law or statutory) advanced. (Bay Cities Paving & Grading, Inc. v. Lawyers' Mutual Ins. Co. (1993) 5 Cal.4th 854, 860.) “[T]he ‘cause of action’ is based upon the harm suffered, as opposed to the particular theory asserted by the litigant. [Citation.] Even where there are multiple legal theories upon which recovery might be predicated, one injury gives rise to only one claim for relief. ‘Hence a judgment for the defendant is a bar to a subsequent action by the plaintiff based on the same injury to the same right, even though he presents a different legal ground for relief.’ [Citations.]” Thus, under the primary rights theory, the determinative factor is the harm suffered. When two actions involving the same parties seek compensation for the same harm, they generally involve the same primary right. (Boeken v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. (2010) 48 Cal.4th 788, 798.) Claim preclusion applies if: (1) the issue decided in the prior adjudication is identical with the one presented in the new action; (2) there was a final judgment on the merits in the prior action, and (3) the party against whom the plea is asserted was a party or in privity with a party to the prior adjudication. (Id. at 797.)

Here, the underlying default did not consider the release. Moreover, there was no final judgment on the merits in the prior action regarding the release, but a default judgment on Campbell’s personal injury claims. Thus, the first two requirements are not met.

Defendant asserts that Plaintiff cannot use this suit to set aside the default judgment, absent a showing that the judgment was void. (See Yu v. Signet Bank/Virginia (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 1377, 1386, disapproved on other grounds by Newport Harbor Ventures, LLC v. Morris Cerullo World Evangelism (2018) 4 Cal.5th 637, 646.) Even if such a collateral attack would be improper, this only defeat part of the declaration. The principal request regarding the construction of the Release is still present, and justiciable. Thus, the second cause is still well stated.

Accordingly, Defendant’s demurrer is OVERRULED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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