On 03/02/2017 CASSIE JACKSON filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against BEVERLY JACKSON. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH
DOES 1 TO 100
MACKEY ROBERT T. ESQ.
GHERMEZIAN RAYMOND ESQ.
3/2/2017: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM - CIVIL
9/14/2018: DEFENDANT BEVERLY JACKSON'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE, AND ALL RELATED DISCOVERY AND MOTION CUT-OFF DATES; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF
9/18/2018: DEFENDANT BEVERLY JACKSON'S NOTICE OF RULING ON HER EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE, AND ALL RELATED DISCOVERY AND MOTION CUT-OFF DATES
11/14/2018: Minute Order
2/6/2019: Request for Judicial Notice
2/20/2019: Request for Judicial Notice
3/8/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore
4/3/2019: Request for Judicial Notice
4/3/2019: Motion for Sanctions
at 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Continued - Party's MotionRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
at 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Deposition)Read MoreRead Less
at 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Sanctions - Not Held - Continued - Court's MotionRead MoreRead Less
Notice (of Continuance of Hearing on Motion for Sanctions); Filed by Beverly Jackson (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (for an Order to Continue the Defendant's Motion for Summary) - Held - Motion GrantedRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for an Order to Continue the ...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Ex Parte Application (for an Order to Continue the Defendant's Motion for Summary); Filed by Tirzah Jackson (Legacy Party); Cassie Jackson (Legacy Party)Read MoreRead Less
at 10:00 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Change of Firm Name; Filed by Tirzah Jackson (Legacy Party); Cassie Jackson (Legacy Party)Read MoreRead Less
Summons Issued; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Summons; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Ord Apptng Guardian Ad Litem; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM - CIVILRead MoreRead Less
Application ; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by nullRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND PERSONAL INJURIES BASED ON: 1. NEGLIGENCE ;ETCRead MoreRead Less
ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVERRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC652456 Hearing Date: December 11, 2019 Dept: 5
Case No.: BC652456
Hearing Date: December 11, 2019
[TENTATIVE] order RE:
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
motion for sanctions
Plaintiff Cassie Jackson (“Plaintiff”), by and through her guardian ad litem, Tirzah Jackson (“Tirzah Jackson”), alleges that she suffered injuries while under the supervision of her grandmother, Defendant Beverly Jackson (“Defendant”). Plaintiff was born In May 2013. Plaintiff alleges the following injuries: (1) In March 2015, when she was less than two years old, Plaintiff allegedly slipped and fell at Defendant’s house; (2) Approximately two weeks later, Plaintiff again fell at Defendant’s house; and (3) Subsequently, Plaintiff was playing outside when Defendant’s dog chased her, and she fell. Plaintiff asserts causes of action for negligence and premises liability. Now, Defendant moves for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s complaint, or, in the alternative, summary adjudication, which Plaintiff opposes. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted. Defendant also moves for sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7, which Plaintiff opposes. That motion is denied.
“[T]he party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of persuasion that there is no triable issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law[.] There is a triable issue of material fact if, and only if, the evidence would allow a reasonable trier of fact to find the underlying fact in favor of the party opposing the motion in accordance with the applicable standard of proof.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850.) “[T]he party moving for summary judgment bears an initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any triable issue of material fact; if he carries his burden of production, he causes a shift, and the opposing party is then subjected to a burden of production of his own to make a prima facie showing of the existence of a triable issue of material fact.” (Ibid.) In ruling on the motion, “the court may not weigh the plaintiff's evidence or inferences against the defendant[’s] as though it were sitting as the trier of fact.” (Id. at 856.) However, the court “must . . . determine what any evidence or inference could show or imply to a reasonable trier of fact.” (Ibid., emphasis original.)
Defendant moves for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s complaint for negligence and premises liability. The elements of a cause of action for premises liability are the same as those for negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages. (Castellon v. U.S. Bancorp (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 994, 998.) Those who own, possess, or control property generally have a duty to exercise ordinary care in managing the property to avoid exposing others to an unreasonable risk of harm. (Annocki
Defendant contends that Plaintiff lacks evidence to support her causes of action. To meet the initial burden on a summary adjudication motion, a defendant may show that “the plaintiff does not possess needed evidence, because otherwise the plaintiff might be able to establish the elements of the cause of action; the defendant must also show that the plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain needed evidence, because the plaintiff must be allowed a reasonable opportunity to oppose the motion . . . .” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 854, emphasis original.) Defendant relies on Tirzah Jackson’s deposition testimony. At deposition, Tirzah Jackson testified that Plaintiff did not tell her how her injuries occurred in March 2015, and that Tirzah Jackson did not witness the injuries. (Declaration of Arnold S. Levine, Exhibit B, p. 56.) Tirzah Jackson testified that she does not know what Defendant was doing immediately before Plaintiff sustained injuries in March 2015. (Declaration of Arnold S. Levine, Exhibit B, p. 94.) Tizah Jackson testified that she is not aware of any witnesses to the second incident in which Plaintiff sustained injuries. (Declaration of Arnold S. Levine, Exhibit B, p. 106.) Tirzah Jackson testified that Defendant was not at fault for the third incident in which Plaintiff sustained injuries. (Declaration of Arnold S. Levine, Exhibit B, p. 113.)
Taken together, this evidence is sufficient to show that Plaintiff does not possess sufficient evidence to support her claims against Defendant. Tirzah Jackson, as Plaintiff’s guardian ad litem, testified at deposition that she does not know how the accidents occurred, and she is unaware of any other witnesses to the accidents. Accordingly, Defendant has shifted the burden to Plaintiff to raise a triable issue.
Plaintiff fails to do so. Plaintiff’s opposition argues only that Defendant failed to satisfy her burden and contains no precise citations to the record. Instead, Defendant cites pages of boilerplate case law and attaches copies of certain pages Tirzah Jackson and Beverly Jackson’s deposition transcripts, inviting the Court to review them in hopes of finding a triable issue. “Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs [or the record].” (See United States v. Dunkel (1991) 927 F.2d 955, 956.)
Regardless, none of the deposition pages creates a triable issue. Tirzah Jackson testified that Defendant admitted to having witnessed the first fall. (Declaration of Raymond Ghermezian, Exhibit 1, pp. 59, 67.) That does not create a triable issue. Tirzah Jackson testified that Defendant was cooking when Plaintiff fell the second time and opined that Defendant should have been paying closer attention. (Declaration of Raymond Ghermezian, Exhibit 1, pp. 80-81, 99.) That does not create a triable issue. Indeed, Tirzah’s testimony does not establish that Plaintiff fell because Defendant was inattentive or negligent, as it rests upon Tirzah Jackson’s speculation. Plaintiff cannot raise triable issues of material fact by citing inferences “derived from speculation, conjecture, imagination, or guesswork.” (Joseph E. Di Loreto, Inc. v. O'Neill (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 149, 161.)
Plaintiff relies on Defendant’s deposition testimony. At deposition, Defendant testified that after the second fall, she put Plaintiff to sleep and then noticed that Plaintiff was crying and favoring her arm. (Declaration of Raymond Ghermezian, Exhibit 2, pp.52-54.) Defendant testified that Plaintiff was still on the bed when she noticed her crying. (Ibid.) This is not evidence that Defendant’s negligence caused Plaintiff’s injuries, especially because Defendant did not testify that Plaintiff fell off the bed. Based upon the foregoing, Plaintiff fails to proffer sufficient evidence to create a triable issue, so the motion is granted.
Defendant also moves for sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure, section 128.7. By signing a court filing, an attorney certifies that the filing “is not being presented primarily for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation[,]” and “[t]he allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 128.7, subd. (b).) Defendant contends Plaintiff’s claims were factually frivolous. In support of the motion, Defendant relies on the same evidence she cites in support of her summary judgment motion.
“A claim is factually frivolous if it is not well grounded in fact . . . . [T]o obtain sanctions, the moving party must show the party's conduct in asserting the claim was objectively unreasonable. A claim is objectively unreasonable if any reasonable attorney would agree that it is totally and completely without merit.” (Peake v. Underwood (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 428, 440, internal quotations and citations omitted.) The Court cannot conclude that Plaintiff’s conduct in asserting a claim against Defendant was unreasonable. The parties agree that Plaintiff sustained multiple injuries in rapid succession while under Defendant’s care. Given those facts, it was not totally unreasonable for Plaintiff to pursue claims against Defendant.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted. Defendant’s motion for sanctions is denied. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.
DATED: December 11, 2019 ___________________________
Stephen I. Goorvitch
Judge of the Superior Court