This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/19/2019 at 02:27:07 (UTC).

CHASE METALS INC VS MARK A BENAVIDES

Case Summary

On 06/08/2018 CHASE METALS INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against MARK A BENAVIDES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is KENNETH R. FREEMAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9355

  • Filing Date:

    06/08/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

KENNETH R. FREEMAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Cross Defendants

CHASE METALS INC.

CHASE METALS LLC

ASHER LUCAS

BATASHVILI SIMON

ALWAYS DAN

ALWAY DAN

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

DOES 1 TO 25

BENAVIDES MARK A.

JUSTIN L. IVESTER DOE 1

BERSHAD DANIEL

IVESTER JUSTIN

WOLAN DAVID

WILSHIRE METALS GROUP LLC DOE 2

TMTE INC. DBA METALS.COM FKA CHASE METALS INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

SOOFI RABEH M.A. ESQ

ROSENTHAL MARGARET

Defendant Attorneys

LEBE JONATHAN M.

COHEN DAVID J.

MESRIANI RODNEY

Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

KRAMER JENNIFER

GOLDMAN KENNETH A.

Cross Defendant Attorneys

SPITZER DANIEL B.

FARAG SHAREEF S.

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

7/23/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

DEFENDANT MARK A BENAVIDES'S ANSWER TO UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

8/1/2018: DEFENDANT MARK A BENAVIDES'S ANSWER TO UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

DECLARATION OF RABEH M. A. SOOFI IN SUPPORT OF CROSS-DEFENDANT CHASE METALS LLC N/K/A CHASE METALS INC.'S DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINAINT'S CROSS-COMPLAINT

8/30/2018: DECLARATION OF RABEH M. A. SOOFI IN SUPPORT OF CROSS-DEFENDANT CHASE METALS LLC N/K/A CHASE METALS INC.'S DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINAINT'S CROSS-COMPLAINT

AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

9/25/2018: AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

10/4/2018: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

10/25/2018: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

11/9/2018: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Case Management Statement

11/26/2018: Case Management Statement

Answer

1/4/2019: Answer

Reply

1/22/2019: Reply

Case Management Statement

1/25/2019: Case Management Statement

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

4/3/2019: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Opposition

5/15/2019: Opposition

Reply

5/21/2019: Reply

Status Report

5/24/2019: Status Report

Opposition

7/8/2019: Opposition

Separate Statement

7/8/2019: Separate Statement

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF: 1) BREACH OF CONTRACT ETC....

6/8/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF: 1) BREACH OF CONTRACT ETC....

66 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/12/2019
  • Reply (to opposition to motion to compel further responses to form interrogatories); Filed by David Wolan (Defendant)

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  • 07/11/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Chase Metals Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/09/2019
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) ((Amended)); Filed by Chase Metals Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/08/2019
  • at 09:49 AM in Department 34; Court Order

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  • 07/08/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/08/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order) of 07/08/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/08/2019
  • Opposition (MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES OF PLAINTIFF AND CROSS-DEFENDANT CHASE METALS, INC. IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS OF $4,500.00; DECLARATION OF DANIEL B. SPITZER); Filed by Chase Metals Inc. (Plaintiff); Chase Metals Inc. (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 07/08/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by Chase Metals Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/08/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order) of 07/08/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/07/2019
  • Answer; Filed by Lucas Asher (Cross-Defendant); Simon Batashvili (Cross-Defendant); TMTE, Inc. (Defendant)

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104 More Docket Entries
  • 08/01/2018
  • Cross-Complaint; Filed by Mark A. Benavides (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 07/23/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/23/2018
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 07/13/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Chase Metals Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/13/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/02/2018
  • Amendment to Complaint; Filed by Chase Metals Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/02/2018
  • AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

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  • 06/08/2018
  • SUMMONS

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  • 06/08/2018
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF: 1) BREACH OF CONTRACT ETC....

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  • 06/08/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Chase Metals Inc. (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC709355    Hearing Date: November 18, 2019    Dept: 34

SUBJECT: Motion to Compel Further Responses to Special Interrogatories

Moving Party: Justin Ivester

Resp. Party: Chase Metals, Inc.

Ivester’s motion to compel further responses to special interrogatories, set two is DENIED.

BACKGROUND:

On June 8, 2018, Chase Metals, Inc., filed a complaint against Mark Benavides asserting causes of action for (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; (3) tortious interference with prospective economic relationships; (4) fraud; (5) constructive fraud; (6) theft/conversion; (7) constructive fraudulent transfers; and (8) unfair competition.

On July 2, 2018, Chase Metals filed an amendment to the complaint, substituting Justin Ivester for Doe 1. On September 25, 2018, Chase Metals filed an amendment to the complaint, substituting Wilshire Metals Group, LLC, for Doe 2. On October 15, 2018, Chase Metals filed an amendment to the complaint, substituting David Wolan for Doe 3.

On August 1, 2018, Mark Benavides filed a cross-complaint against Chase Metals, Dan Alway, Lucas Asher, and Simon Batashvili for (1) failure to pay minimum wages; (2) failure to pay overtime premiums; (3) failure to pay all wages earned; (4) failure to provide meal and rest breaks; (5) failure to furnish accurate wage statements; (6) failure to pay all wages upon cessation of employment; and (7) unfair competition.

On August 24, 2018, Justin Ivester filed a cross-complaint and on October 29, 2018, Ivester filed a first amended cross-complaint against Chase Metals, Dan Alway, Lucas Asher, and Simon Batashvili for (1) wrongful termination; (2) failure to pay wages; (3) failure to pay overtime compensation; (4) failure to provide meal periods; (5) failure to authorize rest breaks; (6) failure to furnish accurate wage statements; and (7) unfair competition.

On January 7, 2019, David Wolan filed a cross-complaint against Chase Metals for (1) breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (3) failure to pay wages for all hours worked; (4) failure to pay overtime; (5) failure to provide meal and rest breaks; and (6) failure to furnish accurate wage statements.

On March 5, 2019, the Court granted an order pursuant to a stipulation by the parties to deem Mark Benavides’ First Amended Cross-Complaint (FACC) filed on October 5, 2018. (03/05/2019 See Stipulation to File First Amended Cross-Complaint, p. 4.)

On May 29, 2019, the Court overruled Chase Metals LLC n/k/a Chase Metals, Inc., Simon Batashvili, and Lucas Asher’s demurrer to Mark A. Benavides’ FACC.

On July 19, 2019, the Court granted in part and denied in part David Wolan’s motion to compel further responses to form interrogatories against Chase Metals, Inc.

On July 8, 2019, the Court found that BC709355 and 19STCV06787 are related, designating BC709355 as the lead case.

On September 13, 2019, Chase Metals filed a request for dismissal as to David Wolan.

On October 23, 2019, Justin Ivester filed the instant motion to compel further discovery responses to his Special Interrogatories (Set Two) as to Chase Metals, Inc.

ANALYSIS:

A. Relevant Law

Motions to compel further responses to discovery requests must always be accompanied by a meet-and confer-declaration (Code Civ. Proc., § 2016.040) demonstrating a “reasonable and good faith attempt an informal resolution of each issue presented by the motion.” (Id., §§ 2030.300, subd. (b), 2031.310, subd. (b)(2), 2033.290, subd. (b).) They must also be accompanied by a separate statement containing the requests and the responses, verbatim, as well as reasons why a further response is warranted. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1345(a).) The separate statement must also be complete in itself; no extrinsic materials may be incorporated by reference. (Id., rule 3.1345(c).)

Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.220 states:

“(a) Each answer in a response to interrogatories shall be as complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available to the responding party permits.

(b) If an interrogatory cannot be answered completely, it shall be answered to the extent possible.

(c) If the responding party does not have personal knowledge sufficient to respond fully to an interrogatory, that party shall so state, but shall make a reasonable and good faith effort to obtain the information by inquiry to other natural persons or organizations, except where the information is equally available to the propounding party.”

A motion to compel further responses to specially prepared interrogatories may be brought if the responses contain: (1) answers that are evasive or incomplete; (2) an unwarranted or insufficiently specific exercise of an option to produce documents in lieu of a substantive response; or (3) unmerited or overly generalized objections. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (a).)

B. Discussion

Justin Ivester explains that on July 24, 2019, he served his Special Interrogatories, Set Two on Chase Metals, Inc. and on September 3, 2019, Chase Metals, Inc. served its objections and responses to the discovery requests. (Motion, p. 3:14-17 [citing Kramer Decl., Exs. A, B].)

Ivester moves the Court for an order compelling Chase Metals, Inc. to produce further responses and documents in response to his Special Interrogatories, Set Two, Numbers 52 and 58. (Motion, p. 2:2-4, 4:8-24.) Ivester argues that (1) all objections in Chase’s “Preliminary Statement” should be overruled as general objections are improper; (2) Chase’s “vague, ambiguous, and unintelligible” objections should be overruled as Chase did not identify what parts of the interrogatory it found “vague, ambiguous, and unintelligible;” and (3) Chase must elect between its privileges and prosecuting this case, especially because Chase did not produce a privilege log. (Id. at pp. 4:27-7:16.)

In opposition, Chase Metals, Inc. argues that its discovery responses meet the standard set out in Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.220. (Opp., p. 5:1-3.) Chase Metals, Inc. maintains that “it has asserted its objections in order to preserve those which may be germane, then has set out its responses in as ‘complete and straightforward’ a manner as possible, given the facts and documents presently available to it.” (Id. at p. 5:3-5.) Chase Metals, Inc. argues that it “has also answered to the extent possible, even though information supporting many of its claims is not yet available, but is anticipated to become available as discovery continues.” (Id. at p. 5:5-7.)

Special Interrogatory Number 52 states:

“IDENTIFY all DOCUMENTS that show, illustrate, or otherwise prove that IVESTER violated the law with regard to YOU in any way.” (Motion, p. 4:11-12.)

Response to Special Interrogatory Number 52 states:

“See Preliminary Statement. The responding party objects on the grounds that this interrogatory is vague, ambiguous and unintelligible; and seeks to invade the attorney-client privilege and information which is protected from disclosure as attorney work product. Without waiving any objections, and to the extent it understands said interrogatory, the responding party responds that it is not aware of the existence of any such documents.” (Id. at p. 4:13-17.)

Special Interrogatory Number 58 states:

“IDENTIFY all persons, business, or other entities with whom YOU had or intended to have a prospective economic relationship that YOU contend IVESTER interfered with at any time.” (Id. at p. 4:18-20.)

Response to Special Interrogatory Number 58 states:

“See Preliminary Statement. The responding party objects on the grounds that this interrogatory is vague, ambiguous and unintelligible; and seeks to invade the attorney-client privilege and information which is protected from disclosure as attorney work product. Without waiving any objections, and to the extent it understands said interrogatory, the responding party responds that the names and contact information of the company's customers contacted by Ivester are not presently known. The responding party's discovery has just commenced and is ongoing.” (Id. at p. 4:21-24.)

In response to Special Interrogatory Number 52, Chase Metals, Inc. clearly states that “it is not aware of the existence of any such documents.” (Id. at p. 4:13-17.) In response to Special Interrogatory Number 53, Chase Metals, Inc. plainly states that “the names and contact information of the company's customers contacted by Ivester are not presently known” and its “discovery has just commenced and is ongoing.” (Id. at p. 4:21-24.)

The Court believes that Chase Metal’s statement, “to the extent it understands said interrogatory” is nothing more than filler, interprets that statement to be meaningless, and find that such a statement adds nothing, and subtracts nothing, from the answer. The interrogatories are straight-forward; if Chase Metals is withholding documents because it did not “understand” the interrogatory, it would be subject to future sanctions.

Given this understanding, it is not clear how Chase Metals could make a further response. Stating that “it is not aware of the existence of any such documents,” is the functional equivalent of saying that there are “no such documents.” Similarly, stating that that “the names and contact information of the company's customers contacted by Ivester are not presently known,” is the same as saying “none.” Ivester may believe that Chase Metals is not being truthful in its responses; nonetheless, these responses are under oath. If it turns out that Chase Metals has perjured itself in these responses, Ivester can pursue other options.

The Court finds that Chase Metals, Inc. has sufficiently responded to Special Interrogatory Numbers 52 and 58 in a complete and straightforward manner, as the information reasonably available to Chase Metals, Inc. permitted. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.220.)

The Court DENIES Ivester’s motion to compel further responses to special interrogatories, set two.