This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/05/2019 at 07:22:36 (UTC).

CHESTER JACKSON VS MATTHEW WILLIAMSON ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/24/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by CHESTER JACKSON against MATTHEW WILLIAMSON in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3530

  • Filing Date:

    04/24/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • 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 and Petitioner

JACKSON CHESTER

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Defendants

WILLIAMSON MATTHEW

RENTAL CAR FINANCE CORPORATION

DOES 1-25

EAN HOLDINGS LLC

BYER KHAI

Defendant, Respondent and Cross Plaintiff

EAN HOLDINGS LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

LEVY GUY ESQ.

Defendant, Respondent and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

BOYD KURT ESQ.

WULTERIN SHAYNE L. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

11/13/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Personal Service

11/9/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Answer

11/9/2018: Answer

Cross-Complaint

10/15/2018: Cross-Complaint

Minute Order

8/31/2018: Minute Order

Unknown

9/4/2018: Unknown

CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES)

9/4/2018: CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES)

SUMMONS

9/4/2018: SUMMONS

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

9/4/2018: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

7/10/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

7/10/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

JUDICIAL NOTICE REQUEST

8/3/2018: JUDICIAL NOTICE REQUEST

NOTICE OF COURT HEARING ON DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

8/3/2018: NOTICE OF COURT HEARING ON DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

8/3/2018: DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO MOVING DEFENDANT EAN HOLDING LLC AND RENTAL CAR FINANCE COPORATION'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE FILED IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

8/20/2018: PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO MOVING DEFENDANT EAN HOLDING LLC AND RENTAL CAR FINANCE COPORATION'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE FILED IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

NOTICE OF CLERICAL ERROR

4/25/2018: NOTICE OF CLERICAL ERROR

SUMMONS

4/24/2018: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

4/24/2018: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

13 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/13/2018
  • Request for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by Chester Jackson (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/09/2018
  • Proof of Personal Service; Filed by Chester Jackson (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/09/2018
  • Answer (to Cross-Complaint); Filed by Rental Car Finance Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 10/15/2018
  • Cross-Complaint; Filed by EAN Holdings, LLC (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 10/15/2018
  • Answer (to Cross Complaint); Filed by EAN Holdings, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 09/10/2018
  • ANSWER TO COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

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  • 09/10/2018
  • Answer; Filed by EAN Holdings, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 09/04/2018
  • DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

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  • 09/04/2018
  • CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 09/04/2018
  • SUMMONS

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25 More Docket Entries
  • 07/10/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Chester Jackson (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/10/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Chester Jackson (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/10/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/10/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/10/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Chester Jackson (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/25/2018
  • Notice; Filed by Court

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  • 04/25/2018
  • NOTICE OF CLERICAL ERROR

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  • 04/24/2018
  • SUMMONS

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  • 04/24/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Chester Jackson (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/24/2018
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC703530    Hearing Date: December 20, 2019    Dept: 2

Jackson v. Williamson, et al.

Defendant Rental Car Finance Corporation’s Motion for Terminating Sanctions and Dismissal for Failure to Comply with the Court’s Previously Issued Order, filed on 11/21/19, is GRANTED. Cal Code Civ Procedure §2023.010. The Complaint is dismissed with prejudice with respect to Defendant Rental Car  - only.

On October 11, 2019, Defendant Rental Car Finance Corporation filed a motion to compel Plaintiff to appear for his deposition and to produce documents. Plaintiff did not oppose the motion. On November 7, 2019, the Court ordered Plaintiff to appear at his deposition and to produce documents within 10 days of the Court’s order. The deposition was set for November 18, 2019. Plaintiff failed to appear at his deposition and failed to produce documents. Further, Plaintiff has not opposed this motion and has provided no excuse for his failure to comply with his discovery obligations. Plaintiff has not responded to numerous attempts to communicate with him by Defendant Rental Car Finance Corporation. Previously, Plaintiff did not oppose a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant Ean Holdings.

Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the court’s order of 11/7/19 constitutes discovery abuse under Cal Code Civ Procedure §2023.010 for which terminating sanctions are ordered pursuant to §2023.030(d). Plaintiff was served with notice of the court’s ruling on 11/8/19.

The complaint is therefore dismissed as to Defendant Rental Car Finance Corporation only.

The court declines to impose monetary sanctions, concluding that terminating sanctions are sufficient.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC703530    Hearing Date: November 07, 2019    Dept: 2

Jackson v. Williamson, et al

Motion by Defendant, Rental Car Finance Corporation, to Compel the Deposition of Plaintiff Chester Jackson Production of Documents, and to Request Sanctions Against Plaintiff filed on 10/11/19 is GRANTED.

Plaintiff Chester Jackson is ordered to appear for his deposition and produce documents without objection within 10 days as duly noticed by Defendant.

A party can move to compel a party’s deposition where the deponent fails to proceed with the examination or to produce for inspection any document described in the deposition notice. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 2025.450.

Defendant has shown good cause for the deposition and request to produce documents of a party, as well as a reasonable effort to meet and confer in good faith. Declaration of John C. Ellis, ¶11, Ex. F. Cal Code Civil Procedure §2025.450(b).

Plaintiff failed to appear for the 5/5/19 Deposition. Motion Ex. D. He also failed to appear for his 9/12/19 deposition. Motion, Ex. E.

The court imposes sanctions of $2,057.25 against Plaintiff, Chester Jackson, for the failure to show substantial justification for his conduct in failing to respond or submit to an authorized method of discovery which constitutes misuse of the discovery process. Cal Code Civil Procedure § 2023.010 (d), (h), (i).

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC703530    Hearing Date: November 04, 2019    Dept: 2

Jackson v. Williamson, et al.

The Court makes the following ruling on Defendant and Cross-Defendant Ean Holdings, LLC’s Motion for Summary Judgment, or in the alternative, Summary Adjudication, filed on May 8, 2019: Summary adjudication is GRANTED in favor of Ean Holdings and against Plaintiff as to Plaintiff’s first cause of action. Summary adjudication is DENIED as to Plaintiff’s second cause of action. Summary judgment against Plaintiff is DENIED. Summary judgment against Defendant and Cross-Complainant Rental Car Finance Corporation is also DENIED. This ruling does not preclude Ean Holdings from bringing a subsequent motion for summary judgment.

In this action, Plaintiff alleges that he was injured in a collision that occurred on August 9, 2017. One of the vehicles involved had been rented to non-party Damian Aaron Armstrong by Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Armstrong was the only authorized driver on the rental agreement. At the time of the accident, the rented car was allegedly being driven by Defendant Matthew Williamson. The car was owned by Defendant Ean Holdings, LLC.

The Complaint asserts two causes of action against Ean Holdings. The first cause of action is entitled “Motor Vehicle.” Plaintiff asserts two theories against EAN Holdings in this cause of action: (1) vicarious liability for the driver’s negligence; and (3) negligent entrustment. The second cause of action for general negligence alleges that Ean Holdings “negligently and carelessly owned, operated, maintained, entrusted and controlled [the] vehicle[].”

Ean Holdings moves for summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication on each of these claims. Ean Holdings also moves for summary judgment on the cross-complaint for indemnity filed by Defendant Rental Car Finance Corporation. No opposition has been filed.

I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

A defendant moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of making a prima facie showing either (1) one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established, or (2) there is a complete defense to the cause of action. CCP 437c(p)(2). Unless and until a defendant meets that burden, the plaintiff has no burden to present controverting evidence. Consumer Cause, Inc. v. SmileCare (2001) 91 Cal. App. 4th 454, 468 (“There is no obligation on the opposing party . . . to establish anything by affidavit unless and until the moving party has by affidavit stated facts establishing every element . . . necessary to sustain a judgment in his favor.”) If a defendant fails to meet that burden, summary judgment must be denied, even if the plaintiff fails to file an opposition and fails to proffer any evidence.

In order to make a prima facie showing that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established, a moving defendant can either (1) rely on affirmative evidence that negates an essential element or plaintiff’s claim, or (2) present evidence that plaintiff “does not possess and cannot reasonably obtain, needed evidence.” Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 854. Regardless of whether the defendant seeks to affirmatively negate an element of plaintiff’s claim or relies on an absence of evidence theory, the defendant bears the initial burden of proof.

II. DISCUSSION

A. FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

The vicarious liability theory in the first cause of action is based on California Vehicle Code section 17150. That section provides: “Every owner of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the motor vehicle . . . by any person using or operating the same with permission, express or implied of the owner.” (emphasis added). Here, Ean Holdings has made a prima facie showing that the driver Matthew Williamson was not operating the vehicle in question with the express or implied permission of Ean Holdings or Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Instead, the rental agreement shows that the only person with permission to drive the vehicle was non-party Damian Aaron Armstrong.

The burden thus shifted to the Plaintiff to show that there is a triable issue as to whether Mr. Williamson had permission. Plaintiff has not presented any evidence in opposition to the motion. EAN Holdings is thus entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the vicarious liability theory.

Given that Ean Holding’s undisputed evidence has negated an element of the claim, the Court need not reach the alternative argument that the vicarious liability claim is preempted by 49 USCS § 30106(a).

The negligent entrustment theory fails for the same reason that the vicarious liability theory failed – the vehicle was rented to a third party and the driver was not an authorized driver. Neither Ean Holdings, LLC nor Enterprise entrusted the vehicle to the driver.

Ean Holdings is thus entitled to summary adjudication on the first cause of action.

B. SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

As previously noted, the second cause of action alleges that Ean Holdings “negligently and carelessly owned, operated, maintained, entrusted and controlled [the] vehicle[].” In order to obtain summary adjudication on this claim, Ean Holdings must establish entitlement to judgment on each of these theories. “The pleadings determine the scope of relevant issues on a summary judgment motion.” Nieto v. Blue Shield of California Life & Health Ins. Co. (2010) 181 Cal. App. 4th 60, 74. A summary judgment defendant must “negate plaintiff’s theories of liability as alleged in the complaint.” Hutton v. Fidelity Nat’l Title Co. (2013) 213 Cal. App. 4th 486, 493.

The Court must thus consider each of the alleged categories. Ean Holdings is not liable as the owner of the vehicle or for negligently entrusting the vehicle for the reasons stated above. The undisputed evidence establishes that Ean Holdings did not operate or control the vehicle at the time of the accident. Thus, Ean Holdings cannot be held liable on any of those theories.

But Ean Holdings has not shown entitlement to summary adjudication on the negligence maintenance theory. In its memorandum of points and authorities, Ean Holdings asserts that “Defendant Ean Holdings, LLC was not participant [sic] in the maintenance of the vehicle” but that fact is not included in the separate statement and no evidence has been offered to support it.

Nor does the mere fact that Plaintiff has not opposed the motion entitle Ean Holdings to judgment on this theory. As previously noted, Plaintiff has no burden to proffer controverting evidence unless and until the moving party has met its initial burden. Defendant cannot merely say that the Plaintiff has no evidence to meet its initial burden as the moving party. Instead, a defendant relying on an absence of evidence theory must present evidence, typically in the form of factually devoid discovery responses, that the plaintiff does not possess and cannot reasonably obtain evidence to establish the element in question. Schmidt v. Citibank, N.A. (2018) 28 Cal. App. 5th 1109, 1119. Such evidence typically consists of deficient responses to contention interrogatories or admissions made in response to requests for admission or at deposition. Here, Plaintiff has presented no such evidence.

Nor has Ean Holdings made any other argument regarding Plaintiff’s negligence maintenance theory, such as lack of causation. The Court cannot base summary adjudication on issues that are not raised in the moving papers.

Ean Holdings is thus not entitled to summary adjudication on the second cause of action. The motion for summary adjudication is DENIED as to that claim. Ean Holdings is not precluded from bringing a subsequent motion for summary judgment.

III. CROSS-COMPLAINT

Defendant and Cross-Complainant Rental Car Finance Corporation has filed a cross-complaint against Ean Holdings, alleging a claim for indemnity based on Ean Holding’s alleged negligence to Plaintiff. Since Ean Holdings is not entitled to summary adjudication on Plaintiff’s second cause of action, the motion as to the Cross-Complaint also fails.