On 10/16/2017 DANIEL RAMIREZ filed a Personal Injury - Other Product Liability lawsuit against SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DENNIS J. LANDIN. The case status is Disposed - Other Disposed.
Disposed - Other Disposed
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
DENNIS J. LANDIN
SAMSUNG SDI CO LTD
SAMSUNG C&T AMERICA INC
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO. LTD
AMPEREX TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
SAMSUNG SDI AMERICA INC
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA INC
DOES 1 TO 100
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA INC.
AMPEREX TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
FELIX ANDREW PARKER ESQ.
WILSON ELSER MOSKOWITZ EDELMAN&DICKER LLP
MEYER STEVEN ERIC
FELDER B. OTIS
FELDER BRIAN OTIS ESQ.
GEISE STEVEN NICHOLAS
12/27/2017: DECLARATION OF WENG XIAOXIAO IN SUPPORT OF AMPEREX TECHNOLOGY LIMITED'S MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION
1/25/2018: Minute Order
3/12/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
3/22/2018: SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT AMPEREX TECHNOLOGY LIMITED?S AMENDED NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION
3/28/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT
4/2/2018: DEFENDANT SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC'S AMENDED NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO TRANSFER NUNC PRO TUNC
4/6/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES
4/25/2018: DEFENDANT SAMSUNG C&T AMERICA'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR ALTERNATIVELY SUMMARY ADJUDICATION, ETC
7/3/2018: DEFENDANT SAMSUNG C&T AMERICA'S REPLY IN SUPPORT FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR ALTERNATIVELY SUMMARY ADJUDICATION WITH REPLY DECLARATION OF B. OTIS FELDER WITH EXHIBITS A & B PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED ALONG WIT
7/10/2018: Minute Order
7/19/2018: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT
7/25/2018: Minute Order
8/22/2018: DEFENDANT SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC.'S MOTION TO STAY, ETC
9/6/2018: DEFENDANT SAMSUNG C&T AMERICA?S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF?S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND MOTION TO STRIKE, OR ALTERNATIVELY, FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
11/9/2018: Notice of Intent to Appear by Telephone
6/7/2019: Notice of Ruling
DocketJudgment (Judgment in Favor of Defendant Samsung C&T America, Inc. and against Plaintiff Daniel Ramirez); Filed by SAMSUNG C&T AMERICA, INC (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 40; Hearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by CourtRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Removal to Federal Court; Filed by SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Ruling (Amended); Filed by DANIEL RAMIREZ (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketReply (in Support of Specially Appearing Cross-Defendant Amperex Technology Limited's Motion to Quash Service of Summons or Dismiss for Inconvenient Forum the Cross-Complaint of Samsung Electronics America); Filed by Amperex Technology Limited (Cross-Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Amperex Technology Limited (Cross-Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Intent to Appear by Telephone; Filed by DANIEL RAMIREZ (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketOpposition (Cross-Complainant SEA's Opposition to Cross-Defendant ATL's Motion to Quash SEA's Cross-Complaint and Request for Continuance to Complete Jurisdictional Discovery)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by DANIEL RAMIREZ (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketORDER FOR REMANDRead MoreRead Less
DocketOrder; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 3:45 PM in Department 93; Court Order (Court Order; Court makes order) -Read MoreRead Less
DocketMinute order entered: 2017-11-02 00:00:00; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute OrderRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Removal to Federal Court; Filed by SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA INC (Legacy Party)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE TO STATE COURT AND ADVERSE PARTIES OF FILING OF NOTICE OF REMOVAL OF ACTION PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. 1332(A), 1441(B ) & 9 U.S.C. 2O1-2O9Read MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT (1) STRICT PRODUCT LIABILITY (DESIGN DEFECT AND MANUFACTURING DEFECT) ;ETCRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by DANIEL RAMIREZ (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC679915 Hearing Date: December 16, 2019 Dept: 40
Defendants Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
OPPOSITION: Plaintiff Daniel Ramirez
Plaintiff Daniel Ramirez sues Defendants Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (“SEA”) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., (“SEC”) (collectively, “Defendants”) alleging that the battery in his Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone caught fire while in his pocket causing him to sustain third degree burns.
Previously, Samsung C&T of America, Inc. (“SCT”) was a defendant. SCT had its principal place of business in Commerce, California. On May 7, 2018, the Court denied Defendants’ motion to change venue on the ground that venue was proper because of SCT and that SCT was not added to the action in bad faith. On May 20, 2019, the Court granted SCT’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing it from the case.
Defendants above now file a new motion seeking to transfer this action to Stanislaus County Superior Court in Modesto, California.
Standard: A plaintiff is entitled to the presumption that he has brought the action in a proper county, and the burden to secure a change of venue is on the defendant. J. C. Millett Co. v. Latchford-Marble Glass Co. (1956) 144 Cal.App.2d 838.
“For venue purposes, actions are classified as local or transitory. To determine whether an action is local or transitory, the court looks to the “main relief” sought. Where the main relief sought is personal, the action is transitory. Where the main relief relates to rights in real property, the action is local.” Brown v. Superior Court (1984) 37 Cal.3d 477, 482. Proper venue for transitory actions is where the defendants or some of them reside at the commencement of the action, except as otherwise provided by law and subject to the power of the Court to transfer actions or proceedings as provided in this title. (Code of Civil Procedure§395(a).)
Section 395(a) states in relevant part: “Except as otherwise provided by law and subject to the power of the court to transfer actions or proceedings as provided in this title, the superior court in the county where the defendants or some of them reside at the commencement of the action is the proper court for the trial of the action.”
CCP §397(c) states in relevant part that: “[t]he court may, on motion, change the place of trial in the following cases…When the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change.”
Failure to Comply with CCP § 1008(b): Plaintiff argues that Defendants have failed to comply with CCP § 1008(b), which states that:
“A party who originally made an application for an order which was refused in whole or part, or granted conditionally or on terms, may make a subsequent application for the same order upon new or different facts, circumstances, or law, in which case it shall be shown by affidavit what application was made before, when and to what judge, what order or decisions were made, and what new or different facts, circumstances, or law are claimed to be shown. For a failure to comply with this subdivision, any order made on a subsequent application may be revoked or set aside on ex parte motion.”
Plaintiff argues that Defendants failed to submit an affidavit identifying what motion was made before, when the motion was made, to which judge the motion was made, what order or decision was rendered, and new or different facts. Defendants have provided a declaration from counsel and the courts’ past orders. Therefore, the parties are aware of the procedural background for this motion and the changed circumstances, SCT’s dismissal. The Court will rule on the merits of the motion. Plaintiff also argues that Defendants should be sanctioned for their failure to comply with CCP § 1008 (b). The Court does not believe sanctions are warranted and declines to impose any.
Venue: The following facts are undisputed: (a) Plaintiff purchased the phone in Modesto, California, which is part of Stanislaus County, (b) the phone caught fire in the state of Ohio, and (c) Plaintiff also resides in Stanislaus County.
The Court finds that venue is proper in Los Angeles County. “[V]enue is determined at the outset of the action from the original complaint. Therefore, venue based on the residence of a bona fide defendant remains proper, even though that defendant is later dismissed from the action.” (See Weil & Brown, Cal. Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (The Rutter Group 2019) ¶3:489; citing Ferguson v. Koerber (1924) 69 CA 47, 49.) SCT was a resident of Los Angeles County and therefore venue was proper at the outset of the action.
Defendants argue that SCT was an improper defendant and rely on the fact that SCT’s motion for summary judgment was granted. However, the standard for determining whether a defendant has been named in bad faith for the purposes of venue is much different than the standard for summary judgment. The test for bad faith is whether a complaint states a cause of action against that defendant. “A defendant's residence for venue purposes may only be disregarded when the joinder is sham, against one having no real interest in the litigation, who is joined solely for the purpose of achieving venue in a particular county.” Buran Equipment Co. v. Superior Court (1987) 190 Cal.App.3d 1662, 1666. The May 7th order found that Plaintiff’s claims against SCT were not made in bad faith. The granting of summary judgment does not prove that Plaintiff’s claims were a sham. Therefore, the Court finds that SCT was not improperly joined for the purposes of venue.
If venue is determined at the time of the renewed motion, the Court finds that venue is still proper in Los Angeles County. If a foreign corporation does not have a principal place of business in California, then venue is proper in any California county the plaintiff may choose. Easton v Superior Court (1970) 12 Cal.App.3d 243, 246–247. Defendants are foreign corporations who do not have a principal place of business in California. Defendants cite to CCP § 395, which states that in a personal injury action based on negligence venue is proper where the injury occurs or where the defendant resides. However, Plaintiff was not injured in Stanislaus County, he was injured in Ohio.
CCP § 397(c): Even though venue is proper, the court has discretionary authority to transfer the case “[w]hen the convenience of [nonparty] witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change.” (CCP § 397(c).) To transfer a case based on convenience of witnesses under § 397(c) a party “must show (1) the names of each witness, (2) the expected testimony of each witness, and (3) facts showing why the attendance of said witnesses at trial will be inconvenient and why the ends of justice would be served by a transfer.” Stute v. Burinda (1981) 123 Cal.App.3d Supp. 11, 17.
Defendants have identified more than seventy-five (75) potential witnesses who live near Modesto, which is more than 300 miles away from Los Angeles. (Joseph Jones Decl.) Many of these potential witnesses were identified through Plaintiff’s social media. For example, fifty-four (54) witnesses will potentially testify as to their interactions with Plaintiff; eight (8) witnesses are possible credibility witnesses regarding Plaintiff’s past criminal convictions; and twenty-two (22) witnesses could provide testimony as to the cause and treatment of Plaintiff’s injuries. (Ibid.)
It is true that Defendants fail to explicitly state what the witnesses testimony will be. It is also true that Defendants merely list what they believe these witnesses will testify to as currently, no depositions or other discovery has been conducted as to these witnesses. It is unlikely that Defendants will call many of these witnesses (and the trial court will undoubtedly has some input on these issues). However, Defendants are likely to call upon a significant number of these witnesses and for these witnesses it would be inconvenient to travel more than 300 miles.
The Court notes that it is not aware of a single witness who resides in Los Angeles.
The Court believes that a significant number of witnesses would be inconvenienced by venue in Los Angeles County and now that SCT no longer a party to the action, it does not appear that Los Angeles County is a convenient forum for anyone.
Conclusion: Defendants’ motion to transfer venue is GRANTED.