This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/22/2021 at 00:40:07 (UTC).

DANIELLE BENCHIMOL VS AMY COTTELEER, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 05/04/2021 DANIELLE BENCHIMOL filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against AMY COTTELEER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******6741

  • Filing Date:

    05/04/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

BENCHIMOL DANIELLE

Defendants

LOS ANGELES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT GROUP AN UNKNOWN ENTITY TYPE

COTTELEER AMY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

KELLENER JOSEPH WIND

Defendant Attorney

SAFARIAN HARRY A.

 

Court Documents

Complaint

5/4/2021: Complaint

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

5/4/2021: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Civil Case Cover Sheet

5/4/2021: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

5/4/2021: Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

Notice of Case Management Conference

5/24/2021: Notice of Case Management Conference

Case Management Statement

8/24/2021: Case Management Statement

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER DISMISSING PO...) OF 08/10/2021, STIPULATION AND ORDER

8/10/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER DISMISSING PO...) OF 08/10/2021, STIPULATION AND ORDER

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER DISMISSING PORTIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

8/10/2021: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER DISMISSING PORTIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER DISMISSING PO...)

8/10/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER DISMISSING PO...)

Answer

8/6/2021: Answer

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

8/6/2021: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

8/5/2021: Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

9/1/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE

9/17/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO STRIKE (NOT ANTI-SLAPP) - WITHOUT DEMURR...)

10/5/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO STRIKE (NOT ANTI-SLAPP) - WITHOUT DEMURR...)

Order - RULING RE MOTION TO STRIKE

10/5/2021: Order - RULING RE MOTION TO STRIKE

Amended Complaint - FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

10/7/2021: Amended Complaint - FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

5 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/26/2022
  • Hearing01/26/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 78 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Case Management Conference

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  • 10/07/2021
  • DocketFirst Amended Complaint; Filed by Danielle Benchimol (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/05/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 78; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 10/05/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 78; Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer - Held

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  • 10/05/2021
  • DocketRuling Re Motion to Strike; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/05/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurr...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/17/2021
  • DocketOpposition (OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE); Filed by Danielle Benchimol (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/01/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 78; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 09/01/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by Amy Cotteleer (Defendant)

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2 More Docket Entries
  • 08/10/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order Re Stipulation and [Proposed] Order Dismissing Po...) of 08/10/2021, Stipulation and Order); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/10/2021
  • DocketStipulation and Order (DISMISSING PORTIONS OF THE COMPLAINT); Filed by Amy Cotteleer (Defendant)

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  • 08/06/2021
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Amy Cotteleer (Defendant)

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  • 08/06/2021
  • DocketNotice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Amy Cotteleer (Defendant)

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  • 08/05/2021
  • DocketMotion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer; Filed by Amy Cotteleer (Defendant)

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  • 05/24/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/04/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/04/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Danielle Benchimol (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/04/2021
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Danielle Benchimol (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/04/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Danielle Benchimol (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: 21STCV16741 Hearing Date: October 5, 2021 Dept: 78

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Superior\r\nCourt of California

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County\r\nof Los Angeles

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Department\r\n78

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DANIELLE BENCHIMOL;

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Plaintiff,

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vs.

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AMY COTTELEER, et\r\n al.;

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Defendants.

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Case No.:

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21STCV16741

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Hearing Date:

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October 5, 2021

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[TENTATIVE] RULING RE:

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DEFENDANT\r\n AMY COTTELEER’S\r\n MOTION TO STRIKE

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Defendant Amy Cotteleer’s Motion to Strike is GRANTED as\r\nto attorney fees, without leave to amend, and DENIED as to punitive damages.

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Factual Background

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This is a habitability action. The Complaint\r\nalleges as follows. Plaintiff Danielle Benchimol (“Benchimol”) is a resident\r\nand tenant at the real property located at 414 N. Orange Dr., Los Angeles, CA\r\n(“Property”). (Compl., ¶ 1.) Defendant Amy Cotteleer (“Cotteleer”) owns the\r\nProperty, and Defendant Los Angeles Property Management manages the day to day activities\r\nand conditions of the Property. (Compl., ¶¶ 4-5.)

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Benchimol and third parties, including the\r\nLos Angeles Housing and Development Community Investment Department (“LA\r\nHousing”), complained about or gave notice of Defendants’ violations. These violations\r\nincluded leaking, non-functional ventilation, rubbish, electrical wiring not up\r\nto code, filth, and general non-maintenance. (Compl., ¶¶ 12-14.) LA Housing\r\ngave Defendants until May 25, 2021 to abate these conditions. (Compl., ¶ 16.)\r\nDefendants have failed to remediate these habitability violations and have\r\nretaliated against Plaintiff for her complaints about these conditions.\r\n(Compl., ¶¶ 16-17.) “Defendants are intentionally disregarding the property in\r\nan effort to maximize their profits in complete disregard for Plaintiff’s\r\nrights in law and equity.” (Compl., ¶ 18.)

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procedural history

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Benchimol filed the Complaint on May 4, 2021,\r\nalleging 6 causes of action:

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  1. Breach of Warranty of Habitability

  2. Breach of the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

  3. Nuisance

  4. Professional Negligence

  5. Negligence

  6. Breach of Contract

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On August 5, 2021, Cotteleer filed the instant\r\nMotion to Strike.

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On August 10, 2021, pursuant to the parties’\r\nstipulation, the Court dismissed the fourth cause of action for professional\r\nnegligence.

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On September 17, 2021, Benchimol filed an\r\nOpposition.

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No Reply has been filed.

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Discussion

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  1. MOTION\r\nTO STRIKE

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Any\r\nparty, within the time allowed to respond to a pleading, may serve and file a\r\nnotice of motion to strike the whole or any part thereof. (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n435(b)(1)). The notice of motion to strike a portion of a pleading shall quote\r\nin full the portions sought to be stricken except where the motion is to strike\r\nan entire paragraph, cause of action, count or defense. (California Rules of\r\nCourt Rule 3.1322.)

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The\r\ngrounds for a motion to strike shall appear on the face of the challenged\r\npleading or form any matter of which the court is required to take judicial\r\nnotice. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437(a)). The court then may strike out any\r\nirrelevant, false, or improper matter inserted in any pleading and strike out\r\nall or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws\r\nof this state, a court rule, or an order of the court. (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n436.) When the defect which justifies striking a complaint is capable of cure,\r\nthe court should allow leave to amend. (Perlman v. Municipal Court (1979)\r\n99 Cal.App.3d 568, 575.)

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Cotteleer\r\nmoves to strike Benchimol’s claim for punitive damages in paragraph 51, page 7,\r\nlines 20-24 and the Prayer, item 3. Cotteleer also moves to strike the request\r\nfor attorney fees in the Prayer, item 5 (erroneously listed as item 3).

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  1. PUNITIVE\r\nDAMAGES

    Punitive\r\ndamages are allowed in non-contract cases when a defendant is guilty of\r\n“oppression, fraud, or malice . . . .” (Civ. Code § 3294.) The terms are\r\ndefined as:

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1. \r\n“Malice”\r\nmeans conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the\r\nplaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a\r\nwillful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.

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  1. “Oppression”\r\nmeans despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in\r\nconscious disregard of that person's rights.

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  1. “Fraud”\r\nmeans an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material\r\nfact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of\r\nthereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing\r\ninjury.

    Something\r\nmore than the mere commission of a tort is always required for punitive\r\ndamages. (Taylor v. Superior Court (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890,\r\n894.) Proof of negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness is\r\ninsufficient to warrant an award of punitive damages. (Dawes v. Sup.Ct. (Mardian) (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 82, 88–89.) Punitive\r\ndamages may be recovered in a personal injury action if the plaintiff pleads\r\nand proves that the defendant acted with the state of mind described as\r\n“conscious disregard” of the potential dangers to others. (Pfeifer v. John\r\nCrane, Inc. (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 1270, 1299.) When malice is\r\nbased on a defendant’s conscious disregard of Plaintiff’s rights, the conduct\r\nmust be both despicable and willful. (College Hospital v. Superior\r\nCourt (1994) 8 Cal.4th 794, 713.)

    Benchimol\r\npleads that Cotteleer knew of the Property’s defective conditions, including\r\nleaking, inadequate ventilation, and other unsafe and dangerous conditions, and\r\nthat Cotteleer failed to repair them. (Compl., ¶¶\r\n11-18, 37.)

    This factual scenario is sufficient to\r\nsupport a claim for punitive damages at the pleading stage. (Spinks v. Equity Residential Briarwood Apartments (2009)\r\n171 Cal.App.4th 1004, 1055 [to support punitive damages, the complaint\r\nmust allege ultimate facts of the defendant’s oppression, fraud, or malice”]\r\n(internal quotations and citation omitted); Stoiber\r\nv. Honeychuck (1980) 101 Cal.App.3d 903, 920\r\n[landlord’s failure to repair can support a claim for punitive damages].)

    The motion to strike is DENIED as to punitive\r\ndamages.

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  1. ATTORNEY\r\nFEES

    Attorney’s\r\nfees are specifically provided by statute or by agreement between the parties. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1021.)

    Benchimol has failed to plead a statute or agreement entitling her\r\nto attorney’s fees in the Complaint. In opposition, Benchimol makes no argument\r\nregarding attorney fees.

    The motion to strike is GRANTED as to attorney fees, without leave\r\nto amend.

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Cotteleer to provide notice.

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DATED: October 5, 20201 ________________________________

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Hon.\r\nRobert S. Draper

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Judge\r\nof the Superior Court

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