This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/28/2019 at 10:25:13 (UTC).

DANNY TREBOLD VS ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES (AGRUS)

Case Summary

On 10/24/2017 DANNY TREBOLD filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES AGRUS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STUART M. RICE. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2410

  • Filing Date:

    10/24/2017

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STUART M. RICE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

TREBOLD DANNY

Defendant

ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES...

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

JR. ARTHUR W. FRANCIS

Defendant Attorney

JEROME M. JACKSON ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Order - Dismissal

10/30/2018: Order - Dismissal

Minute Order

10/29/2018: Minute Order

Order to Show Cause (Hearing)

8/29/2018: Order to Show Cause (Hearing)

Order to Show Cause (Hearing)

8/29/2018: Order to Show Cause (Hearing)

Notice

8/28/2018: Notice

Substitution of Attorney

8/28/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Proof of Service by Mail

8/24/2018: Proof of Service by Mail

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

8/16/2018: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Request

8/7/2018: Request

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

7/16/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Notice of Case Management Conference

7/5/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/30/2018
  • DocketOrder - Dismissal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/29/2018
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B, Stuart M. Rice, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Held

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  • 10/29/2018
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Legacy Event Type : OSC-Failure to File Request for Dism)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/17/2018
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Unknown Event Type

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  • 09/07/2018
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Case Management Conference

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  • 09/07/2018
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2018-09-07 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/06/2018
  • Docketat 08:29 AM in Department B; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

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  • 09/06/2018
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2018-09-06 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/29/2018
  • DocketOSC-RE Other (Miscellaneous); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/29/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re HEARING

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26 More Docket Entries
  • 02/13/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/13/2018
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/13/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/24/2018
  • DocketNotice of Hearing on Demurrer; Filed by ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES... (Defendant)

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  • 12/12/2017
  • DocketFirst Amended Complaint; Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by DANNY TREBOLD (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****2410 Hearing Date: May 18, 2022 Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

DANNY TREBOLD,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

****2410

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: May 18, 2022

Moving Parties: Plaintiff Danny Trebold

Responding Parties: Defendant AGRUS

Motion for Leave to Amend Fifth Amended Complaint

The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

RULING

The motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to file his Sixth Amended Complaint within five days.

BACKGROUND

On October 24, 2017, Danny Trebold (self-represented) filed a complaint against Allianz Global Risks United States (AGRUS) for fraud. The “cause of action” was not attached to the complaint as is required by the form complaint at para. 8.

On December 12, 2017, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which did not have the attachment for a cause of action for fraud.

On February 13, 2018, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint.

On August 28, 2018, plaintiff filed a notice of unconditional settlement along with a substitution of attorney.

On October 30, 2018, the case was dismissed pursuant to CCP 664.6.

On August 15, 2019, plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney. He is now representing himself.

On August 20, 2019, the court granted plaintiff’s ex parte application to vacate the dismissal.

On October 8, 2019, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer to the SAC with leave to amend.

On October 8, 2019, plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint.

On February 20, 2020, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer to the TAC with leave to amend to allow plaintiff to plead a different cause of action.

On March 10, 2020, plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended Complaint.

On July 31, 2020, plaintiff filed a Fifth Amended Complaint.

On February 11, 2021, the court (Judge Nishimoto) sustained without leave to amend defendants National Surety Corporation, Allianz Resolution Management, and Allianz Reinsurance of America’s demurrer to the Fifth Amended Complaint. The court overruled the demurrer as to the 1st and 2nd causes of action as to AGRUS and Fireman’s Fund.

On February 26, 2021, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to compel further discovery responses.

On April 13, 2021, National Surety Corporation, Allianz Resolution Management, and Allianz Reinsurance of America were dismissed without prejudice.

On June 22, 2021, the court denied plaintiff’s motion for issue and evidence sanctions.

On March 1, 2022, the court denied as moot plaintiff’s motion for order to deem facts of admission admitted.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

Under CCP 473(a)(1) provides, in relevant part: “The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading or proceeding by adding or striking out the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party, or a mistake in any other respect; and may, upon like terms, enlarge the time for answer or demurrer. The court may likewise, in its discretion, after notice to the adverse party, allow, upon any terms as may be just, an amendment to any pleading or proceeding in other particulars; and may upon like terms allow an answer to be made after the time limited by this code.”

“This discretion should be exercised liberally in favor of amendments, for judicial policy favors resolution of all disputed matters in the same lawsuit.” Kittredge Sports Co. v. Superior Court (1989) 213 Cal. App. 3d 1045, 1047.

Under CRC Rule 3.1324(a), a motion to amend a pleading shall (1) include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered to differentiate it from previous pleadings or amendments; (2) state what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted, if any, and where, by page, paragraph and line number, the deleted allegations are located; and (3) state what allegations are proposed to be added to the previous pleading, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number, the additional allegations are located.

Under CRC Rule 3.1324(b), a separate declaration must accompany the motion and must specify (1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.

Even if a good amendment is proposed in proper form, a long, unwarranted and unexcused delay in presenting it may be a good reason for denial. In most cases, the factors for timeliness are: (1) lack of diligence in discovering the facts or in offering the amendment after knowledge of them; and (2) the effect of the delay on the adverse party. If the party seeking the amendment has been dilatory, and the delay has prejudiced the opposing party, the judge has discretion to deny leave to amend. Hirsa v. Superior Court (1981) 118 Cal. App. 3d 486, 490. Prejudice exists where the amendment would require delaying the trial, resulting in loss of critical evidence, or added costs of preparation such as an increased burden of discovery. Magpali v. Farmers Group, Inc. (1996) 48 Cal. App. 4th 471, 486-488.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff requests leave to amend the Fifth Amended Complaint to add National Surety Corporation as a defendant and to replace for each cause of action “Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company” with “National Surety Corporation” and to add “Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company was the insurer’s claims administrator.” Plaintiff argues that defendant National Surety Corporation would not be prejudiced and that the other defendants and defense counsel were aware that NSC was the insurance carrier identified on the Worker’s Compensation settlement agreement, as pointed out in their summary judgment motion but “never said a word about it, until now.” Plaintiff asserts that defendants are part of the same group of insurance companies, which is a “vast array of insurance companies, known as The Allianz Group” and that they share the same corporate office in Chicago.

In opposition, defendants note that the court sustained a demurrer without leave to amend as to the Fifth Amended Complaint as to defendants National Surety Corporation, Allianz Resolution Management, and Allianz Reinsurance of America.

The above defendants were dismissed without prejudice.

The court notes that in their motion for summary judgment defendants now admit to the role of National Surety Corporation as workers’ compensation insurance carrier for Shurgard, the company where plaintiff was employed when he was injured.

The court finds that plaintiff has complied with CRC Rule 3.1324. In light of the liberal policy of allowing amendment, the motion is GRANTED.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of this ruling.



Case Number: ****2410 Hearing Date: March 1, 2022 Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

DANNY TREBOLD,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

****2410

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: May 1, 2022

Moving Parties: Plaintiff Danny Trebold

Responding Party: Defendant AGRUS

Motion for Order to Deem Requested Facts of Admission Admitted

The court considered the moving and defense counsel’s declaration.

RULING

The motion is DENIED as MOOT.

BACKGROUND

On October 24, 2017, Danny Trebold (self-represented) filed a complaint against Allianz Global Risks United States (AGRUS) for fraud. The “cause of action” was not attached to the complaint as is required by the form complaint at para. 8.

On December 12, 2017, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which did not have the attachment for a cause of action for fraud.

On February 13, 2018, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint.

On August 28, 2018, plaintiff filed a notice of unconditional settlement along with a substitution of attorney.

On October 30, 2018, the case was dismissed pursuant to CCP 664.6.

On August 15, 2019, plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney. He is now representing himself.

On August 20, 2019, the court granted plaintiff’s ex parte application to vacate the dismissal.

On October 8, 2019, plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint for fraud by concealment.

On February 20, 2020, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer with leave to amend to allow plaintiff an opportunity to amend to plead a different cause of action.

On March 10, 2020, plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended Complaint for (1) general negligence, (2) bad faith, and (3) intentional tort.

On July 21, 2020, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer with leave to amend as to the 1st and 2nd cause of action because plaintiff failed to clearly allege facts against defendant and sustained without leave to amend the 3rd cause of action.

On July 31, 2020, plaintiff filed a Fifth Amended Complaint for (1) general negligence and (2) bad faith, adding defendants National Surety Corporation, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, and Allianz Resolution Reinsurance of America, Inc.

On February 26, 2021, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to compel further discovery responses.

On June 22, 2021, the court denied plaintiff’s motion for issue and evidence sanctions.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

Pursuant to CCP 2033.280(b), a party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010). “Failure to timely respond to RFA does not result in automatic admissions. Rather, the propounder of the RFA must ‘move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction’ under 2023.010 et seq.” Weil & Brown, Civ. Proc. Before Trial, 8:1370, citing CCP 2033.280(b). The court “shall” grant the motion to deem RFA admitted, “unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220.” CCP 2033.280(c).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff Danny Trebold requests that the court deem admitted the facts stated in the Requests for Admissions, sets three and four, as against defendants.

Plaintiff contends that on January 14, 2022, he received untimely, non-compliant responses to his admission requests and form interrogatories, sets three and four, as there were no verifications as required by CCP 2033.240. He contends that he had sent a letter to defense counsel Jerome Jackson on November 16, 2021, stating that he would be receiving sets three and four and that they are the same as sets one and two because the responses to sets one and two did not include verifications, and to “make sure that the next set of responses comply fully with procedure.”

In a responsive declaration, defense counsel states that when he served his clients’ responses, verifications were inadvertently omitted. Defendants served verifications on February 18, 2022.

As mentioned by plaintiff, he had previously served requests and defendants failed to serve verifications. When plaintiff served the third and fourth sets, he noted to defense counsel as to the defects in defendants’ previous responses and requested that defendants fully comply with procedure. Defendant made the same error of failing to serve verifications, although purportedly inadvertently.

As defendants have served verifications, the motion is DENIED as MOOT.

Under CCP 2023.030(a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Under CCP 2023.010, an example of the misuse of the discovery process is “(d) Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery.”

It is mandatory that the court impose a monetary sanction on the party or attorney whose failure to serve a timely response to requests for admission necessitated a motion to deem them admitted. CCP 2033.280(c).

Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1348(a) states: “The court may award sanctions under the Discovery Act in favor of a party who files a motion to compel discovery, even though no opposition to the motion was filed, or opposition to the motion was withdrawn, or the requested discovery was provided to the moving party after the motion was filed.”

Plaintiff requests sanctions in the amount of $400 as to each defendant and $200 as to defense counsel. Although sanctions appear to be warranted, as plaintiff is self-represented, he is not entitled to sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of the ruling.



Case Number: ****2410    Hearing Date: February 11, 2021    Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

DANNY TREBOLD,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

****2410

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES (AGRUS),

Defendant.

Hearing Date: February 11, 2021

Moving Parties: Defendants AGRUS, National Surety Corporation, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Allianz Resolution Management, and Allianz Reinsurance of America, Inc.

Responding Party: Plaintiff Danny Trebold

Demurrer to Fifth Amended Complaint

The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

RULING

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to defendants National Surety Corporation, Allianz Resolution Management, and Allianz Reinsurance of America. The demurrer is OVERRULED as to the 1st and 2nd causes of action as to AGRUS and Fireman’s Fund in the Fifth Amended Complaint. Defendants are to file an answer within ten days.

BACKGROUND

On October 24, 2017, Danny Trebold (self-represented) filed a complaint against Allianz Global Risks United States (AGRUS) for fraud. The “cause of action” was not attached to the complaint as is required by the form complaint at para. 8.

On December 12, 2017, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which did not have the attachment for a cause of action for fraud.

On February 13, 2018, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint.

On August 28, 2018, plaintiff filed a notice of unconditional settlement along with a substitution of attorney.

On October 30, 2018, the case was dismissed pursuant to CCP ;664.6.

On August 15, 2019, plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney. He is now representing himself.

On August 20, 2019, the court granted plaintiff’s ex parte application to vacate the dismissal.

On October 8, 2019, plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint for fraud by concealment.

On February 20, 2020, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer with leave to amend to allow plaintiff an opportunity to amend to plead a different cause of action.

On March 10, 2020, plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended Complaint for (1) general negligence, (2) bad faith, and (3) intentional tort.

On July 21, 2020, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer with leave to amend as to the 1st and 2nd cause of action because plaintiff failed to clearly allege facts against defendant and sustained without leave to amend the 3rd cause of action.

On July 31, 2020, plaintiff filed a Fifth Amended Complaint for (1) general negligence and (2) bad faith, adding defendants National Surety Corporation, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, and Allianz Resolution Reinsurance of America, Inc.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228. “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.” SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905. “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.” Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.

DISCUSSION

Defendants AGRUS, National Surety Corporation, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Allianz Resolution Management, and Allianz Reinsurance of America, Inc. demur to the Fifth Amended Complaint on the grounds that the 1st and 2nd causes of action fail to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action and are uncertain.

The court notes that the court had sustained defendant AGRUS’s demurrer with leave to amend as to the 1st and 2nd causes of action in the Fourth Amended Complaint because plaintiff failed to clearly allege facts against defendant AGRUS.

In the Fifth Amended Complaint, plaintiff adds four defendants. He alleges the same as in the Fourth Amended Complaint but now refers to “defendants” in the plural and specifically names Fireman’s Fund and AGRUS and their involvement and purported wrongdoing.

The Fifth Amended Complaint alleges that in July 2015, he suffered damages in the form of wrongful debt, as a result of defendants’ conduct. In September 2015, plaintiff began to incur monetary damage, as a result of the wrongful debt. In December 2011, plaintiff and Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. reached a worker’s compensation settlement. During the course of litigation for the worker’s compensation case, plaintiff received medical care that was paid for by Medicare, a secondary payer. Those conditional payments were the liability of defendant(s). In July 2015, plaintiff received a notice from the U.S. Treasury Dept. regarding Medicare’s claim. The Treasury Dept. notified plaintiff that it was acting on behalf of the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services to collect money from him for the Medicare debt. Plaintiff and his attorney apprised the Treasury Department and their collection agency that the debt was the sole responsibility of the industrial carrier. That effort had no impact.

Plaintiff further alleges that in September 2015, the Treasury Dept. began withholding a portion of plaintiff’s monthly Social Security disability benefits to repay the debt. When plaintiff asked Medicare why they were charging him with the debt that belonged to Fireman’s Fund, they replied that they had not received a response to their inquiry and billing from them. Plaintiff’s attorney notified Fireman’s Fund and said he would take legal action against them if they did not take responsibility for the Medicare claim. They did nothing. Plaintiff’s attorney took action by way of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, but the Board ruled that they had no jurisdiction in the matter because Medicare failed to file a lien. Plaintiff then wrote a letter to Health and Human Services, which fully explained the case and the improprieties being conducted by the Medicare agency. That effort resulted in a letter from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which referred to a report received from AGRUS. The report was deceptive in that it did not divulge the fact that plaintiff received no money for Medicare conditional payments. In Medicare’s eyes, the report justified CMS to continue charging the debt to plaintiff, so plaintiff’s ongoing financial damage continued. Defendant failed to uphold their duty of reporting to Medicare and servicing their claim.

Plaintiff also alleges that “[r]ecords , and action undertaken by AGRUS, suggest that contract liability may have been shared/transferred between the defendants. All defendants appear to be part of the ‘Allianz Group.’ It appears that Fireman’s Fund is a subsidiary of AGRUS.”

Worker’s compensation exclusivity

Defendants argue that the 1st and 2nd causes of action are barred by the exclusive remedy provisions under the Workers’ Compensation Act because the causes of action are collateral to or derivative of a personal “injury sustained and arising out of the course of employment” and the reporting to Medicare involves a normal part of the worker’s compensation claims process, citing to Charles J. Vacanti, M.D., Inc. v. State Comp. Ins. Fund (2001) 24 Cal. 4th 800.

The court finds that the Fifth Amended Complaint is not barred by worker’s compensation exclusivity on its face. Plaintiff alleges that plaintiff’s attorney took action by way of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, but that the Board ruled that they had no jurisdiction in the matter because Medicare failed to file a lien.

Defendants National Surety Corporation, Allianz Resolution Management, Allianz Reinsurance of America

There are no allegations of wrongdoing or involvement whatsoever as to these additional defendants. Plaintiff only alleges that they all “appear” to be part of the “Allianz Group” and that contract liability “may” have been shared/transferred between the defendants. As argued by defendants, plaintiff’s allegations are based on conjecture and speculation and not ultimate facts as to these defendants.

Thus, the court finds that the allegations are insufficient to constitute causes of action against the additional defendants (except Fireman’s Fund).

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to defendants National Surety Corporation, Allianz Resolution Management, and Allianz Reinsurance of America.

1st cause of action for negligence

Defendant Allianz argues that plaintiff has failed to allege facts sufficient to hold it liable for the conduct or omissions of its alleged subsidiary, Fireman’s Fund.

In opposition, plaintiff argues that the allegations are sufficient.

The court finds that the allegations are sufficient as to AGRUS and Fireman’s Fund. Plaintiff identifies both entities and their respective duties and wrongdoing. Plaintiff alleges that through the workers’ compensation settlement, defendant Fireman’s Fund had a duty to properly report to Medicare whether plaintiff received conditional payments and that it failed to do so. AGRUS provided a deceptive report to Medicare. As a result, plaintiff suffered damages based on defendants’ omissions.

The demurrer is OVERRULED.

2nd cause of action for bad faith

Plaintiff alleges that this case pertains to a worker’s compensation insurance contract and that he is an intended beneficiary of the contract. Defendants were obligated to service the contract. They failed to do so in a fair and proper manner. Defendant did not service Medicare’s claim and they serviced the claim by filing a fraudulent report, which culminated in causing monetary damage to plaintiff. Plaintiff reiterates the allegations from above. Defendants had a duty of good faith in the contract, which required them to perform their duties in a fair manner, not do anything to harm or damage another party to the contract, and not interfere with another party’s right to enjoy the intended benefits of the contract.

The allegations are sufficient.

The demurrer is OVERRULED.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of the ruling.



Case Number: ****2410    Hearing Date: July 22, 2020    Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

DANNY TREBOLD,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

****2410

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES (AGRUS),

Defendant.

Hearing Date: July 21, 2020

Moving Parties: Defendant Allianz Global Risks

Responding Party: Plaintiff Danny Trebold

Demurrer to Third Amended Complaint

The court considered the moving and opposition papers.

RULING

The demurrer is OVERRULED as to the 1st and 2nd causes of action and SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to the 3rd cause of action. Defendant is ordered to file an answer within five days.

BACKGROUND

On October 24, 2017, Danny Trebold (self-represented) filed a complaint against Allianz Global Risks United States (AGRUS) for fraud. The “cause of action” was not attached to the complaint as is required by the form complaint at para. 8.

On December 12, 2017, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which did not have the attachment for a cause of action for fraud.

On February 13, 2018, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint.

On August 28, 2018, plaintiff filed a notice of unconditional settlement along with a substitution of attorney.

On October 30, 2018, the case was dismissed pursuant to CCP ;664.6.

On August 15, 2019, plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney. He is now representing himself.

On August 20, 2019, the court granted plaintiff’s ex parte application to vacate the dismissal.

On October 8, 2019, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer to the SAC with leave to amend.

On October 8, 2019, plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint.

On February 20, 2020, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer to the TAC with leave to amend to allow plaintiff to plead a different cause of action.

On March 10, 2020, plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended Complaint for (1) negligence, (2) bad faith, and (3) intentional tort,

LEGAL AUTHORITY

When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228. “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.” SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905. “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.” Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.

DISCUSSION

Defendant demurs to the Third Amended Complaint on the grounds that it fails to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action and is uncertain.

In the Fourth Amended Complaint, plaintiff alleges that in July 2015, he suffered damages in the form of wrongful debt, as a result of defendant’s conduct. In September 2015, plaintiff began to incur financial property damage, as a result of the wrongful debt. As background, in December 2011, plaintiff and Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. (subsidiary of defendant) reached a worker’s compensation settlement. Plaintiff received medical care that was paid for by Medicare, a secondary payer. Those conditional payments were the liability of defendant. In July 2015, plaintiff received a notice from the U.S. Treasury Dept. regarding Medicare’s claim. The Treasury Dept. notified plaintiff that it was acting on behalf of the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services to collect money from him for the Medicare debt. In September 2015, the Treasury Dept. began withholding a portion of plaintiff’s monthly Social Security disability benefits to repay the debt. When plaintiff asked Medicare why they were charging him with the debt that belonged to defendant, they replied that they had not received a response to their inquiry and billing from defendant. Plaintiff wrote a letter to Health and Human Services, which fully explained the case and the improprieties being conducted by the Medicare agency. That effort resulted in a letter from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which referred to a report from defendant that was deceptive in that it did not divulge the fact that plaintiff received no money for Medicare conditional payments. Defendant failed to uphold their duty to report to Medicare. Plaintiff’s attorney took action by way of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board but the Board ruled that they had no jurisdiction in the matter because Medicare failed to file a lien.

1st cause of action for negligence

Defendant argues that plaintiff has failed to allege facts against defendant to impose liability on it for the acts or omissions of Fireman’s Fund, other than alleging that Fireman’s Fund was its subsidiary.

Defendant also argues that this claim is barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Worker’s Compensation Act because it is collateral to or derivative of a personal “injury sustained and arising out of the course of employment” and the reporting to Medicare involves a normal part of the worker’s compensation claims process.

In opposition, plaintiff contends that it used the term “subsidiary” because that is how the California Department of Insurance described them and their parent company when they became wholly owned by AGRUS. Plaintiff asserts that the CDI does not show Fireman’s Fund as a separate legal entity. Further, plaintiff argues that as to worker’s compensation exclusivity, this case does not involve a breach of labor law. Rather, it is a case about violations in servicing of a contract.

The court finds that the allegations are sufficient that through the workers’ compensation settlement, defendant had a duty to properly report to Medicare whether plaintiff received conditional payments and that it failed to do so. As a result, plaintiff suffered damages based on defendant’s omissions. Defendant has not shown that the cause of action is barred by worker’s compensation exclusivity.

The demurrer is OVERRULED.

2nd cause of action for bad faith

Plaintiff alleges that defendant had a duty of good faith in the contract, which required it to perform their duties in a fair manner, not do anything to harm or damage another party to the contract, and not interfere with another party’s right to enjoy the intended benefits of the contract.

The allegations are sufficient.

The demurrer is OVERRULED.

3rd cause of action for intentional tort

Defendant argues that this claim is uncertain, and that if he is attempting to allege fraud, it is deficient.

The allegations are insufficient.

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.



Case Number: ****2410    Hearing Date: February 20, 2020    Dept: SWB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

DANNY TREBOLD,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

****2410

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES (AGRUS),

Defendant.

Hearing Date: February 20, 2020

Moving Parties: Defendant Allianz Global Risks

Responding Party: Plaintiff Danny Trebold

Demurrer to Third Amended Complaint

The court considered the moving, opposition, reply, and supplemental opposition papers.

RULING

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS LEAVE TO AMEND. The court will allow plaintiff an opportunity to amend to plead a different cause of action.

BACKGROUND

On October 24, 2017, Danny Trebold (self-represented) filed a complaint against Allianz Global Risks United States (AGRUS) for fraud. The “cause of action” was not attached to the complaint as is required by the form complaint at para. 8.

On December 12, 2017, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which did not have the attachment for a cause of action for fraud.

On February 13, 2018, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint.

On August 28, 2018, plaintiff filed a notice of unconditional settlement along with a substitution of attorney.

On October 30, 2018, the case was dismissed pursuant to CCP ;664.6.

On August 15, 2019, plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney. He is now representing himself.

On August 20, 2019, the court granted plaintiff’s ex parte application to vacate the dismissal.

On October 8, 2019, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer to the SAC with leave to amend.

On October 8, 2019, plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228. “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.” SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905. “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.” Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.

DISCUSSION

Defendant demurs to the Third Amended Complaint on the grounds that it fails to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action and is uncertain.

Using a form complaint, in the TAC, plaintiff asserts a cause of action for fraud. He alleges that around/before July 2016, defendant committed fraud by way of concealment. Defendant concealed a material fact in their reporting to the Medicare administration about details concerning a worker’s compensation case that had been settled between plaintiff and defendant. The material fact, which defendant had a duty to disclose, was that plaintiff did not receive any money from the settlement that was owed to Medicare by defendant. The concealment led the Medicare administration to transfer the debt liability from defendant to plaintiff. The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, which oversees the Medicare administration, submitted the matter to the U.S. Treasury Dept. for debt collection. The U.S. Treasury Dept. collected on the debt by withholding a portion of plaintiff’s monthly Social Security disability benefits.

The elements of a fraud claim are (1) misrepresentation; (2) knowledge of falsity; (3) intent to deceive; and (4) reliance and resulting damage. Vega v. Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (2004) 121 Cal. App. 4th 282, 290.

“[T]he elements of a cause of action for fraud based on concealment are: ‘“(1) the defendant must have concealed or suppressed a material fact, (2) the defendant must have been under a duty to disclose the fact to the plaintiff, (3) the defendant must have intentionally concealed or suppressed the fact with the intent to defraud the plaintiff, (4) the plaintiff must have been unaware of the fact and would not have acted as he did if he had known of the concealed or suppressed fact, and (5) as a result of the concealment or suppression of the fact, the plaintiff must have sustained damage.’” Kaldenbach v. Mutual of Omaha Life Ins. Co. (2009) 178 Cal. App. 4th 830, 850 (citations omitted). Generally speaking, there are four circumstances in which nondisclosure or concealment may constitute actionable fraud: (1) when the defendant is in a fiduciary relationship with the plaintiff; (2) when the defendant had exclusive knowledge of material facts not known to the plaintiff; (3) when the defendant actively conceals a material fact from the plaintiff; and (4) when the defendant makes partial representations but also suppresses some material facts. OCM Principal Opportunities Fund v. CIBC World Markets Corp. (2007)157 Cal. App. 4th 835, 859.

“To withstand demurrer, the facts constituting every element of fraud must be alleged with particularity, and the claim cannot be salvaged by references to the general policy favoring the liberal construction of pleadings.” Goldrich v. Natural Y Surgical Specialties, Inc. (1994) 25 Cal. App. 4th 772, 782. The particularity requirement necessitates pleadings facts that “show how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the representations were tendered.” Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 631, 645.

Defendant argues that the allegations are insufficient to show an intent to defraud plaintiff and that he has not alleged what action he took as a result of the concealed fact or how he justifiably relied on defendant’s conduct.

In opposition, plaintiff concedes that “this case does not meet all of the required elements for a fraud cause of action” and requests leave to file an amended complaint containing a different cause of action.

The court finds that the allegations are insufficient to state a claim for fraud by concealment. The demurrer is thus SUSTAINED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. The court will allow plaintiff to file an amended complaint asserting a different cause of action.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.



Case Number: ****2410    Hearing Date: February 19, 2020    Dept: SWB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

DANNY TREBOLD,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

****2410

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

ALLIANZ GLOBAL RISKS UNITED STATES (AGRUS),

Defendant.

Hearing Date: February 20, 2020

Moving Parties: Defendant Allianz Global Risks

Responding Party: Plaintiff Danny Trebold

Demurrer to Third Amended Complaint

The court considered the moving, opposition, reply, and supplemental opposition papers.

RULING

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS LEAVE TO AMEND. The court will allow plaintiff an opportunity to amend to plead a different cause of action.

BACKGROUND

On October 24, 2017, Danny Trebold (self-represented) filed a complaint against Allianz Global Risks United States (AGRUS) for fraud. The “cause of action” was not attached to the complaint as is required by the form complaint at para. 8.

On December 12, 2017, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which did not have the attachment for a cause of action for fraud.

On February 13, 2018, plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint.

On August 28, 2018, plaintiff filed a notice of unconditional settlement along with a substitution of attorney.

On October 30, 2018, the case was dismissed pursuant to CCP ;664.6.

On August 15, 2019, plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney. He is now representing himself.

On August 20, 2019, the court granted plaintiff’s ex parte application to vacate the dismissal.

On October 8, 2019, the court sustained defendant’s demurrer to the SAC with leave to amend.

On October 8, 2019, plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228. “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.” SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905. “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.” Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.

DISCUSSION

Defendant demurs to the Third Amended Complaint on the grounds that it fails to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action and is uncertain.

Using a form complaint, in the TAC, plaintiff asserts a cause of action for fraud. He alleges that around/before July 2016, defendant committed fraud by way of concealment. Defendant concealed a material fact in their reporting to the Medicare administration about details concerning a worker’s compensation case that had been settled between plaintiff and defendant. The material fact, which defendant had a duty to disclose, was that plaintiff did not receive any money from the settlement that was owed to Medicare by defendant. The concealment led the Medicare administration to transfer the debt liability from defendant to plaintiff. The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, which oversees the Medicare administration, submitted the matter to the U.S. Treasury Dept. for debt collection. The U.S. Treasury Dept. collected on the debt by withholding a portion of plaintiff’s monthly Social Security disability benefits.

The elements of a fraud claim are (1) misrepresentation; (2) knowledge of falsity; (3) intent to deceive; and (4) reliance and resulting damage. Vega v. Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (2004) 121 Cal. App. 4th 282, 290.

“[T]he elements of a cause of action for fraud based on concealment are: ‘“(1) the defendant must have concealed or suppressed a material fact, (2) the defendant must have been under a duty to disclose the fact to the plaintiff, (3) the defendant must have intentionally concealed or suppressed the fact with the intent to defraud the plaintiff, (4) the plaintiff must have been unaware of the fact and would not have acted as he did if he had known of the concealed or suppressed fact, and (5) as a result of the concealment or suppression of the fact, the plaintiff must have sustained damage.’” Kaldenbach v. Mutual of Omaha Life Ins. Co. (2009) 178 Cal. App. 4th 830, 850 (citations omitted). Generally speaking, there are four circumstances in which nondisclosure or concealment may constitute actionable fraud: (1) when the defendant is in a fiduciary relationship with the plaintiff; (2) when the defendant had exclusive knowledge of material facts not known to the plaintiff; (3) when the defendant actively conceals a material fact from the plaintiff; and (4) when the defendant makes partial representations but also suppresses some material facts. OCM Principal Opportunities Fund v. CIBC World Markets Corp. (2007)157 Cal. App. 4th 835, 859.

“To withstand demurrer, the facts constituting every element of fraud must be alleged with particularity, and the claim cannot be salvaged by references to the general policy favoring the liberal construction of pleadings.” Goldrich v. Natural Y Surgical Specialties, Inc. (1994) 25 Cal. App. 4th 772, 782. The particularity requirement necessitates pleadings facts that “show how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the representations were tendered.” Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 631, 645.

Defendant argues that the allegations are insufficient to show an intent to defraud plaintiff and that he has not alleged what action he took as a result of the concealed fact or how he justifiably relied on defendant’s conduct.

In opposition, plaintiff concedes that “this case does not meet all of the required elements for a fraud cause of action” and requests leave to file an amended complaint containing a different cause of action.

The court finds that the allegations are insufficient to state a claim for fraud by concealment. The demurrer is thus SUSTAINED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. The court will allow plaintiff to file an amended complaint asserting a different cause of action.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.



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