This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 02/21/2020 at 03:55:36 (UTC).

DARRAL L SPURGEON VS FCA US LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 07/13/2017 DARRAL L SPURGEON filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against FCA US LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DAVID SOTELO and DANIEL S. MURPHY. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8441

  • Filing Date:

    07/13/2017

  • 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 Judges

DAVID SOTELO

DANIEL S. MURPHY

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

SPURGEION DARRAL L.

SPURGEON DARRAL L.

Defendants, Respondents and Not Classified By Court

HUNTER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP RAM

H.W. HUNTER INC

FCA US LLC

DOES 1 TO 10

RAM HUNTER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP

Other

THE LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL H. ROSENSTEIN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant and Plaintiff Attorneys

THE LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL H. ROSENSTEIN

MIKHOV STEVEN B. ESQ.

ROSENSTEIN MICHAEL HARRIS ESQ.

MARTINEZ JAMES PAUL

DAGHIGHIAN SEPEHR

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

MIKHOV STEVEN B. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

NIXON PEABODY LLP-LOS ANGELES

NIXON PEABODY LLP-SAN FRANCISCO

HAWKINS PARNELL THACKSTON & YOUNG LLP

FRANCISCO NIXON PEABODY LLP-SAN

THE LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL H. ROSENSTEIN

MARDEN RYAN K C

KIRIDJIAN MARI

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE: TELEPHONIC NOTICE OF CASE SETT...)

1/29/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE: TELEPHONIC NOTICE OF CASE SETT...)

Notice of Settlement

2/6/2020: Notice of Settlement

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

10/3/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Notice - NOTICE OF TAKING OFF CALENDAR DEFENDANTS FCA US LLC AND H.\RY. HUNTFR,INC., DBA HUNTER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP RAM'S C.C.P. MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORTES, SET ONE

3/15/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF TAKING OFF CALENDAR DEFENDANTS FCA US LLC AND H.\RY. HUNTFR,INC., DBA HUNTER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP RAM'S C.C.P. MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORTES, SET ONE

Ex Parte Application - PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER GRANTING RELIEF UNDER CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 473(b), CONTINUING THE TRIAL DATE, AND SPECIALLY SETTING THE HEARING OF PLAINTIF

1/4/2019: Ex Parte Application - PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER GRANTING RELIEF UNDER CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 473(b), CONTINUING THE TRIAL DATE, AND SPECIALLY SETTING THE HEARING OF PLAINTIF

Minute Order - Minute Order (Final Status Conference)

1/3/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Final Status Conference)

STIPULATION AND ORDER TO USE CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER

9/7/2018: STIPULATION AND ORDER TO USE CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER

ORDER TO COMPEL DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S PRODUCTION OF A COMPETENT PERSON MOST KNOWLEDGABLE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

9/18/2018: ORDER TO COMPEL DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S PRODUCTION OF A COMPETENT PERSON MOST KNOWLEDGABLE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

PIORDER RE DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING THE VEHICLE INSPECTION; ETC.

9/18/2018: PIORDER RE DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING THE VEHICLE INSPECTION; ETC.

PLAINTIFF'S NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S MOTION INLIMINE NO.4 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY RELATING TO ANY POSTLITIGATION SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS AND IRRELEVANT MATTERS

9/7/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT FCA US LLC'S MOTION INLIMINE NO.4 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY RELATING TO ANY POSTLITIGATION SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS AND IRRELEVANT MATTERS

P[AINTIFFS NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION INLIMINE NUMBER 7 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OR ARGUMENT THAT PLAINTIFF DID NOT MAKE SUFFICIENT EFFORTS TO OBTAIN A REPURCHASE OF THE SUBJECT VEHICLE

8/27/2018: P[AINTIFFS NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION INLIMINE NUMBER 7 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OR ARGUMENT THAT PLAINTIFF DID NOT MAKE SUFFICIENT EFFORTS TO OBTAIN A REPURCHASE OF THE SUBJECT VEHICLE

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION !NL!MINE NUMBER 14 TO EXCLUDE E VIDENCE OF OR REFERENCE TO PLAINTIFF'S PRIOR LAWSUITS

8/27/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION !NL!MINE NUMBER 14 TO EXCLUDE E VIDENCE OF OR REFERENCE TO PLAINTIFF'S PRIOR LAWSUITS

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LIMINE NUMBER 2 TO EXCLUDE REFERENCE TO ATTORNEYS' FEES

8/27/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION IN LIMINE NUMBER 2 TO EXCLUDE REFERENCE TO ATTORNEYS' FEES

DEFENDANTS FCA US LLC AND H.W. HUNTER, INC. DBA HUNTER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP RAM'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.2 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE, TESTIMONY, AND CLAIMS RELATED TO EMOTIONAL DISTRESS AND SUFFERING, ETC

8/28/2018: DEFENDANTS FCA US LLC AND H.W. HUNTER, INC. DBA HUNTER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP RAM'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.2 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE, TESTIMONY, AND CLAIMS RELATED TO EMOTIONAL DISTRESS AND SUFFERING, ETC

Minute Order -

5/11/2018: Minute Order -

Minute Order -

7/25/2018: Minute Order -

132 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/13/2020
  • Hearing04/13/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 40 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/06/2020
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by DARRAL L. SPURGEON (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/03/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 40; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/29/2020
  • Docketat 3:39 PM in Department 40; Non-Appearance Case Review

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/29/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Non-Appearance Case Review re: Telephonic notice of case sett...) of 01/29/2020); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/29/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Non-Appearance Case Review re: Telephonic notice of case sett...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/28/2020
  • DocketMotion in Limine (No. 7); Filed by FCA US LLC (Defendant); H.W. Hunter, Inc (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/27/2020
  • DocketMotion in Limine (No. 6); Filed by FCA US LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/23/2019
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 40; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/22/2019
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 40; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

    Read MoreRead Less
254 More Docket Entries
  • 07/31/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/24/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/24/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE BY MAIL

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/24/2017
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by DARRAL L. SPURGEON (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/20/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/20/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by DARRAL L. SPURGEON (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/13/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/13/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by DARRAL L. SPURGEON (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/13/2017
  • DocketDEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/13/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT 1. BREACH OF EXPRESS WARRANTY- VIOLATION OF SONG-BEVERLY ACT ;ETC

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC668441    Hearing Date: October 26, 2020    Dept: 40

MOVING PARTY: Defendants FCA US LLC and H.W. Hunter, Inc., dba Hunter Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

OPPOSITION: Plaintiff Darral L. Spurgeon

Plaintiff Darral L. Spurgeon filed a lemon law action against Defendants FCA US LLC and H.W. Hunter, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”), which the parties settled on August 24, 2020.

Standard: In general, the “prevailing party” is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs for suit in any action or proceeding. (CCP § 1032(b).) The losing party may dispute any or all of the items in the prevailing party’s memorandum of costs by a motion to strike or tax costs. (CRC, rule 3.1700(b).)

Certain items of costs are allowable if incurred by the prevailing party, whether or not such costs have been paid. (CCP § 1033.5, subds. (a) and (c)(1).) Recoverable costs are limited, however, to costs that are both reasonable in amount, and reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation. (CCP § 1033.5, subds. (c)(2) and (3).) Costs which are “merely convenient or beneficial to its preparation” are disallowed. (CCP § 1033.5, subd. (c)(2).) Certain items of costs are expressly not allowable as costs, except when otherwise expressly authorized by law. (CCP § 1033.5, subd. (b).)

Analysis: Plaintiff’s memorandum of costs requests:

1. Filing and motion fees $798.00

2. Jury fees $150.00

4. Deposition costs $4,914.13

5. Service of process $451.85

8. Witness fees $1,189.26

12. Court Reporter $582.36

13. Other $2,846.79

TOTAL COSTS $10,950.39

998 Offer: Defendants argue that Plaintiff cannot recover any costs after the date of August 10, 2018, the date of Defendants’ CCP § 998 offer. Defendants argue that Plaintiff did not obtain a more favorable recovery than the August 2018 offer. Conversely, Plaintiff argues that Defendants accepted their 998 offer which expressly allowed post-acceptance fees and costs and was more favorable then Defendants’ offer because it granted him prejudgment interest. (Fees Mtn., Decl. Mikhov, Ex. D.)

The language of Plaintiff’s 998 offer states that “Defendant shall pay attorney fees, costs, and expenses actually and reasonably incurred in the commencement and prosecution of this action, up until September 10, 2018, pursuant to Civil Code section 1794(d)….” (Id.) Since, the agreement between the parties expressly allows for costs, the Court must award costs reasonably incurred.

Item 1: Filing Fees: Tax is DENIED

Plaintiff incurred $798.00 in filing fees. Defendants request that the Court tax Item 1 in the amount of $303. Defendants state that five ($60) filing fees were incurred after the 998 offer. Defendants also state that Plaintiff has failed to explain a $3.00 charge for “Downloading Order to Specially set MTC.” The Court has rejected Defendants’ argument about the 998 offer and therefore finds that the $303 were reasonably incurred.

Item 4: Deposition Costs: Taxed in the sum of $961.37

Plaintiff seeks deposition costs totaling $4,914.13.

Defendants object to $961.37 in costs for affidavits of Non-Appearance for several PMQs. Defendants state that they have no record of the PMQ deposition notices being served on them.

Defendants object to $284.35 for transcribing depositions on the ground that Plaintiff has failed to attach any supporting documents for these costs.

Defendants object to $105.00 for taking Hunter’s PMQ deposition on the ground that Plaintiff has already billed for transcribing Hunter’s deposition and fails to explain what this fee is for.

Defendants object to $685.35, $450.95, and $589.63 for transcripts on the ground that they were incurred post-998 offer and that Plaintiff has failed to provide supporting documents.

Defendants object to $831.94 for the transcript of Tina Dietrich’s deposition, $5.80 for mileage for R. Areshenko, $13.50 for parking for R. Areshenko, and $41.50 for printing for R. Areshenko, totaling $892.74.

Defendants object to $79.40 and $67.33 for a roundtrip mileage for J. Martinez for the deposition of Plaintiff Darral Spurgeon and Crown Dodge’s PMQs.

As stated previously, the Court rejects Defendants’ argument about the 998 offer. Plaintiff’s counsel has provided additional documentation of their deposition costs. (Decl. Mikhov, Ex. A.) The Court finds that the mileage and parking fees incurred in attending the depositions are recoverable because the Code of Civil Procedure permits reimbursement of “travel expenses to attend depositions.” (CCP § 1033.5(a)(3)(C).) However, Plaintiff has not demonstrated that they served the PMQ deposition notices on Defendants and therefore has not demonstrated that the costs incurred in taking the notices of non-appearance were reasonable.

Item 5: Service of Process: Tax is DENIED

Defendants object to service of process fees in the sum of $451.85 on the ground that Plaintiff provides no detail as to why these costs were incurred. The Court finds that Plaintiff’s spreadsheet provides a detailed breakdown on these costs. (Decl. Mikhov, Ex. A.)

Item 8: Witness Fee: Tax is DENIED

Defendants object to $1,189.26 for witness fees for Plaintiff’s expert Darrell Blasjo. Expert fees are recoverable under Jensen v. BMW of North America, Inc. (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 112, 138.

Item 12: Court Reporter Fees: Tax is DENIED

Defendants object to $582.36 for costs related to court reporter fees. Plaintiff has attached supporting documentation. (Decl. Mikhov, Ex. A.)

Item 13: Other

Plaintiff requests $2,846.79 for other costs.

i. Attorney Services & Messenger Services: Tax is DENIED

Defendants object to $951.46 for attorney services and messenger services. Section 1033.5 does not explicitly allow or prohibit attorney services and messenger fees to be recovered as a cost. Plaintiff argues that these costs were reasonably incurred because it was less expensive to use attorney services to file documents than to have an attorney or office staff member do so. The Court finds this explanation to be persuasive.

ii. Mediation: Tax is DENIED

Defendants object to $1,500 in mediation on the ground that Plaintiff did not in good faith mediate the matter. Defendants argue that Plaintiff made a demand that is not nearly the amount that this matter settled for and therefore did not really intend to mediate. The Court does not know what happened at mediation and Defendants do not provide the “high” settlement demand; therefore, Defendants have not established that Plaintiff did not really intend to mediate.

iii. Appearance Professional

Defendants object to $280.00 in fees for appearance attorneys. Plaintiff states that these fees were incurred by sending appearance attorneys to take Defendants’ notice of non-appearance at the PMQ depositions. Since Plaintiff has not demonstrated that the PMQ deposition notices were served, the Court will tax these costs.

Accordingly, the costs memorandum is taxed in the sum of $280.

iv. Travel: Tax is DENIED

Defendants object to $133.33 for travel costs on the ground that Plaintiff provides no details about these costs. Section 1033.5(a)(C) allows as costs “[t]ravel expenses to attend depositions.” Besides travel to a deposition, no other cost for travel is either explicitly denied or allowed. Plaintiff has provided their internal spreadsheet detailing the travel costs incurred in the action which the Court finds to be reasonable.

Fees for this Motion:

Plaintiff’s counsel anticipates spending 5 hours on the matter and his hourly rate is $275, total request for $1,375. Utilizing a lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the Court finds Plaintiff’s requested fee to be reasonable.

Accordingly, Plaintiff is awarded $1,375 for the instant motion.

Conclusion: The costs memorandum is taxed in the sum of $1,241.37. Plaintiff is awarded costs and fees for the instant motion in the sum of $11,084.02.

Case Number: BC668441    Hearing Date: September 02, 2020    Dept: 40

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Darral L. Spurgeon

OPPOSITION: Defendants FCA US LLC,

H.W. Hunter, Inc., dba Hunter Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

Plaintiff seeks $23,702.50 in attorneys’ fees and a lodestar multiplier of 0.5, $11,851.25.

Analysis: The fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the ‘lodestar,’ i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate. . . . The lodestar figure may then be adjusted, based on consideration of factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair market value for the legal services provided. PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095.

Plaintiff’s counsel have provided their billing records for the matter:

Partners:

Amy Morse: $350.00/per hr. x 8hr= $2,800.00

Steve Mikhov: $550.00 x 4.0= $2,200.00

Associates:

Deepak Devabose: $275.00 x 11.7= $3,217.50

Daniel Kalinowski: $250.00 x 28.6= $7,150.00

George Semaan: $225.00 x 5.6= $1,260.00

Jennifer Reiz: $225.00 x 6.5= $1,462.50

Kristina Stephenson: $375.00 x 13.3= $4,987.50

Natalee Fisher: $250.00 x 2.5= $625.00

The total amount is $23,702.50.

Defendants request that the fees be reduced by at least $7,199.50. Defendants argue that it was excessive for seven attorneys to work on the matter.

Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s counsel overbills for 6.9 hours of administrative tasks, $2,017.

Defendants also dispute the $1,635 counsel requests for their motion to compel deposition of PMK because they have already paid Plaintiff $1,125 in sanctions for that motion.

Finally, Defendants dispute the $3,547.50 incurred in the instant motion.

The Court agrees. Plaintiff cannot recover fees for a discovery motion for which Defendants have already paid sanctions. The Court subtracts the $1,635. However, the Court finds that the remainder of hours billed to be reasonable.

Multiplier: Plaintiff requests a 0.5 multiplier.

The Court declines to apply any multiplier (positive or negative) because this case was not a novel or particularly difficult lemon law case. Counsel did achieve success as the matter settled for $132,000 but apparently that offer has been on the table since August 2018.

Defendants request a negative multiplier because Plaintiff requests a multiplier “even though it involves the same law firms, same filings, same issues, and same efforts as dozens of other lemon law cases.” (Opp’n, 7:14-15.)

The Court declines to apply a negative multiplier as requested by Defendants.

Conclusion: Plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees is granted in the amount of $22.067.50.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where H.W. HUNTER INC. DBA HUNTER DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP RAM FIAT A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION is a litigant

Latest cases where FCA US LLC is a litigant

Latest cases represented by Lawyer MIKHOV STEVE B