This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/28/2019 at 01:46:49 (UTC).

DARRELL KROEGER VS L3 TECHNOLOGIES INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 10/06/2017 DARRELL KROEGER filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against L3 TECHNOLOGIES INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Disposed - Other Disposed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8059

  • Filing Date:

    10/06/2017

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Other Disposed

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

KROEGER DARRELL

Defendants and Respondents

BANTILAN PATRICK K

L3 TECHNOLOGIES INC

DOES 1 TO 10

L3 TECHNOLOGIES INC.

BANTILAN PATRICK K.

L-3 COMMUNICATIONS VERTEX AEROSPACE LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

HULL ANN A. ESQ.

LAW OFFICES OF ANN A. HULL INC.

Defendant Attorneys

POLSINELLI LLP

GEHRKE MICHELE HAYDEL

 

Court Documents

ORDER FOR REMAND

3/21/2018: ORDER FOR REMAND

DEFENDANT L3 COMMUNICATIONS VERTEX AEROSPACE, LLC (ERRONEOUSLY SUED AS L3 TECHNOLOGIES, INC.) ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

4/13/2018: DEFENDANT L3 COMMUNICATIONS VERTEX AEROSPACE, LLC (ERRONEOUSLY SUED AS L3 TECHNOLOGIES, INC.) ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS

6/14/2018: NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS

Substitution of Attorney

12/12/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Notice

3/15/2019: Notice

Notice

5/21/2019: Notice

Notice

5/21/2019: Notice

NOTICE OF REMOVAL TO THE CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

11/21/2017: NOTICE OF REMOVAL TO THE CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

11/14/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

11/2/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

10/19/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

SUMMONS

10/6/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT (1) INDIVIDUAL AND REPRESENTATIVE CLAIM VIA LAB. CODE 2698, CT SEQ. FOR FAILURE TO PAY OVERTIME & DOUBLE-TIME COMPENSATION; ETC

10/6/2017: COMPLAINT (1) INDIVIDUAL AND REPRESENTATIVE CLAIM VIA LAB. CODE 2698, CT SEQ. FOR FAILURE TO PAY OVERTIME & DOUBLE-TIME COMPENSATION; ETC

1 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/21/2019
  • Notice (of Errata); Filed by Darrell Kroeger (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/21/2019
  • Notice (of Errata); Filed by Darrell Kroeger (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/15/2019
  • Notice (OF ERRATA AND REQUEST FOR STATUS CONFERENCE); Filed by Law Offices of Ann A. Hull, Inc. (Attorney)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/12/2018
  • Substitution of Attorney; Filed by Michele Haydel Gehrke (Attorney)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/14/2018
  • NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/14/2018
  • Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Darrell Kroeger (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/13/2018
  • Answer; Filed by L3 Technologies, Inc. (Legacy Party)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/13/2018
  • DEFENDANT L3 COMMUNICATIONS VERTEX AEROSPACE, LLC (ERRONEOUSLY SUED AS L3 TECHNOLOGIES, INC.) ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/21/2018
  • ORDER FOR REMAND

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/16/2018
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 24; Case Management Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
3 More Docket Entries
  • 11/14/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Darrell Kroeger (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/14/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/02/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/02/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Darrell Kroeger (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/19/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/19/2017
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2017
  • COMPLAINT (1) INDIVIDUAL AND REPRESENTATIVE CLAIM VIA LAB. CODE 2698, CT SEQ. FOR FAILURE TO PAY OVERTIME & DOUBLE-TIME COMPENSATION; ETC

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Darrell Kroeger (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2017
  • Summons; Filed by Darrell Kroeger (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2017
  • SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC678059    Hearing Date: February 24, 2020    Dept: 24

Plaintiff Darrell Kroeger’s motion for leave to file a First Amended Complaint is GRANTED.

On October 6, 2017, Plaintiff Darrell Kroeger (“Plaintiff” and “Kroeger”) brought the instant employment action against Defendants Vertex Aerospace LLC (sued as L3 Technologies Inc.) and Patrick Bantilan (“Defendants”). Plaintiff was an aircraft mechanic. L3 is a private aerospace contractor and former employer of Kroeger. The individual defendants Bantilan and Paul Sichenzia (substituted in as Doe 1) are former supervisors of Kroeger. The Complaint initially stated twelve causes of action related to Labor Code violations and disability discrimination, however only the fifth cause of action for failure to timely produce employee file and payroll documents remains.

On November 21, 2017, Defendants removed the action to the Central District of California. Defendants successfully moved to dismiss each cause of action, except for the fifth, on LMRA/NLRA preemption grounds and failure to state a cause of action as to the Ralph and Bane Act claims. The District Court dismissed the second, third, fourth, eighth, ninth, and tenth causes of action against L3 and sixth, seventh, and twelfth causes of action against Bantilan with prejudice; and dismissed the first cause of action against both Defendants, eleventh cause of action against L3, and second, third, fourth, and fifth causes of action against Bantilan without prejudice. As a result, the District court lost its original jurisdiction over the suit and remanded the suit to this Court on March 21, 2018.

On April 13, 2018, Defendants filed an answer. On March 15, 2019, Plaintiff filed a notice of errata concerning the status of the case as concluded/removed and requested a status conference. On October 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed a notice of remand from federal court. On October 21, 2019, the Court set a CMC hearing for December 3, 2019.

On December 2, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion to file a proposed First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). On February 7, 2020, Defendants filed an opposition. No reply was submitted.

Legal Standard

If a plaintiff wishes to amend a complaint after the answer has been filed or after the demurrer has been filed and after the hearing on the demurrer, or if he or she has already amended the complaint “of course,” permission of the court must be obtained before the amendment will be allowed. (CCP §§ 473(a)(1), 576.)

Motions for leave to amend the pleadings are directed to the sound discretion of the court. “The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading . . . .” (CCP § 473(a)(1); see CCP § 576.) Policy favors liberally granting leave to amend so that all disputed matters between the parties may be resolved. (See Howard v. County of San Diego (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1422, 1428.) Absent prejudice to the adverse party, the court may permit amendments to the complaint “at any stage of the proceedings, up to and including trial.” (Atkinson v. Elk Corp. (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 739, 761 [internal quotes omitted].) Where leave is sought to add entirely new claims, the court may grant leave to amend if the new claims are based on the same general set of facts, and the amendment will not prejudice the opposing party. (Austin v. Massachusetts Bonding & Ins. Co. (1961) 56 Cal.2d 596, 600-602; Glaser v. Meyers (1982) 137 Cal.App.3d 770, 777 [holding trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting amendment of complaint, which originally alleged constructive eviction, to allege retaliatory eviction where the new claim was based on the same general set of facts].)

Although denial is rarely justified, a judge has discretion to deny leave to amend if the party seeking the amendment has been dilatory, and the delay has prejudiced the opposing party. (Morgan v. Sup.Ct. (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 527, 530; see also Hirsa v. Superior Court (1981) 118 Cal.App.3d 486, 490). An opposing party is prejudiced where the amendment would necessitate a trial delay along with a loss of critical evidence, added preparation expense, increased burden of discovery, etc. (Magpali v. Farmers Group, Inc. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 486-488 [leave properly denied where plaintiff sought leave on the eve of trial, nearly two years after the complaint was originally filed and gave no explanation for the delay which prejudiced defendant who did not discover or depose many of the witnesses who would support the new allegations and had not marshaled evidence in opposition of the new allegations].)

Procedure

A motion for leave to amend must state with particularity what allegations are to be amended. Namely, it must state what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted and/or added, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number. (CRC, Rule 3.1324(a)(2)-(3).) The motion must be accompanied by a declaration specifying: (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. (CRC, Rule 3.1324(b).) The motion must also be accompanied by the proposed amended pleading, numbered to differentiate it from the prior pleadings or amendments. (CRC, Rule 3.1324(a)(1).) It is within the court’s discretion to require compliance with Rule 3.1324 before granting leave to amend. (Hataishi v. First American Home Buyers Protection Corp. (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1454, 1469.)

Here, Plaintiff’s counsel provides a declaration which attaches a red-lined version of the Complaint and a proposed FAC. The declaration explains the effect of the amendment and why the amendment was necessary, namely that after the filing of the complaint Defendants subjected Kroeger to additional harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination. (Hull Decl., ¶¶ 22-28.) This also provides for when the facts giving rise to the amendments were discovered, i.e. in spring of 2018. The declaration also details why the amendment was not requested earlier. Counsel explains that there was procedural confusion following remand. The status of the case was incorrectly set as either still removed or deemed complete from removal in March 2018 to October 2019. (Hull Decl., ¶¶ 6-21.) Counsel states that this prevented her from filing the motion for leave and scheduling a hearing in late 2018/early 2019. (Hull Decl., ¶ 18.) She was informed that the e-filing and scheduling systems were having issues and that the problem was likely due to the removal status.

While not the most diligent effort, the Court is at least satisfied that the declaration complies with the CRC rules. Whether these efforts were enough to grant leave will be discussed below. As to the hand written red-lined version of the Complaint, the Court finds that this substantially complies with the CRC Rules, and the addition of the proposed FAC alleviates any confusion on the proposed amendments.

Delay and Prejudice

Here, Defendants highlight a substantial delay between filing the instant motion and when the new facts were discovered. The new facts and causes of action in the FAC were allegedly discovered in Spring 2018, with a new DFEH letter filed and right to sue notice received in March 2019. Yet, Plaintiff delayed until December 2019 to file the motion. Indeed, this is a substantial delay. Aspects of this delay can be attributed to the apparent failures of the Court’s e-filing and scheduling system, which prevented Plaintiff from filing the motion in late 2018 and early 2019. As stated above, the Court does not find the proffered timeline to be very diligent. The timeline does not fully explain why Plaintiff took approximately a year and a half to sort out these status issues with the Court. Though, admittedly, the record does show some diligence on the part of counsel, which should be fairly considered.

Despite this, Defendants show no prejudice from this delay. For example, Defendants do not articulate whether the amendment would delay trial (as no trial is set), create a loss of evidence, unduly increase the burden of discovery, or other forms of cognizable prejudice associated with the delay itself. Defendants only argue the merits of the new claims to persuade the Court that amendment would be futile. While the Court may deny leave to amend for futility—and Defendants do raise valid concerns with the newly pled causes of action—the Court does not find denial would be proper here given the liberality of leave. Defendants may make their objections to the pleading or the merits of the case in the context of a procedurally proper motion. (See Kittredge Sports Co. v. Superior Court (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 1045, 1048 [after leave to amend is granted, the opposing party will have the opportunity to attack the validity of the amended pleading].)

In light of the liberal policies concerning leave, the Court is inclined to grant leave. Defendants’ opposition fails to identify any prejudice they would suffer as a result of granting leave to amend. The Court finds none. Since Plaintiff’s delay was not prejudicial, the motion is GRANTED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.