On 05/04/2018 DONNA MARIE DEARAUJO SPRATT filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is LAURA A. SEIGLE. The case status is Other.
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
LAURA A. SEIGLE
SPRATT DONNA MARIE DEARAUJO
COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION
DOES 1 TO 25
BUZAS JOHN S. ESQ.
GABRIEL SAMUEL E. ESQ.
TROPP-THOMPSON DEBORAH S.
3/3/2020: Request for Dismissal
1/17/2020: Notice of Settlement
1/21/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF ENTIRE CASE) OF 01/21/2020
1/10/2020: Notice of Ruling
12/13/2019: Motion to Bifurcate
10/11/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees
9/17/2019: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING CERTIFIED COPY OF DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPT OF DENISHA TERRELL
9/17/2019: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPT OF DONNA MARIE DEARAUJO SPRATT
9/17/2019: Separate Statement
9/17/2019: Objection - OBJECTION TO DECLARATION OF DENISHA TERRELL
9/17/2019: Objection - OBJECTION TO DECLARATION OF LARRY KALTMAN
10/1/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)
8/28/2019: [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person - [PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSO
7/18/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF DAVID HOLLOMON IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
7/13/2018: ANSWER TO DEFENDANT, COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION, TO PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT
6/20/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -
5/4/2018: SUMMONS -
5/4/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES, DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL ENDORSED THEREON
DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Donna Marie DeAraujo Spratt (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 27, Laura A. Seigle, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 27, Laura A. Seigle, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 11:00 AM in Department 27, Laura A. Seigle, Presiding; Court OrderRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order re Notice of Settlement of Entire Case)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order re Notice of Settlement of Entire Case) of 01/21/2020); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by Donna Marie DeAraujo Spratt (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Costco Wholesale Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 4B; Hearing on Motion to Bifurcate - Held - Motion DeniedRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Bifurcate)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketANSWER TO DEFENDANT, COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION, TO PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by Costco Wholesale Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration; Filed by Costco Wholesale Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDECLARATION FOR TRIAL ATTORNEYRead MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by Costco Wholesale Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Donna Marie DeAraujo Spratt (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Donna Marie DeAraujo Spratt (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES, DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL ENDORSED THEREONRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC704891 Hearing Date: January 08, 2020 Dept: 4B
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO BIFURCATE ISSUES OF LIABILITY AND DAMAGES
On May 4, 2018, plaintiffs Donna and Thaotas Spratt filed a complaint against defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Defendant”) alleging that on May 23, 2016, as Donna Spratt exited a Costco store and walked towards her car, she stepped on a metal screw that was loose on truncated domes, slipped, and fell. Plaintiffs allege Costco acted negligently by “allow[ing] the truncated domes to be worn so that the height of the truncated domes was unsafe, in a high pedestrian traffic area, with such depth, breadth and location that it could be reasonably foreseen to constitute a hazard to pedestrian traffic, and in fact was a hazardous and dangerous condition to members of the public and Plaintiff.” Defendant seeks to bifurcate the issues of liability and damages at issue.
“The court may, when the convenience of witnesses, the ends of justice, or the economy and efficiency of handling the litigation would be promoted thereby, on motion of a party, after notice and hearing, make an order, no later than the close of pretrial conference in cases in which such pretrial conference in cases in which such pretrial conference is to be held, or, in other cases, no later than 30 days before the trial date, that the trial of any issue or any part thereof shall precede the trial of any other issue or any party thereof in the case . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., § 598.) “Section 598 of the Code of Civil Procedure gives the trial court power to order ‘that the trial of the issue of liability shall precede the trial of any other issue in the case . . . ‘Its objective is avoidance of the waste of time and money caused by the unnecessary trial of damage questions in cases where the liability issue is resolved against the plaintiff.’ [Citation.]” (Cohn v. Bugas (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 381, 385.)
Defendant argues bifurcation will expedite and simplify the presentation of evidence. Defendant states that the issues of liability are clear-cut given that the photographic evidence, inspection reports, and testimony of Defendant’s employees are only contradicted by Plaintiff’s testimony. Therefore, the issue of liability can be determined without introducing evidence regarding Plaintiffs’ claimed injuries, medical treatment, costs of medical treatment, claimed loss of earnings damages, claimed pain and suffering damages, and claimed loss of consortium damages. Expert testimony on medical issues will also not be needed. Defendant argues that a trial based only on liability will last two or three days based on the testimony of both parties, photographic evidence, and the two liability expert witnesses retained by each side. Defendant argues the damages portion of the trial will require extensive time for various expert witnesses and will make the jury more sympathetic to Plaintiff.
In opposition, Plaintiff argues this is a basic slip and fall case and contests Defendant’s evidence and assertions that it is likely to prevail at trial.
Neither party submitted an exhibit list of the witnesses who will testify on liability and damages issues or stated how long in total the trial will be. Defendant argues the damages portion of the trial will be “extensive” but did not describe the number of experts or the length of the damages portion of the trial. This does appear to be a basic slip and fall case, and the Court cannot conclude that Defendant is likely to prevail or that efficiency will result from bifurcation. That the jury may feel sympathy to Plaintiff due to her injuries is true in many if not most personal injury cases and is not the reason to bifurcate.
Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to bifurcate trial is DENIED.
Moving party to give notice.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT4B@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative.