This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/24/2019 at 03:41:21 (UTC).

EBBIE SOROUDI ET AL VS VENETIAN STONE INC

Case Summary

On 11/15/2017 EBBIE SOROUDI filed a Contract - Professional Negligence lawsuit against VENETIAN STONE INC. 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:

    ****3492

  • Filing Date:

    11/15/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Professional Negligence

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

SALEH SAMIRA

SOROUDI EBBIE

VENETIAN STONE INC.

Defendants and Cross Defendants

VENETIAN STONE INC.

R.D. WALDMAN CONSTRUCTION INC.

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

R.D. WALDMAN CONSTRUCTION INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

JACKSON MILSTEIN

Defendant Attorneys

ROSS JONATHAN A. ESQ.

MOKHTARZADEH SHAHROKH ESQ.

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

DOUGLASS MICHAEL C.

Cross Defendant Attorney

MILSTEIN MARK ALAN

 

Court Documents

Unknown

8/20/2018: Unknown

CROSS-COMPLAINT OF DEFENDANT, VENETIAN STONE, FOR: (1) EQUITABLE INDEMNITY , ETC

8/21/2018: CROSS-COMPLAINT OF DEFENDANT, VENETIAN STONE, FOR: (1) EQUITABLE INDEMNITY , ETC

SUMMONS-CROSS-COMPLAINT

8/21/2018: SUMMONS-CROSS-COMPLAINT

Unknown

8/21/2018: Unknown

Minute Order

8/23/2018: Minute Order

CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

8/23/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

8/28/2018: NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

CIVIL DEPOSIT

8/28/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF VENETIAN STONE, INC. TO COMPEL SITE INSPECTION OF PLAINTIFFS' PROPERTY WITH REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS OF $1,600.00 AGAINST PLAINTIFFS AND THEIR COUNSEL; ETC

9/13/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF VENETIAN STONE, INC. TO COMPEL SITE INSPECTION OF PLAINTIFFS' PROPERTY WITH REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS OF $1,600.00 AGAINST PLAINTIFFS AND THEIR COUNSEL; ETC

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

9/24/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

Motion to Compel

11/9/2018: Motion to Compel

Motion to Compel

11/9/2018: Motion to Compel

Answer

11/9/2018: Answer

Answer

11/9/2018: Answer

Cross-Complaint

11/9/2018: Cross-Complaint

Declaration

11/19/2018: Declaration

Minute Order

11/21/2018: Minute Order

Answer

11/30/2018: Answer

43 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketMotion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion; Filed by Venetian Stone, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketMotion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion; Filed by Venetian Stone, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 02/21/2019
  • DocketAnswer (TO R.D. WALDMAN CONSTRUCTION, INC.?S CROSS- COMPLAINT); Filed by Ebbie Soroudi (Cross-Defendant); Samira Saleh (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 01/14/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Ebbie Soroudi (Cross-Defendant); Samira Saleh (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 12/10/2018
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 61; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 11/30/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Venetian Stone, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/21/2018
  • Docketat 09:01 AM in Department 61; Hearing on Motion to Compel ((Motion to Compel)) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 11/21/2018
  • DocketMinute Order ((Defendant's Motion to Compel Site Inspection of Plaintiffs' P...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/19/2018
  • DocketDeclaration of Mark A. Milstein, Esq. Re: Venetian Stone, Inc.'s Motion to Compel Site Inspection and Request for Sanctions; Filed by Ebbie Soroudi (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/09/2018
  • DocketMotion to Compel (Responses to Request for Production of Documents (Set Two) Request for Sanctions for $1,020.00 against Ebbie Soroudi and his Counsel of Record;); Filed by Venetian Stone, Inc. (Defendant)

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87 More Docket Entries
  • 12/19/2017
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 12/19/2017
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/19/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 12/19/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/08/2017
  • Docketat 00:00 AM in Department 309; (Order-Complex Determination; Case Determined to be non-Complex) -

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  • 12/08/2017
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2017-12-08 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/08/2017
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 11/15/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Ebbie Soroudi (Plaintiff); Samira Saleh (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/15/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. NEGLIGENCE; 2. BREACH OF ORAL CONTRACT

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  • 11/15/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: ****3492 Hearing Date: August 3, 2021 Dept: 61

Defendant Venetian Stone, Inc.’s Motion for OSC re: Contempt against Plaintiffs Ebbie Soroudi and Samira Saleh is DENIED.

I. MOTION FOR AN ORDER OF CONTEMPT

“The court may impose a contempt sanction by an order treating the misuse of the discovery process as a contempt of court.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2023.030, subd. (e).) Contempt is “Disobedience of any lawful judgment, order, or process of the court.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 1209, subd. (a)(5).) “[T]he elements of this contempt are only a valid court order, the alleged contemner's knowledge of the order, and noncompliance.” (Moss v. Superior Court (1998) 17 Cal.4th 396, 428.)

A contempt proceeding is commenced by the filing of an affidavit and a request for an order to show cause. (; 1211, subds.(a), (b).) After notice to the opposing party's lawyer, the court (if satisfied with the sufficiency of the affidavit) must sign an order to show cause re contempt in which the date and time for a hearing are set forth. (; 1212; Arthur v. Superior Court (1965) 62 Cal.2d 404, 408, 42 Cal.Rptr. 441, 398 P.2d 777 [“an order to show cause must be issued”]; Weil & Brown, Cal. Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (The Rutter Group 1999) ; 9:715, p. 9(II)–47.) The order to show cause acts as a summons to appear in court on a certain day and, as its name suggests, to show cause why a certain thing should not be done. (Morelli v. Superior Court (1968) 262 Cal.App.2d 262, 269, 68 Cal.Rptr. 572.) Unless the citee has concealed himself from the court, he must be personally served with the affidavit and the order to show cause; otherwise, the court lacks jurisdiction to proceed.

(Cedars-Sinai Imaging Medical Group v. Superior Court (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 1281, 1286–1287, italics in original.)

The present motion is supported by the affidavit of VS counsel, Melissa M. Barcena. VS moves for an OSC re: contempt based on this court’s order of August 14, 2020, in which this court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to amend deemed admissions and denied Waldman’s and VS’s motions for summary judgment. In that same order, this court ordered Plaintiffs to pay $7,325.00 in costs for VS’s opposition to their motion and their motion for summary judgment. Since that order, Plaintiffs have not paid this amount. Although counsel for Plaintiffs emailed counsel for VS to request payment instructions in October 2020, VS has received no further communications on the payment issue since responding to that inquiry. (Barcena Decl. ¶¶ 4–8.) Plaintiffs have filed no opposition to the motion.

No OSC re contempt is appropriate here. The evidence indicates tentative steps to attempt to comply with this court’s order. An order of contempt is a drastic measure in relation to the violation that VS identifies, and VS introduces only vague evidence as to its attempts to obtain payment of the sanctions since October 2020. VS thus has not shown that an OSC is warranted.

The motion is therefore DENIED.

"


Case Number: ****3492    Hearing Date: July 17, 2020    Dept: 61

Plaintiffs Ebbie Soroudi and Samira Saleh’s Motion for Relief from and to Amend Deemed Admissions is DENIED.

Defendant Venetian Stone, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

Defendant R.D. Waldman Construction, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM ADMISSIONS

“A party may withdraw or amend an admission made in response to a request for admission only on leave of court granted after notice to all parties.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2033.300, subd. (a).) “The court may permit withdrawal or amendment of an admission only if it determines that the admission was the result of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect, and that the party who obtained the admission will not be substantially prejudiced in maintaining that party's action or defense on the merits.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2033.300, subd. (b).)

The policy behind the statute has been explained as follows:

Parties often propound requests for admission covering the ultimate facts of the case that, if admitted, are outcome determinative. The propounding party who gets “lucky” and receives no response then notices a motion for a deemed admitted order that, at a minimum, results in the award of monetary sanctions. If the propounding party does not receive a response by the hearing, then, . . . he “hits the jackpot” and “wins” an irrevocable deemed admitted order disposing of the lawsuit. By permitting relief under subdivision (m), we eliminate such undeserved windfalls and the resulting subversion of the policy favoring the resolution of lawsuits on the merits.

(Wilcox v. Birtwhistle (1999) 21 Cal.4th 973, 982–83.)

Plaintiffs seek relief from this court’s order of August 12, 2019, granting VS and Waldman’s Motions to Deem Admitted, on the grounds that the motions were only granted because Plaintiffs’ counsel “overlooked the fact that he had received the Requests and never responded to them.” (Milstein Decl. ¶ 4.) Plaintiffs’ counsel declares that he never received the original motion to deem matters admitted and was not aware a motion had been filed until he received a notice of non-opposition on the date of the hearing. (Milstein Decl. ¶ 4.)

VS and Waldman counter that Plaintiffs’ failure to serve responses to the requests for admission at issue was not an isolated one, but part of a larger pattern of failure to timely respond to discovery in general, as noted in this court’s prior orders of June 26, July 3, and September 12, 2019. Both defendants argue that Plaintiffs, despite admittedly knowing of the motion to deem admitted since August 2019, delayed bringing the present motion until both defendants filed motions for summary judgment. VS argues that Plaintiffs in their deposition have attributed their delayed discovery responses to their own busyness, rather than any fault on the part of their attorney. (VS Opposition at pp. 12–14; Exh. 1.) And both argue that they would be prejudiced by the grant of relief here, given their pending motions for summary judgment.

The court agrees with Defendants. The admissions were not obtained by excusable neglect, and Defendants would be substantially prejudiced by granting Plaintiffs the relief they now seek. The reason Plaintiffs’ counsel never responded to the requests was because he “overlooked” them for no discernable reason. And although he contends that the failure to oppose the motion to deem admitted was because he had received no notice of the hearing, this explanation strains credulity given the multiple other unopposed discovery motions made against Plaintiffs on that date and others. This was a pattern of unreasonable neglect, not an isolated failure of service. Moreover, Plaintiffs have delayed seeking relief from the requests for admission until the moment it is sure to prejudice Defendants: after both have filed motions for summary judgment based upon the admissions, more than six months after Plaintiffs contend they were made aware of the order deeming the requests admitted. Plaintiffs’ motion fails both prongs of the standard to obtain relief from admission under Code of Civil Procedure ; 2033.300.

Accordingly, the Motion for Relief from Admissions is DENIED.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

A party may move for summary judgment “if it is contended that the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c, subd. (a).) “[I]f all the evidence submitted, and all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law,” the moving party will be entitled to summary judgment. (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.) A motion for summary adjudication may be made by itself or as an alternative to a motion for summary judgment and shall proceed in all procedural respects as a motion for summary judgment. (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c, subd. (f)(2).)

The moving party bears an initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any triable issue of material fact, and if he does so, the burden shifts to the opposing party to make a prima facie showing of the existence of a triable issue of material fact. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850; accord Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c, subd. (p)(2).)

Once the defendant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto. (Aguilar, supra, 25 Cal.4th at 850.) The plaintiff may not rely upon the mere allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto. (Ibid.) To establish a triable issue of material fact, the party opposing the motion must produce substantial responsive evidence. (Sangster v. Paetkau (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 151, 166.)

VENETIAN STONE MOTION

Venetian Stone moves for summary judgment based on Plaintiffs’ deemed admissions. VS also provides the declaration of VS’s principal, Dror Zollelhyan, who testifies that he observed the construction project at issue and that all of VS’s work was done in a workmanlike manner. (Motion at pp. 12–13; Zollelhyan Decl. ¶ 4.)

“The elements of any negligence cause of action are duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, and damages.” (Peredia v. HR Mobile Services (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 680, 687.) “The elements of a cause of action for breach of contract are: (1) the contract, (2) plaintiff's performance or excuse for nonperformance, (3) defendant's breach, and (4) the resulting damages to plaintiff.” (Coles v. Glaser (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 384, 391, internal quotation marks omitted.)

“As a general rule an admission is conclusive in the action as to the party making it. Absent leave of court to amend or withdraw the admission, no contradictory evidence may be introduced.” (Murillo v. Superior Court (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 730, 736, internal citations omitted.)

Plaintiffs in opposition argue that relief to their deemed admissions should be granted. (Opposition at p. 2.)

Given the denial of Plaintiffs’ motion for relief from admission, VS’s motion is properly granted. The admissions deemed against Plaintiffs state that they have no evidence that VS’s construction services performed at their property were performed in an unworkmanlike manner, that they have no evidence that VS’s construction services performed on Plaintiff’s property were left uncompleted, that Plaintiffs have no evidence that the remodel work performed by VS on their property contributed to their alleged damages, and that Plaintiffs have no evidence supporting their causes of action for negligence and breach of contract against VS. (Crook Decl. ¶ 14.) These admissions rebut the elements of breach and damages from both Plaintiffs’ negligence and breach of contract claims. Plaintiffs may not (and have not) submitted evidence contesting these admissions.

Accordingly, VS’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

WALDMAN MOTION

Waldman moves for summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiffs’ deemed admissions to VS’s requests for same establish that they have no facts or evidence to support their causes of action for negligence or breach of contract. (Motion at pp. 9–10.) Because these admissions establish that Waldman breached no duty of care owed to Plaintiffs, and breached no contractual obligation, Waldman argues that no triable issues of fact exist as to liability under either cause of action. (Motion at p. 11.)

“The elements of any negligence cause of action are duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, and damages.” (Peredia v. HR Mobile Services (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 680, 687.) “The elements of a cause of action for breach of contract are: (1) the contract, (2) plaintiff's performance or excuse for nonperformance, (3) defendant's breach, and (4) the resulting damages to plaintiff.” (Coles v. Glaser (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 384, 391, internal quotation marks omitted.)

The deemed admissions that Waldman presents here, though propouned by VS, not Waldman, extend beyond VS’s own claims in scope. They state that Plaintiffs know of no evidence that any construction services performed at their property were performed in an unworkmanlike manner, that they have no evidence any construction services performed on Plaintiff’s property were left uncompleted, that Plaintiffs have no evidence that the remodel work performed on their property contributed to their alleged damages, and that Plaintiffs have no evidence supporting their causes of action for negligence and breach of contract. (Motion Exh. B.)

“As a general rule an admission is conclusive in the action as to the party making it. Absent leave of court to amend or withdraw the admission, no contradictory evidence may be introduced.” (Murillo v. Superior Court (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 730, 736, internal citations omitted.)

Plaintiffs in opposition argue that relief to their deemed admissions should be granted. (Opposition at p. 2.)

The motion will be granted. As explained above, Plaintiffs’ motion for relief from admissions is denied. As such, Plaintiffs may submit no evidence contradicting those admissions, and in fact present no evidence contesting them. Waldman has satisfied its burden showing an absence of triable issues of fact on Plaintiffs’ negligence and breach of contract claims, and Plaintiffs have failed to sustain their burden in opposition.

Accordingly, Waldman’s Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.



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