This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/25/2019 at 04:06:38 (UTC).

EDGARD SOTO VS EDUARDO SALAS ET AL

Case Summary

On 11/13/2017 EDGARD SOTO filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against EDUARDO SALAS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is CHRISTOPHER K. LUI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3297

  • Filing Date:

    11/13/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

SOTO EDGARD

Claimant

ABM INDUSTRIES INC.

Defendants and Respondents

SALAS EDUARDO

RAMOS KARLA

EAN HOLDINGS LLC

DOES 1 TO 50 INCLUSIVE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

NELSON DANIEL L. ESQ.

NELSON DANIEL LEONARD

Claimant Attorney

PERLE LAWRENCE P. ESQ.

Other Attorneys

PERLE LAWRENCE PAUL

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

4/29/2019: Minute Order

Proof of Personal Service

5/2/2019: Proof of Personal Service

NOTICE OF LIEN CLAIM

11/30/2017: NOTICE OF LIEN CLAIM

CoverSheet

11/13/2017: CoverSheet

Summons

11/13/2017: Summons

Complaint

11/13/2017: Complaint

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/13/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Proof of Personal Service; Filed by Edgard Soto (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/29/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 04/29/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/30/2017
  • Notice of Lien; Filed by ABM Industries, Inc. (Legacy Party)

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  • 11/30/2017
  • NOTICE OF LIEN CLAIM

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  • 11/13/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Edgard Soto (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/13/2017
  • Complaint

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  • 11/13/2017
  • Summons; Filed by Edgard Soto (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC683297    Hearing Date: March 13, 2020    Dept: 28

Demurrer to Complaint

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On November 13, 2017, Plaintiff Edgard Soto (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Eduardo Salas (“Salas”), Karla Ramos (“Ramos”), and EAN Holdings, LLC (“Defendant”) for motor vehicle and general negligence.

On January 24, 2020, Defendant filed the instant demurrer to complaint.  No opposition papers have been filed.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant requests a court order sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend on grounds that there is a misjoinder, the causes of action are preempted, and the causes of action are insufficiently pled.

LEGAL STANDARD

Meet and Confer

Before filing a demurrer, the demurring party is required to meet and confer with the party who filed the pleading demurred to in person or by telephone for the purposes of determining whether an agreement can be reached through a filing of an amended pleading that would resolve the objections to be raised in the demurrer.  (See Code of Civ. Proc. § 430.41.)

Demurrer

A demurrer for sufficiency tests whether the complaint states a cause of action.  (Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 747.)  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.)  In a demurrer proceeding, the defects must be apparent on the face of the pleading or via proper judicial notice.  (Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994.)  “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, supra, 147 Cal.App.4th at p. 747.)

DISCUSSION

Meet and Confer

The Court previously continued the hearing on the demurrer and ordered Defendant to engage in meet and confer efforts with Plaintiff.  Defendant subsequently submitted a code-compliant meet and confer declaration.  (Boyd Decl., ¶¶ 2-4.)

Request for Judicial Notice

Defendant requests judicial notice of various cases, statutes, and the U.S. Constitution.  Although the request is unnecessary, the request is GRANTED.

Defendant also requests judicial notice of the Statements of Information for EAN Holdings, LLC and Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company of Los Angeles, LLC, an Enterprise rental agreement, and the declaration of the demurring party in support of automatic extension.  As the rental agreement and the declaration are not judicially noticeable documents, the request is DENIED as to these documents.  As for the Statements of Information, the Court finds that these documents have not been properly authenticated.  As such, the request is also DENIED as to these documents.

Demurrer

Misjoinder

CCP section 430.10(d) provides that a demurrer may be brought on grounds of misjoinder of parties. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10(d).) CCP section 379 provides that all persons may be joined in one action as defendants if there is any right asserted against them “arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all these persons will arise in the action; or [a] claim, right, or interest adverse to them in the property or controversy which is the subject of the action.” (Id., § 379(a).)  “[A] defendant may not make allegations of defect or misjoinder of parties in the demurrer if the pleadings do not disclose the existence of the matter relied on; such objection must be taken by plea or answer.” (Harboring Villas Homeowners Association v. Superior Court (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 426, 429.)

Defendant asserts that they have been misjoined to this action because the subject vehicle was rented through Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company of Los Angeles, LLC dba Alamo.  Defendant’s assertion is unavailing.  Defendant’s contention is based on the request for judicial notice of the rental agreement.  As this request has been denied, there is no support for Defendant’s argument.  As pled, the vehicle was owned and rented from Defendant, not Enterprise.  As the pleadings do not disclose a misjoinder of Defendant, the demurrer cannot be sustained on such ground.

Failure to State Sufficient Facts

Defendant argues that Plaintiff has failed to sufficiently plead negligent entrustment such that the demurrer should be sustained.  Defendant’s argument is unavailing. Defendant.  Under California law, every owner of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for injuries caused by an individual operating the vehicle with the owner’s permission. (See Cal. Vehicle Code, § 17150; Marquez v. Enterprise Rent-A-Car (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 319, 322; Rashtian v. BRAC-BH, Inc. (1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 1847, 1852.) Sheehan v. San Francisco 49ers, Ltd. (2009) 45 Cal.4th 992, 998 (stating that the sustaining of a demurrer may only be upheld if the complaint fails to state a cause of action under any possible legal theory).)

Defendant argues that it cannot be subject to ownership liability because permissive use in this case cannot extend past Defendant Ramos pursuant to the rental agreement and Plaintiff has alleged that Defendant Salas was the driver.  Given that the request for judicial notice of the rental agreement has been denied, Defendant’s argument is unavailing for the purposes of this demurrer.

Preemption

Defendant further contends it cannot be held liable based on ownership liability under 49 U.S.C. section 30106(a).  49 U.S.C. section 30106(a) (“Graves Amendment”) states:

(a) In general.-- An owner of a motor vehicle that rents or leases the vehicle to a person (or an affiliate of the owner) shall not be liable under the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, by reason of being the owner of the vehicle (or an affiliate of the owner), for harm to persons or property that results or arises out of the use, operation, or possession of the vehicle during the period of the rental or lease, if—

(1) the owner (or an affiliate of the owner) is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles; and

(2) there is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner (or an affiliate of the owner).

(42 U.S.C. § 30106.)

At the pleading stage and based upon the denial of judicial notice, the Court cannot determine that the Graves Amendment applies to Defendant for the purpose of the instant demurrer. Additionally, Plaintiff has advanced a negligent entrustment theory of liability against Defendant.  As these allegations are premised on Defendant’s own negligence and not on Defendant’s mere ownership of the rented vehicle, Defendant has failed to show that the Graves Amendment is applicable based on the complaintThe demurrer thus cannot be sustained on grounds of preemption.

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, Defendant EAN Holdings, LLC’s Demurrer to Complaint is OVERRULED.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC683297    Hearing Date: February 28, 2020    Dept: 28

Demurrer

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On January 24, 2020, Defendant EAN Holdings, LLC (“Moving Defendant”) filed a demurrer pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 430.010. 

Trial has not been set. 

LEGAL STANDARD

Before filing a demurrer or motion to strike, the demurring and moving party is required to meet and confer with the party who filed the pleading demurred to or stricken, in person or telephonically, for the purposes of determining whether an agreement can be reached through a filing of an amended pleading that would resolve the objections to be raised in the demurrer and motion to strike.¿ (See Code of Civ. Proc. §§ 430.41, 435.5.)

DISCUSSION

Moving Defendant has not attached a meet and confer declaration as required. In fact, there is no indication that Moving Defendant has attempted to meet and confer with Plaintiff in any way regarding purported deficiencies in the complaint. A meet and confer must properly take place prior to the filing of a demurrer. As such, the hearing is properly continued for Moving Defendant to engage in meet and confer efforts with Plaintiff. 

CONCLUSION

The Court CONTINUES the hearing on Moving Defendant’s demurrer to March 13, 2020 in Department 28 of Spring Street Courthouse located at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012.

Moving Defendant is ordered to file a code-compliant meet and confer declaration by 11:59 p.m. on March 6, 2020.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC683297    Hearing Date: December 17, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motions to Quash Service of Summons

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows. No opposing papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On November 13, 2017, Plaintiff Edgard Soto (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Eduardo Salas (“Salas”), Karla Ramos (“Ramos”), and Ean Holdings, LLC alleging motor vehicle and general negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on November 24, 2015.

On November 8, 2019, Defendants Salas and Ramos filed motions to quash the service of summons pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 418.10. They served their motions on Plaintiff’s counsel by first class mail according to the address listed on the complaint. The Court notes that Plaintiff’s counsel filed a notice of change of address on December 11, 2019. Service of these motions are proper though Plaintiff’s counsel might not have received the motions.

A trial setting conference is set for January 2, 2020.

PARTY’S REQUEST

Defendants Salas and Ramos request that the Court issue an order quashing service of summons on them due to Plaintiff’s use of an incorrect address for substituted service.

LEGAL STANDARD

A defendant may serve and file a notice of motion to quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over it. (Code Civ. Proc. § 418.10, subd. (a).) California Code of Civil Procedure section 418.10 provides the exclusive procedure for challenging personal jurisdiction at the outset. (Roy v. Superior Court (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 337, 342.) Although the defendant is the moving party, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to defeat the motion by establishing that jurisdictional grounds exist. (Mihlon v. Superior Court (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 703, 710.)

Under Evidence Code section 647, “[t]he return of a process server registered pursuant to Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code upon process or notice establishes a presumption, affecting the burden of producing evidence, of the facts stated in the return.” Under Evidence Code section 604, “[t]he effect of a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence is to require the trier of fact to assume the existence of the presumed fact unless and until evidence is introduced which would support a finding of its nonexistence, in which case the trier of fact shall determine the existence or nonexistence of the presumed fact from the evidence and without regard to the presumption. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the drawing of any inference that may be appropriate.”

DISCUSSION

On July 26, 2019, Plaintiff served the summons on Defendants Salas and Ramos by way of substituted service at 1412 Sawgrass Pl, Chula Vistas, California 91915 to “Laura Salas/Ramos.” (Salas Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. A; Ramos Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. A.) But Defendants Salas and Ramos have never lived at this address. (Salas Decl., ¶ 6; Ramos Decl., ¶ 6.)

The evidence submitted to the Court indicates that Defendants Salas and Ramos have never lived at the address where Plaintiff effectuated substituted service of the summons and complaint. Accordingly, Plaintiff did not successfully serve the summons by way of substituted service on Defendants Salas and Ramos pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 415.20, subdivision (b). Plaintiff does not oppose this motion.

The motions are GRANTED, and thus, the service of summons on Defendants Salas and Ramos is QUASHED.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of this ruling.