On 03/21/2018 ELVIA MATA filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against THELMA CABAL. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are JON R. TAKASUGI, BARBARA M. SCHEPER and HOLLY E. KENDIG. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
JON R. TAKASUGI
BARBARA M. SCHEPER
HOLLY E. KENDIG
DOES 1 TO 20
RAMSEY EDWARD ESQ.
RAMSEY HADI EDWARD ESQ.
GATES O'DOHERTY GONTER & GUY LLP
RENAUD LISA LOUISE
RENAUD LISA L.
7/16/2020: Objection - OBJECTION PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION TO DEFENDANTS' (PROPOSED) JUDGMENT
7/31/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: RECEIPT OF PROPOSED JUDGMENT; STATUS ...)
6/24/2020: Notice of Ruling
3/16/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLTF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
3/16/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)
2/13/2020: Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
1/10/2020: Case Management Statement
12/3/2019: Objection - OBJECTION TO DECLARATION OF EDWARD RAMSEY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF ELVIA MATA'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
10/24/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment
10/23/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION)
9/23/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF EDWARD RAMSEY
9/10/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION PLAINTIFF ELVIA MATA'S DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO QUASH
9/5/2019: Reply - REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANT'S EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFF' S AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT TO NAME DONNA FELIX AS DOE 1
9/5/2019: Objection - OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFF ELVIN MATA' S DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF' S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFF'S AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT TO NAME DONNA FELIX AS DOE 1
8/29/2019: [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
8/5/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service
8/7/2019: Motion to Quash
5/16/2018: DEFENDANTS? DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 30, Barbara M. Scheper, Presiding; Status Conference (Re Status of Defendant Donna Felix) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 30, Barbara M. Scheper, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Receipt of Proposed Judgment) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by CourtRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 30, Barbara M. Scheper, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Deposition of Witness) - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Receipt of Proposed Judgment; Status ...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketObjection (TO PLAINTIFF?S [PROPOSED] JUDGMENT AND ORDER); Filed by Jennifer Aragon (Defendant); Thelma Cabal (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketJudgment (JUDGMENT); Filed by Jennifer Aragon (Defendant); Thelma Cabal (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketObjection (PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION TO DEFENDANTS' (PROPOSED) JUDGMENT); Filed by Elvia Mata (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Ruling (RE: DEFENDANTS THELMA CABAL AND JENNIFER ARAGON?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION); Filed by Jennifer Aragon (Defendant); Thelma Cabal (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 3:30 PM in Department 30, Barbara M. Scheper, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment (or in the Alternative Motion for Summary Adjudication) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 3:30 PM in Department 30, Barbara M. Scheper, Presiding; Case Management Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF NAME CHANGERead MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by Jennifer Aragon (Defendant); Thelma Cabal (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDEFENDANTS' ANSWER TO COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
DocketDEFENDANTS DEMAND FOR JURY TRIALRead MoreRead Less
DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by Jennifer Aragon (Defendant); Thelma Cabal (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Elvia Mata (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Elvia Mata (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. NEGLIGENCERead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC699019 Hearing Date: June 23, 2020 Dept: 30
Mata v. Cabal, et al, Case No. BC699019
Defendants Cabal and Aragon move for summary judgment as to the sole cause of action for negligence. The motion is granted.
The function of a motion for summary judgment or adjudication is to allow a determination as to whether an opposing party cannot show evidentiary support for a pleading or claim and to enable an order of summary dismissal without the need for trial. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) Code of Civil Procedure Section 437c, subdivision (c) “requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if 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.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.)
As to each claim as framed by the complaint, the defendant moving for summary judgment must satisfy the initial burden of proof by presenting facts to negate an essential element, or to establish a defense. (Code Civ. Proc, § 437c, subd. (p)(2); Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1520.) Courts “liberally construe the evidence in support of the party opposing summary judgment and resolve doubts concerning the evidence in favor of that party.” (Dore v. Arnold Worldwide, Inc. (2006) 39 Cal.4th 384, 389.
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. 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.)
To plead a cause of action for negligence a plaintiff must allege facts showing: “(1) a legal duty of care toward the plaintiff; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) legal causation; and (4) damages.” (Century Surety Co. v. Crosby Insurance, Inc. (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 116, 127.) “The threshold element of a cause of action for negligence is the existence of a duty to use due care toward an interest of another that enjoys legal protection against unintentional invasion. [Citations.] Whether this essential prerequisite to a negligence cause of action has been satisfied in a particular case is a question of law to be resolved by the court.” (Bily v. Arthur Young & Co. (1992) 3 Cal.4th 370, 397.)
“Like breach of duty, causation also is ordinarily a question of fact which cannot be resolved by summary judgment. The issue of causation may be decided as a question of law only if, under undisputed facts, there is no room for a reasonable difference of opinion.” (Kurinij v. Hanna & Morton (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 853, 864.) A defendant’s negligence is the actual cause of plaintiff’s injury if it is a substantial factor in bringing about the harm. (Mitchell v. Gonzales (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1041, 1052-1053.) The de¿nition of “substantial factor” subsumes the “but for” test of causation, that is, “but for” the defendant’s conduct, the plaintiff’s harm would not have occurred. (Id., at p. 1052.)
Here, Defendants present evidence that neither Aragon nor Cabal drove the Subject Vehicle on the night of March 23, 2016, when the accident occurred. (Undisputed Statement of Material Facts (UMF) ¶ 6.) The sole registered owner of the Subject Vehicle at the time of the accident was Aragon. (UMF ¶ 1, Exh. C.) Only Aragon was on the certificate of title. (UMF ¶ 2.) Cabal was never in possession of the Subject Vehicle, does not drive the Subject Vehicle, and was not in possession of the Subject Vehicle on March 23, 2016. (UMF ¶ 3.) Plaintiff fails to dispute this evidence.
Defendants argues that similarly they can not be liable under a theory of negligent entrustment. One who “entrusts” a motor vehicle to another whom they know, or should know, is incompetent or unfit to drive may be liable for injuries inflicted by the driver that were proximately caused by the driver’s incompetence. (Lindstrom v. Hertz Corp. (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 644, 648.) The negligence at issue thus turns on the knowledge of the owner. (Ibid.) The automobile owner’s knowledge of the driver’s unfitness or incompetence to drive is an essential element of liability for negligent entrustment. (Allen v. Toledo (1980) 109 Cal.App.3d 415, 419.)
Defendants present evidence that on March 23, 2016, Aragon gave Ms. Donna Felix (Ms. Felix) permission to drive the Subject Vehicle. (UMF ¶ 4.) Ms. Felix was the driver of the Subject Vehicle on the night of the accident and Defendant Aragon was only a passenger. (UMF ¶ 8.) Neither of the moving Defendants had any knowledge that Ms. Felix had ever received any sort of traffic ticket or had ever been involved in any traffic accidents. (UMF ¶ 9.) Ms. Felix had a valid license at the time of the accident and the Defendants had no knowledge or suspicions that Ms. Felix was reckless, incompetent, or unfit to drive. (UMF ¶¶ 12-13.)
Plaintiff argues that Ms. Felix was not wearing her prescription glasses on the day of the accident. (Opposition, at p. 5:2-6.) Plaintiff argues that Defendant Aragon was negligent because she knew that Ms. Felix required the use of prescription glasses while driving and was not wearing the glasses on the date of the accident. (Opposition, at p. 5:6-13.) Plaintiff presents the deposition of Aragon, who testifies that her wife, Ms. Felix, wears prescription glasses for distance, but could not recall whether she was wearing glasses at the time of the accident. (Padua Decl. ¶ 2, Exh. 1 at pp. 59: 18-25, 60:4-6.) Defendant Aragon, contrary to Plaintiff’s argument, does not testify whether Ms. Felix is required to wear glasses for driving or whether she knew or did not know whether Ms. Felix could drive with or without her glasses.
Plaintiff also submits the declarations of Plaintiff Elvia Mata and Karina Padua. Plaintiff states that she spoke with the driver of Defendant Aragon’s car, who admitted she caused the accident, and then noticed that the driver was not wearing glasses at the time of the collision. (Mata Decl., ¶¶ 2-3.)
However, the Court has sustained Defendants’ objections to Plaintiff’s evidence on the grounds that the declaration of Elvia Mata is inconsistent with sworn testimony in depositions and prior sworn declarations. (See Thompson, supra, 211 Cal.App.3d at p. 573 [“[A] party cannot rely on contradictions in his own testimony to create a triable issue of fact.”].) Specifically, Plaintiff testified in her prior deposition that she did not see Aragon’s car before the collision and testified that she did not see the car any time before the two cars made contact. Plaintiff testified that she saw Aragon’s car after the collision and after she got out of the car. (Objections to Plaintiff’s Evidence, Exh. B, Mata Depo, at pp. 33:5-10, 35:1-10.) Therefore, this contradicts Plaintiff’s declaration that she “noticed that the driver of the White Mercedes-Benz was not wearing glasses at the time of the collision.” (Mata Decl., ¶ 3). This is because Plaintiff testified previously that she did not see the car when they collided. (See Objections to Plaintiff’s Evidence, Exh. B, Mata Depo, at p. 35:1-3 [“Q. So the first time you saw [the car] was when the two cars touched each other? A. I didn’t see the car. I was going forward.”].)
In her opposition, Plaintiff also argues that she spoke to Ms. Felix after the accident and Ms. Felix told Plaintiff that the accident was her fault. Defendants present evidence that Plaintiff filed a prior declaration where she testified that she spoke to a young Philippine or Chinese woman, who was purported to be Aragon, not Ms. Felix. (Objections to Plaintiff’s Evidence, Exh. A.) Regardless this testimony does not address whether Aragon knew Ms. Felix was unfit to drive.
Moreover, Plaintiff does not present any evidence at all that Ms. Felix is required to wear prescription glasses to drive. Nor does Plaintiff present any evidence that Aragon knew that Ms. Felix needed glasses in order to drive, and that Ms. Felix was not wearing glasses at the time of the accident, and that Aragon entrusted her vehicle to Ms. Felix knowing that she was not wearing glasses that she was legally required to wear while driving.
Plaintiff has failed to submit admissible evidence to demonstrate a triable issue of fact therefore the motion is granted.
Case Number: BC699019 Hearing Date: December 11, 2019 Dept: 3
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES – CENTRAL DISTRICT
THELMA CABAL, et al.,
Case No.: BC699019
ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT
After review of the court file, the Court makes the following order:
Department 3 of the Personal Injury Court has determined that the above entitled action is complicated based upon the number of pretrial hearings and/or the complexity of the issues presented.
AT THE DIRECTION OF DEPARTMENT 1:
case is hereby transferred and reassigned to the following Independent Calendar
The Order is signed and filed this date, and incorporated herein by reference. Any pending motions or hearings, including trial and status conferences, will be reset, continued or vacated at the direction of the newly assigned Independent Calendar court.
Upon receipt of this notice, counsel for Plaintiff shall give notice to all parties of record.
DATED: December 11, 2019 ___________________________
Hon. Jon Takasugi
Judge of the Superior Court