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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/17/2021 at 10:17:22 (UTC).

EMEKA NWANKWO VS THRONE SHIPPING INC, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 08/31/2020 EMEKA NWANKWO filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against THRONE SHIPPING INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DEIRDRE HILL. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0612

  • Filing Date:

    08/31/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Torrance Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

DEIRDRE HILL

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

NWANKWO EMEKA

Defendants

ILORI OLALEKAN MICHAEL

THRONE SHIPPING INC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

NWANKWO EMEKA UDOCHUKWU

Defendant Attorney

BOYD KARIE

 

Court Documents

Case Management Statement

2/1/2021: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

2/3/2021: Case Management Statement

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: FAILURE T...)

2/8/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: FAILURE T...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: FAILURE T...) OF 02/08/2021

2/8/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: FAILURE T...) OF 02/08/2021

Notice of Ruling

12/14/2020: Notice of Ruling

Answer

12/14/2020: Answer

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

12/4/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

Proof of Service by Mail

10/5/2020: Proof of Service by Mail

Declaration - DECLARATION OF NATALIE SCHNEIDER IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

10/5/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF NATALIE SCHNEIDER IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

10/6/2020: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Notice of Case Management Conference

9/3/2020: Notice of Case Management Conference

Order to Show Cause (Hearing)

9/3/2020: Order to Show Cause (Hearing)

Proof of Personal Service

9/4/2020: Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service

9/4/2020: Proof of Personal Service

Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

8/31/2020: Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

Civil Case Cover Sheet

8/31/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

8/31/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Complaint

8/31/2020: Complaint

8 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/09/2022
  • Hearing02/09/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Jury Trial

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  • 02/02/2022
  • Hearing02/02/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Final Status Conference

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  • 10/08/2021
  • Hearing10/08/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Post-Mediation Status Conference

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  • 02/08/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Failure to File Proof Of Service; Failure to Prosecute case; Failure to File Request for Entry of Default) - Held

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  • 02/08/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held

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  • 02/08/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Case Management Conference; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure t...) of 02/08/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/08/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure t...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/03/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by THRONE SHIPPING INC (Defendant); OLALEKAN MICHAEL ILORI (Defendant)

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  • 02/01/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by EMEKA NWANKWO (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/29/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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10 More Docket Entries
  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by THRONE SHIPPING INC (Defendant); OLALEKAN MICHAEL ILORI (Defendant)

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  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketDeclaration (of Natalie Schneider In Support of Demurrer to Plaintiff's Complaint); Filed by THRONE SHIPPING INC (Defendant); OLALEKAN MICHAEL ILORI (Defendant)

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  • 09/04/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by EMEKA NWANKWO (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/04/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by EMEKA NWANKWO (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/03/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/03/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause (Hearing); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/31/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/31/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by EMEKA NWANKWO (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/31/2020
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by EMEKA NWANKWO (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/31/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by EMEKA NWANKWO (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20TRCV00612    Hearing Date: December 04, 2020    Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

EMEKA NWANKWO,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

20TRCV00612

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

THRONE SHIPPING INC, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: December 4, 2020

Moving Parties: Defendant Throne Shipping

Responding Party: Plaintiff Emeka Nwankwo

Demurrer

The court considered the moving and opposition papers.

RULING

The demurrer is OVERRULED as to the 1st through 4th causes of action and SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to the 5th cause of action. Defendant is ordered to file an answer within ten days.

BACKGROUND

On August 31, 2020, Emeka Nwankwo (self-represented) filed a complaint against Throne Shipping Inc and Olalekan Michael Ilori for (1) breach of contract, (2) fraud, (3) general negligence, (4) unfair business practice, and (5) negligent infliction of emotional distress.

DISCUSSION

Defendant demurs to each of the causes of action on the ground that they fail to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action and are uncertain.

1st cause of action for breach of contract

Plaintiff alleges that on August 13, 2019, the parties entered into an oral agreement whereby defendants took delivery of plaintiff’s 2010 Mercedes Benz GL550 for shipment to Nigeria for the agreed amount of $1,400 for shipment and $5,000 for clearing, which plaintiff paid. Defendants assured that the vehicle would be in Nigeria in 60 days. It got to Nigeria in March 2020 with great damage. Defendants have refused to release the vehicle despite receiving their fully agreed payment despite several demands.

Defendant argues that plaintiff has not plead any facts that establishes any contractual obligation owed as to the handling of the vehicle and how it was to be delivered to plaintiff.

The court finds that the allegations are sufficient to meet the elements.

The demurrer is OVERRULED as to the 1st cause of action.

2nd cause of action for fraud

The elements of fraud are: (1) a misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (2) knowledge of falsity (or scienter); (3) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance; (4) justifiable reliance; and (5) resulting damage. Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 631, 638.

Plaintiff alleges that on August 25, 2019, defendants defrauded plaintiff by representing to plaintiff that they would deliver his vehicle to Nigeria for $1,400 in shipment costs and $5,000 for clearing. Defendants promised to deliver the vehicle to Nigeria in 60 days in good condition without further cost to plaintiff. The representations were false. The vehicle got to Nigerian in March 2020 with great damage and vandalism. Defendants had no reasonable ground for believing the representations were true. Defendants made the representations with the intent to defraud and induce plaintiff to ac. Defendants concealed or suppressed material facts that they would add his vehicle in a container with a false declaration of the content of the container and that his vehicle would be delayed with cost. Defendants made the above promises without any intention of performing them. Plaintiff gave his vehicle and a folding adult walker to defendants and paid the $6,400. Plaintiff has been damaged in the shipment costs, clearing cost, vandalism, emotional distress because he could not sue the vehicle for his Christmas vacation, and cost of rental of alternative vehicle.

Defendant argues that plaintiff has not plead facts to show that the alleged fraud resulted in any damages. Defendant further argues that the “duty” to deliver the vehicle to plaintiff in the same condition it was handed is not a duty of care prescribed by law, but rather a duty imposed by contract.

“[F]raud or deceit in connection with a contract must establish tortious conduct independent of a breach of the contract itself, that is violation of ‘some independent duty arising from tort law.’” Food Safety Net Services v. Eco Safe Systems USA, Inc. (2012) 209 Cal. App. 4th 1118, 1130 (citation omitted). To establish a fraudulent inducement claim, the plaintiff must show the defendant did not intend to honor its contractual promises when they were made. Tenzer v. Superscope, Inc. (1985) 39 Cal. 3d 18, 30. Although the fraudulent intent is often established by circumstantial evidence something more than nonperformance is required to prove the defendant’s intent not to perform his promise.” Id. See also Riverisland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Production Credit Assn. (2013) 55 Cal. 4th 1169, 1183 (“the intent element of promissory fraud entails more than proof of an unkept promise or mere failure of performance.”).

The court finds that the allegations are sufficient as to intentional or negligent misrepresentation, concealment, and promise without intent to perform. Plaintiff alleges tortious conduct independent of a breach of contract. Further, plaintiff has also alleged other damages.

The demurrer is OVERRULED as to the 2nd cause of action.

3rd cause of action for general negligence

Plaintiff alleges that defendants owed plaintiff a duty of care to deliver the vehicle to plaintiff in the same condition it was handed over to them. Defendants breached their duty of care by delay, damage, and vandalizing the vehicle. Plaintiff sustained damages. Defendants’ negligence was the cause of plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

Defendant argues that plaintiff has not plead facts as to any affirmative duty, breach, or causation.

“A person may not ordinarily recover in tort for the breach of duties that merely restate contractual obligations.” Aas v. Superior Court (2000) 24 Cal. 4th 627, 643 (superseded by statute unrelated to the economic loss rule).

The court finds that the allegations are sufficient to meet the elements, including as to a duty of care that is outside the four corners of the purported oral agreement.

The demurrer is OVERRULED.

4th cause of action for unfair business practice

The purpose of the Unfair Business Practices Act (Bus. & Prof. Code §17000, et. seq.) is to “safeguard the public against the creation or perpetuation of monopolies and to foster and encourage competition, by prohibiting unfair, dishonest, deceptive, destructive, fraudulent and discriminatory practices by which fair and honest competition is destroyed or prevented.” Bus. & Prof. Code §17001. The Unfair Business Practices Act shall include “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice.” Bus. & Prof. Code §17200. The Unfair Business Practices Act is a tool with which to enjoin deceptive or sharp practices. Samura v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (1993) 17 Cal. App. 4th 1284, 1299, fn. 6.

Plaintiff alleges that there was no consent or formal contractual agreement with defendants before they deceitfully put his vehicle in a container containing fraudulently declared goods/items. Thereafter, defendants caused unjustifiable delays, property damages, and avoidable costs against plaintiff’s vehicle. Defendants deceitfully colluded with each other and their agents in Nigeria to delay delivery of plaintiff’s vehicle to Nigeria, damage plaintiff’s vehicle, stole his folding adult walker, and extorted money from plaintiff.

Defendant argues that the allegations are insufficient to show an unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practice.

The court finds that the allegations are sufficient. The allegations show deceptive practices, including fraudulent practice.

The demurrer is OVERRULED as to the 4th cause of action.

5th cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress

NIED is not a stand-alone/independent theory; rather the label for the relevant tort theory is “negligence.” See Marlene F. v. Affiliated Psychiatric Medical Clinic, Inc. (1948) 48 Cal. 3d 583, 588. See also Burgess v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal. 4th 1064, 1072, stating “We have repeatedly recognized that ‘the negligent causing of emotional distress is not an independent tort, but the tort of negligence.’”

NIED is not a valid cause of action against defendants, but merely a form of damages subsumed within a negligence cause of action. See Lawson v. Management Activities, Inc. (1999) 69 Cal. App. 4th 652, 656. “[T]here is no independent tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress. Thus, since plaintiffs’ purported negligent infliction claim was merely ‘a species of negligence,’ the better question to ask in appraising plaintiffs’ so-called negligent infliction allegations is: ‘What are the circumstances under which a plaintiff can recover damages for emotional distress as a matter of the law of negligence?’” Delfino v. Agilent Technologies, Inc. (2006) 145 Cal. App. 4th 790, 818.

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND as to the 5th cause of action.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of the ruling.

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