This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/09/2019 at 02:03:57 (UTC).

GUADALUPE FIGUEROA VS NORTHGATE GONZALEZ MARKETS INC

Case Summary

On 12/19/2017 GUADALUPE FIGUEROA filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against NORTHGATE GONZALEZ MARKETS INC. 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:

    ****7515

  • Filing Date:

    12/19/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • 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

FIGUEROA GUADALUPE

Defendants and Respondents

NORTHGATE GONZALEZ MARKETS INC.

DOES 1 TO 50

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

VAZIRI LAW GROUP APC

Defendant Attorney

D'ORO FRANK JOSEPH JR

 

Court Documents

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

2/9/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

ANSWER OF NORTHGATE GONZALEZ, LLC TO COMPLAINT

3/9/2018: ANSWER OF NORTHGATE GONZALEZ, LLC TO COMPLAINT

Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

3/13/2019: Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

4/30/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

SUMMONS

12/19/2017: SUMMONS

UNLIMITED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. PREMISES LIABILITY ;ETC

12/19/2017: UNLIMITED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. PREMISES LIABILITY ;ETC

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/04/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 05/17/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 03/13/2019
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 03/09/2018
  • Answer; Filed by Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 03/09/2018
  • ANSWER OF NORTHGATE GONZALEZ, LLC TO COMPLAINT

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  • 02/09/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 02/09/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Guadalupe Figueroa (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/19/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 12/19/2017
  • UNLIMITED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. PREMISES LIABILITY ;ETC

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  • 12/19/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Guadalupe Figueroa (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC687515    Hearing Date: December 04, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion for Summary Judgment; Motion to Continue Trial and Related Dates

Having considered the moving, opposing, and reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On December 19, 2017, Plaintiff Guadalupe Figueroa (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Northgate Gonzalez Markets (“Defendant”) alleging premises liability and negligence for a slip-and-fall that occurred on January 9, 2016.

On June 21, 2019, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgement pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 437c.

On October 8, 2019, the Court continued the hearing on Defendant’s motion for summary judgment to November 1, 2019.

On October 10, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to continue trial and related dates pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332.

On November 1, 2019, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and motion to continue trial and related dates to December 4, 2019.

Trial is set for December 4, 2019.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant asks the Court to grant summary judgment in Defendant’s favor and against Plaintiff because there is no evidence of a dangerous condition that caused Plaintiff’s injuries and Defendant did not have notice of the alleged dangerous condition.

Defendant also asks the Court to continue trial and the related dates approximately four months so Defendant can conduct additional discovery relating to a car accident in which Plaintiff was involved after her slip-and-fall.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary Judgment

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.”  (Aguilar v. Atl. 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.)

“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.”  (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.)  A defendant moving for summary judgment “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established.”  (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(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 the cause of action or a defense thereto.”  (Ibid.)  “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Med. Ctr. (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467.)

“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.”  (Avivi, supra, 159 Cal.App.4th at p. 467; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).)

Continuance

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (a), “[t]o ensure the prompt disposition of civil cases, the dates assigned for a trial are firm.  All parties and their counsel must regard the date set for trial as certain.”  Under California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (b), “[a] party seeking a continuance of the date set for trial, whether contested or uncontested or stipulated to by the parties, must make the request for a continuance by a noticed motion or an ex parte application under the rules in chapter 4 of this division, with supporting declarations.  The party must make the motion or application as soon as reasonably practical once the necessity for the continuance is discovered.”

California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (c) states that “[a]lthough continuances of trials are disfavored, each request for a continuance must be considered on its own merits.  The court may grant a continuance only on an affirmative showing of good cause requiring the continuance.”  California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (d) sets forth factors that are relevant in determining whether to grant a continuance.

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2024.050 allows a court to grant leave to complete discovery proceedings.  In doing so, a court shall consider matters relevant to the leave requested, including, but not limited to: (1) the necessity of the discovery, (2) the diligence in seeking the discovery or discovery motion, (3) the likelihood of interference with the trial calendar or prejudice to a party, and (4) the length of time that has elapsed between previous trial dates.  (Code Civ. Proc. § 2024.050.)

DISCUSSION

Summary Judgment  – Objections

Defendant’s first objection relates to evidence underlying Plaintiff’s second material fact.  The evidence relates to Plaintiff’s testimony about how wet the floormat was just before Plaintiff stepped on it and fell in Defendant’s store.  Defendant objects on the grounds of speculation, foundation, and relevancy.  This evidence is not speculative because Plaintiff personally observed the wetness of the floormat.  Plaintiff has foundation to testify as to the wetness of the floormat because she directly observed its condition.  And finally, this evidence is relevant to Plaintiff’s effort to prove that the floormat was sufficiently wet that it made Plaintiff’s shoes wet and caused her to fall on a slick surface.  Defendant’s objections to this evidence are OVERRULED.

The Court declines to rule on Defendant’s other objections because the Court does not rely on the underlying evidence.

Summary Judgment  – Premises Liability

The elements for premises liability are: duty, breach, causation, and damages. (Castellon v. U.S. Bancorp (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 994, 998.) Those who own, possess, or control property generally have a duty to exercise ordinary care in managing the property to avoid exposing others to an unreasonable risk of harm. (Annocki v. Peterson Enterprises, LLC (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 32, 37.) The existence and scope of duty are legal questions for the court. (Id. at p. 36.)  If a dangerous condition exists, the property owner is “under a duty to exercise ordinary care either to make the condition reasonably safe for their [customers’] use or to give a warning adequate to enable them to avoid the harm.” (Bridgman v. Safeway Stores, Inc. (1960) 53 Cal.2d 443, 446.)

A plaintiff alleging injuries based on a dangerous condition must prove the defendant either: (1) created the dangerous condition, or (2) knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.  (See Peralta v. Vons Companies, Inc. (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 1030, 1036; see also Ortega v. Kmart Corp. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 1200, 1206.)  “[A] defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law if the plaintiff fails to show that the dangerous condition existed for at least a sufficient time to be discovered by ordinary care and inspection.”  (Ortega, supra, 26 Cal.4th at p. 1207.)

Defendant’s undisputed material facts establish the following.  On January 9, 2016, Defendant’s employee, Fortino Morales, inspected an area of Defendant’s premises at 5:57 p.m.  (UMF No. 3, p. 2:13-2:18.)  Mr. Morales did not observe any liquid or foreign debris during his inspection.  (Ibid.)  At approximately 6:20 p.m., Plaintiff fell in the area where Mr. Morales inspected. (UMF Nos. 1-2, p. 2:4-2:12.) in the area of the incident at any time while she was on the premises on the date of the incident.  (UMF No. 5, p. 2:22-2:28.)  At the time of the incident, Defendant had a system that recorded when storewide inspections were performed every thirty minutes as required by store policy.  (UMF No. 6, p. 3:1-3:5.)  

The Court finds Defendant has not met its burden in showing its reasonable inspection system shows Defendant did not have notice of the alleged dangerous condition.  It is a question for the jury to decide whether Defendant’s 30-minute inspection system and whether the passage of 23 minutes between Mr. Morales’ inspection and Plaintiff’s fall shows Defendant did not have constructive notice of the alleged dangerous condition. Sapp v. W. T. Grant Co. (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 89, 94 (finding the question of whether a 20-minute inspection interval was commensurate with the exercise of ordinary care to be a question of fact to be decided by a jury).)

Nevertheless, the Court finds Defendant has met its initial burden of demonstrating that there was no dangerous condition on Defendant’s premises that caused Plaintiff to fall.  Defendant’s evidence shows Plaintiff never saw any liquid on the floor and Mr. Morales confirmed that the area was clear of any debris or liquid shortly after Plaintiff’s fall.  The burden shifts, therefore, to Plaintiff to present evidence of a dangerous condition on Defendant’s premises that caused her fall.

Plaintiff’s material facts establish the following.  It was raining on and off all day on the day of the incident.  (PUMF No. 1, p. 2:6-2:14.)  It was drizzling at the time Plaintiff entered Defendant’s store.  (Ibid.)  Defendant placed a rubber floormat just inside the entrance to the store.  (PUMF No. 2, p. 2:18-2:25.)  The floormat was wet.  (Ibid.Plaintiff walked across the mat, took a few steps, and then slipped and fell twice.  (PUMF No. 3, p. 3:1-3:8.) p. 3:13-23.)

The Court finds Plaintiff has met her burden of demonstrating a triable issue of fact regarding whether there was a dangerous condition on Defendant’s premises.  Plaintiff’s evidence shows that it was a very rainy day and that it was drizzling when she entered Defendant’s store.  Defendant’s floormat at the entrance of its store was wet.  Plaintiff stepped on that mat and then fell after stepping off the mat.  After Plaintiff’s fall, Defendant’s employees mopped the area where Plaintiff fell and replaced the wet mat.  These facts give rise to a genuine factual dispute regarding whether rainwater on the floor near the entrance to Defendant’s store constituted a dangerous condition.   

Plaintiff submits the declaration of forensic engineer Mark Burns to establish that the smooth concrete flooring where Plaintiff slipped was slippery when wet.  The Court does not need to consider this opinion in deciding whether a dangerous condition existed.  (See Fielder v. City of Glendale (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 719, 732 (disregarding expert opinion on whether a condition is dangerous); see also Caloroso v. Hathaway (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th at pp. 928-929 (finding no abuse of discretion for the trial court’s reliance on the decision in Fielder in disregarding expert opinion of whether a condition is dangerous.) Further, it is common knowledge that smooth concrete flooring is slippery when wet.  A reasonable juror could find that the presence of a wet floormat abutting a smooth concrete flooring on a very rainy day was a dangerous condition that caused Plaintiff’s fall.  Thus, Plaintiff has met her burden and the motion for summary judgment must be denied.

Continuance

Defendant argues there is good cause to grant the requested continuance because Defendant just recently learned that Plaintiff made a claim for a head injury and back injury arising from a car accident that occurred on October 16, 2018.  (Gerome Decl., ¶¶ 13-15.)  In her discovery responses, Plaintiff denied that she suffered any injuries, falls, or car accidents after the slip-and-fall at issue in this case.  (Gerome Decl., ¶¶ 10-12.)  On October 8, 2019, Defendant learned that Plaintiff made a car accident claim for head and back injuries, both of which are injuries to body parts that overlap with the injuries Plaintiff contends she suffered from the January 2016 slip-and-fall at issue in this case.  (Gerome Decl., ¶¶ 3-14.)

The Court agrees with Defendant.  There is good cause to continue trial and the related dates due to its recent discovery of Plaintiff’s recent car accident and overlapping injuries that resulted.  Defendant needs to conduct discovery in relation to these injuries.  Defendant has been delayed in conducting this discovery through no fault of its own.  Plaintiff does not oppose the requested continuance.  As such, trial and the related dates are properly continued.

CONCLUSION

The motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

The motion to continue trial and related dates is GRANTED.

Trial is continued to April 20, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.  The final status conference is continued to April 6, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.  Both hearings are to take place in Department 4A of Spring Street Courthouse located at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles 90012.  All discovery cut-off dates shall relate to the April 20, 2020 trial date.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC687515    Hearing Date: November 01, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion for Evidentiary Sanctions

Having considered the moving, opposing, and reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On December 19, 2017, Plaintiff Guadalupe Figueroa (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Inc. and DOES 1 to 50, asserting causes of action for premises liability and negligence.

On March 9, 2018, Defendant Northgate Gonzalez, LLC (erroneously named and served as Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Inc.) (“Defendant”) filed an answer to the complaint.

Trial is set for December 4, 2019.

PARTY’S REQUEST

Defendant moves for evidentiary sanctions, pursuant to C.C.P. §§2023.010 and 2023.030, “precluding all parties, their counsel of record, and all witnesses, from using, referring to or relying on, in any way, for any purpose, and at any time, the deposition testimony of Miriam Nava taken September 10, 2019, including the video and deposition transcript.”

LEGAL STANDARD

“[T]he court, after notice to any affected party, person, or attorney, and after opportunity for hearing, may impose the following sanctions against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process…(c) The court may impose an evidence sanction by an order prohibiting any party engaging in the misuse of the discovery process from introducing designated matters into evidence.” (C.C.P. §2023.030(c).) Misuses of the discovery process include “[u]sing a discovery method in a manner that does not comply with its specified procedures.” (C.C.P. §2023.010(b).)

DISCUSSION

Defendant Northgate Gonzalez, LLC (“Defendant”) moves for evidentiary sanctions against Plaintiff Guadalupe Figueroa (“Plaintiff”), pursuant to C.C.P. §§2023.010 and 2023.030, “precluding all parties, their counsel of record, and all witnesses, from using, referring to or relying on, in any way, for any purpose, and at any time, the deposition testimony of Miriam Nava taken September 10, 2019, including the video and deposition transcript.” (Notice of Motion, pgs. 1-2.)

Defendant submitted evidence showing Plaintiff engaged in a misuse of the discovery process. Specifically, Defendant submitted evidence Plaintiff improperly suspended the deposition of Defendant’s PMK, Miriam Nava (“Nava”) and deprived Defendant of the right to cross-examine Nava.

Plaintiff served Defendant with a Second Continued Notice of Deposition for Defendant’s Person(s) Most Knowledgeable and Request for Production, setting the deposition for September 10, 2019. (Declaration of Gerome ¶8; Exhibit C.) Defendant served an Objection to Plaintiff’s Notice on August 30, 2019, objecting to a number of the 21 categories of anticipated testimony and indicating no witnesses would be designated to cover certain categories to which objections were made. (Declaration of Gerome ¶9; Exhibit D.) Defendant also objected to various requests for production of documents. (Declaration of Gerome ¶9; Exhibit D.)

Defendant appointed Nava as the PMK to cover all categories to which no objections were made, and Nava’s deposition went forward on September 10, 2019. (Declaration of Gerome ¶10; Exhibit E.) Plaintiff’s counsel, David Shay (“Shay”), conducted the deposition. (Declaration of Gerome ¶11.) Shay continued to question Nava regarding categories that were objected to and, despite objections made in writing and on the record, Shay “pushed forward questioning [Nava] on a number of other topics.” (Declaration of Gerome ¶12.) After about four hours of questioning and without a question pending (that was unanswered) or an objection (with an instruction not to answer), and after appearing to obtain all of the testimony he planned to obtain from Nava, Shay suspended the deposition. (Declaration of Gerome ¶13.) Shay suspended the deposition because he believed there were topics and documents responsive to the Requests, which were not produced. (Declaration of Gerome ¶13.) Shay did not offer defense counsel the opportunity to ask any questions. (Declaration of Gerome ¶14.) There was no stipulation on the record that the deposition was suspended and no agreement that defense counsel waived the right to examine Nava. (Declaration of Gerome ¶16.)

Plaintiff did not have a right to suspend Nava’s deposition under the circumstances. Defendant asserted objections to certain categories of anticipated testimony and requests for production of documents. Shay had two options: (1) complete the deposition on other matters or (2) adjourn the deposition and file a motion. (See C.C.P. §2025.460(e)(“If a deponent fails to answer any question or to produce any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing under the deponent’s control that is specified in the deposition notice or a deposition subpoena, the party seeking that answer or production may adjourn the deposition or complete the examination on other matters without waiving the right at a later time to move for an order compelling that answer or production under Section 2025.480.”).) (Emphasis Added.) (See also Weil & Brown, California Practice Guide, Civil Procedure Before Trial §7:737 (“If a deponent fails to answer a question, or to produce records or things specified in the depo notice or subpoena, the deposing party may” complete the deposition on other matters or adjourn the deposition and file a motion to compel answers.).) Shay elected to proceed with Nava’s deposition. Shay did not have a right to suspend Nava’s deposition once he completed his questioning.

Plaintiff also did not have the right to prevent Defendant from cross-examining Nava. Defendant had the right to ask Nava questions during the deposition. (See C.C.P. §2025.330(d) (“Examination and cross-examination of the deponent shall proceed as permitted at trial under the provisions of the Evidence Code.”) (See also Weil & Brown, California Practice Guide, Civil Procedure Before Trial §§8:709-8:710 (“All parties present at the deposition have the right to cross-examine the deponent, just as at trial…Thus, counsel representing the deponent has the same right to ask questions as other counsel present…”).) Shay deprived Defendant of the right to cross-examine Nava by suspending the deposition and refusing to allow defense counsel to ask Nava questions.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues Shay properly suspended the deposition. According to Plaintiff, there is nothing in the California Code of Civil Procedure or any of the cases cited by Defendant in the motion that says Plaintiff must adjourn the deposition as soon as a failure to comply is discovered. (Opposition, pg. 1.) Relying on C.C.P. §2025.460(e), Plaintiff argues Shay had a right to suspend the deposition. However, Plaintiff was aware both before and during the deposition that Defendant objected to certain categories of anticipated testimony and requested documents, and would not be producing PMKs for those categories. As discussed above, under C.C.P. §2025.460(e), Shay had two options: (1) complete the deposition on other matters or (2) adjourn the deposition and file a motion. Plaintiff did not cite to on-point case law or authority to suggest Shay had the right to suspend Nava’s deposition after essentially completing his questioning because of Defendant’s objections.

Further, Plaintiff’s argument that the suspension was appropriate as a means of seeking a court order compelling Defendant’s compliance with the PMK deposition notice is belied by his own failure to seek such a motion. Although more than seven weeks have passed since the September 10, 2019 deposition, Plaintiff has not yet filed a motion to compel further testimony from Defendant.

Even assuming, arguendo, Plaintiff had the right to suspend Nava’s deposition, Shay still deprived Defendant of the right to cross-examine Nava. Shay suspended Nava’s deposition and refused to allow defense counsel to ask Nava any questions. Shay’s refusal to allow defense counsel to question Nava is especially problematic considering Shay did not even know if Nava would have to come back for a second deposition.

Nevertheless, the Court finds Defendant’s requested sanction – the exclusion of Nava’s deposition testimony - is too extreme. “There is abundant case law to the effect that the purpose of discovery sanctions ‘is not ‘to provide a weapon for punishment, forfeiture and the avoidance of a trial on the merits,’’ [Citation], but to prevent abuse of the discovery process and correct the problem presented [Citations]. ‘One of the principal purposes of the Discovery Act…is to enable a party to obtain evidence in the control of his adversary in order to further the efficient, economical disposition of cases according to right and justice on the merits. [Citations.]’ [Citation]” (McGinty v. Superior Court (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 204, 210.) The penalty sought – excluding Nava’s deposition testimony – is not “‘appropriate to the dereliction’” and “‘exceed[s] that which is required to protect the interests of the party entitled to but denied discovery.’ [Citation]” (Id.)

Shay had essentially completed his questioning of Nava when he suspended the deposition. Defendant was denied the right to cross-examine Nava. The denial of Defendant’s right to cross-examine Nava can be remedied by ordering a second session of Nava’s deposition and continuing the hearing on the MSJ so that Defendant can file a supplemental reply brief after the second session of Nava’s deposition has been completed.

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s motion for evidentiary sanctions is DENIED. However, the Court makes the following orders: (1) the second session of Nava’s deposition shall be completed within 15 days; (2) Defendant’s MSJ is continued to December 4, 2019 (the date set for trial); and (3) Defendant may file a supplemental reply to the MSJ (limited to addressing the significance of any material information obtained during the second session of Nava’s deposition). During the hearing, the Court will consider a brief continuance of the trial date, if warranted.

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Having considered the moving papers, opposition and reply, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Guadalupe Figueroa (“Plaintiff”) filed this action on December 19, 2017, against Defendant Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Inc. (“Defendant”) arising from a slip-and-fall caused by a slippery substance near the entry of Defendant’s premises. The Complaint alleges causes of action for: (1) premises liability; (2) negligence.

Trial is set for December 4, 2019.

LEGAL STANDARD

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar v. Atl. 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.)

“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.) A defendant moving for summary judgment “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(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 the cause of action or a defense thereto.” (Ibid.) “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Med. Ctr. (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467.)

“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi, supra, 159 Cal.App.4th at p. 467; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

Concurrently set for hearing with Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment is Defendant’s Motion for Evidentiary Sanctions premised on the contention that Plaintiff improperly suspended the deposition of Defendant’s Person Most Knowledgeable. Given that the denial of Defendant’s right to cross-examine Nava can be remedied by ordering a second session of Nava’s deposition, Defendant’s motion for sanctions is denied without prejudice. The Court accordingly continues Defendant’s MSJ to December 4, 2019, and allows Defendant to file a supplemental reply to the MSJ (limited to the information obtained during the second session of Nava’s deposition).

Additionally, it appears that Plaintiff neglected to file her supporting evidence with the Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment with the Court. On October 10, 2019, Plaintiff filed the declaration of counsel Elizabeth Munro, which states that Exhibits A through G are submitted as part of a “Lodgment of Exhibits in support of Plaintiff’s opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.” (Munro Decl. ¶ 2.) The Court notes that Plaintiff has filed two identical four-page declarations labelled as the “Declaration of Elizabeth Munro . . .” and “Reply Declaration of Elizabeth Munro” respectively. However, no exhibits are attached to either filing, and it appears that no compendium of exhibits has been separately filed with the Court.

As reflected above, the hearing on Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment is CONTINUED to December 4, 2019. Defendant may file a supplemental reply to the Motion. Plaintiff shall file her supporting Exhibits with the Court within five days of this Order.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of the Court’s rulings.