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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/18/2019 at 22:42:06 (UTC).

HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN, ET AL., VS NICK CONSTRUCTION & DEV. INC

Case Summary

On 07/14/2017 HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN, filed a Property - Construction Defect lawsuit against NICK CONSTRUCTION DEV 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 MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7815

  • Filing Date:

    07/14/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Construction Defect

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

GOLSHIRAZIAN DELBY

GOLSHIRAZIAN HANOKH

SLOUNIT BRYAN

NIKHOO NAKKHOO

Defendants

NICK CONSTRUCITON & DEVELOPMENT INC.

NIKKHOO ABBAS NAVID

AMERICAN CONSTRACTORS INDEMNITY COMPANY

DEVELOPERS SURETY AND INDEMNITY COMPANY

DEVELOPERS SURETY AND INDEMNITY CO(DOE 2)

JIMENEZ JOSE CARLOS DBA ACR PROFESSIONAL PLUMBING

RESIDENTIAL ELEVATORS LLC

DEVELOPERS SURETY AND INDEMNITY CODOE 2

AMO AIR INC.

ALLSTATE ENGINEERING

R&R DEMO & GRADING CORP.

GHOLIAN SARO DBA US ELECTRIC

Cross Plaintiff

NICK CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

ZIVARI PEDRAM

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

MINOOFAR PEDRAM

KRAFT ESQ. PHILIP A.

ORLAND JAMES JOHN

HAUSMAN & SOSA

KRAFT ESQ. PHILLIP A

 

Court Documents

Unknown

8/23/2017: Unknown

Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

9/8/2017: Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

Unknown

12/8/2017: Unknown

Unknown

12/8/2017: Unknown

Other -

12/21/2017: Other -

Unknown

1/19/2018: Unknown

Unknown

3/9/2018: Unknown

Minute Order

9/13/2018: Minute Order

Substitution of Attorney

10/3/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Motion to Compel

10/22/2018: Motion to Compel

Motion in Limine

3/1/2019: Motion in Limine

Motion in Limine

3/1/2019: Motion in Limine

Ex Parte Application

4/4/2019: Ex Parte Application

Minute Order

4/5/2019: Minute Order

Opposition

4/23/2019: Opposition

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

5/23/2019: Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Unknown

5/23/2019: Unknown

Notice

6/3/2019: Notice

63 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/14/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion for Preliminary Injunction - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 06/14/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion for Preliminary Injunction - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 06/14/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Order to Show Cause Re: (Preliminary Injunction) - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 06/14/2019
  • REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; Filed by DELBY GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff); HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DECLARATION OF PEDRAM ZIVARI Re.: PLAINTIFFS? REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; Filed by DELBY GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff); HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/10/2019
  • Opposition (to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunctions; Declaration of Samuel A. Mann; Declaration of Defendant); Filed by NICK CONSTRUCITON & DEVELOPMENT, INC. (Defendant)

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  • 06/06/2019
  • Amendment to Cross-Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by nick construction & development (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 06/03/2019
  • Proof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by DELBY GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff); HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/03/2019
  • Notice (RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING AND ORDER); Filed by DELBY GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff); HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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105 More Docket Entries
  • 09/08/2017
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/23/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by DELBY GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff); HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/23/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 07/14/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by DELBY GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff); HANOKH GOLSHIRAZIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/14/2017
  • Summons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 07/14/2017
  • Complaint Filed

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  • 07/14/2017
  • Summons; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 07/14/2017
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet

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  • 01/21/2017
  • Answer to First Amended Complaint (AS TO; NICK CONSTRUCTION & DEVE ); Filed by Attorney for Defendant

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/21/2017
  • Answer to First Amended Complaint; Filed by Defendant

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: SC127815    Hearing Date: September 22, 2020    Dept: M

CASE NAME: Hanokh Golshirazian, et al. v. Nick Construction & Dev. Inc. et al.

CASE NO. SC127815

MOTION: Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement

HEARING DATE: 9/22/2020

Background

On July 14, 2017, Hanokh Golshirazian and Delby Golshirazian filed a complaint against Nick Construction & Development, Inc, Abbas Navid Nikkhoo, American Contractors Indemnity Company, and Does 1-10 for (1) breach of contract, (2) fraud and intentional misrepresentation, (3) recovery on contractor’s license bond; (4) negligenge, and (5) breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. On November 9, 2017, Plaintiffs amended the complaint and added Developers Surety and Indemnity Company as a defendant. Plaintiffs claim damages of at least $400,000. (See FAC prayer for relief.)

This action involves alleged construction defects and damages arising from work performed and materials provided at a single family residence located at 322 Loring Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024. (FAC ¶ 29, see also ¶¶ 64-72.) On July 17, 2019, Plaintiffs named several Doe defendants to the FAC, including Amo Air and Allstate. (Bubion Decl. ¶ 3.) On April 9, 2020, Amo Air Plus, Inc filed a motion for determination of good faith settlement between itself as defendant/cross-defendant and Plaintiffs. On September 9, 2020, Allstate Engineering filed an opposition. Both of these defendants were named as Doe defendants. (Bubion Decl. ¶ 3.)

Legal Standard

“Any party to an action in which it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors or co-obligors on a contract debt shall be entitled to a hearing on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff or other claimant and one or more alleged tortfeasors or co-obligors, upon giving notice in the manner provided in subdivision (b) of Section 1005.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 877.6 (a)(1).)

Courts consider the following factors when determining whether a settlement has been reached in good faith: the “[1)] rough approximation of plaintiffs' total recovery and the settlor's proportionate liability, [2)] the amount paid in settlement, [3)] the allocation of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs, and a [4)] recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after a trial.” (Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499.) “Other relevant considerations include the financial conditions and insurance policy limits of settling defendants, as well as the existence of collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed to injure the interests of nonsettling defendants.” (Ibid.) It is also important to consider “whether the amount of the settlement is within the reasonable range of the settling tortfeasor's proportional share of comparative liability for the plaintiff's injuries.” (Ibid.)

Courts are empowered to consider settling defendants’ wealth or lack thereof. (City of Grand Terrace v. Superior Court (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1264.) “The issue of the good faith of a settlement may be determined by the court on the basis of affidavits served with the notice of hearing, and any counteraffidavits filed in response, or the court may, in its discretion, receive other evidence at the hearing.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 877.6(b).) “The party asserting the lack of good faith shall have the burden of proof on that issue.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 877.6(d).)

“A motion or application for determination of good faith settlement may include a request to dismiss a pleading or a portion of a pleading. The notice of motion or application for determination of good faith settlement must list each party and pleading or portion of pleading affected by the settlement and the date on which the affected pleading was filed.” (CRC Rule 3.1382.)

Analysis

Amo Air Plus, Inc. (“Amo”) seeks a determination of a good faith settlement. Amo argues that all of the Tech-Bilt factors for a good faith settlement have been met. In support of their motion, Amo provides evidence that it was the HVAC contractor on the job. (Rieckelman Decl. ¶ 4.) Amo supplied and installed six HVAC units, including the associated ductwork, at Plaintiffs’ home. (Ibid.) In 2017, Amo was called back to the job site to repair a noisy HHVAC unit. Amo states that it installed a rubber piece under the condenser and that fixed the noise problem and that Amo was never called again. (Ibid.)

Amo argues that Plaintiffs demanded that it pay $123,531.69 to settle plaintiffs’ HVAC claims against moving party in this litigation. Amo argues that it has agreed to settle with Plaintiffs for $95,000 and that this is 77% of the demanded amount. Amo argues this amount is appropriate because this amount reflects Amo’s proportionate liablity. Amo supports this motion by providing the declaration of Keith Rickelman. (See generally Decl. Rieckelman.)

Allstate Engineering (“Allstate”) opposes this motion for various reasons. Allstate argues that Amo’s motion is not supported by an expert opinion. Allstate also argues the proposed settlement does not take into consideration all of Amo’s liability because it does not take into account the damages cause to the subterranean floors and that that Amo shares liability for the Plaintiffs’ subterranean wall defect claims. Allstate also argues that Amo’s analysis did not include above-ground HVAC repairs or experts’ fees. Allstate argues and presents evidence that Amo’s potential liability is in the range of $247,119.52 to $263,119.52, and that as a result, the proposed settlement amount is actually about 36% of the potential liability instead of 77% of the potential liability. Allstate also argues that Amo failed to comply with CRC Rule 3.1382 – “The notice of motion or application for determination of good faith settlement must list each party and pleading or portion of pleading affected by the settlement and the date on which the affected pleading was filed.” Finally, Allstate argues that Amo failed to include information as to its insurance policy limits and that this information is relevant to the motion because Amo provided in discovery that it has at least five separate insurance policies that all exceed the potential liablity that was identified above. (See Bubion Decl. ¶ 13; Exhibit I.)

Allstate also provides the declaration of an expert, Anthony Salazar, in construction development, general contracting, construction management cost estimating, cost analysis, change order analysis, and schedule analysis. (Salazar Decl. ¶ 2.) After considering the discovery and other evidence provided in this litigation, Allstate’s expert Mr. Salazar concluded that Amo Air is partially responsible for any completed repairs, investigation costs, testing costs and claimed future repairs to the subterranean walls related to water or moisture intrusion, as claimed by the Plaintiffs in this case. (Salazar decl. ¶ 7, ¶¶ 6(a)-(f), ¶¶5(a)-(j).)

Allstate provides specific evidence as to the ductwork performed by Amo from Amo’s own discovery responses. (See Ex. C to Bubion Decl.). Specifically, in a supplemental response, Amo stated it “suppl[ied] and install[ed] six HVAC units including ductwork. Additional work performed included installation of copper refrigeration lines, installation of indoor drainage, installation of sheet metal on roof including covering the platform under the units, installation of manufacturing curb for the packaged units, installation of noise dampening springs for the conductors, and installation of all the thermostats and grills. Installation of two horizontal furnaces with ductwork.” (Id., Ex. C. supp. Resp. to interrogatory 321.2.). Furthermore, Amo installed “two package units on the roof and four condensers . . . on the roof. Two indoor SAU/heaters were installed in the attic and two air handlers were installed in the closet in the basement. Duct work, refrigerator lines, thermostats and grills were all installed in the areas of the units installed.” (Id. Ex. C. supp. Resp. to interrogatory 321.3.)

In reply, Amo argues that Allstate fails to consider Exhibit A to their motion. The Court, like Allstate, will not consider Exhibit A because Exhibit A is not properly before the Court – there has been no foundation laid for its admission in the Rieckelman declaration. Amo further argues that the HVAC venting future repairs referenced by Allstate were caused by defective waterproofing, and have nothing to do with HVAC. Amo argues that Allstate’s assertion that this defect is allowing moisture to get behind the waterproofing system, potentially causing it to delaminate from the wall is not supported. Allstate, however, provided an expert declaration to support its conclusion, while Amo did not. Amo’s reliance on counsel’s arguments fails to make up for the lack of expert testimony on this issue.

The Court finds that Allstate has met its burden of proof in demonstrating that the proposed settlement amount is not in the “ballpark” of Amo’s proportionate liability. Allstate has provided evidence that Amo’s possible liability is much higher than what Plaintiff demands. Amo concedes in its motion that the total amount to be recovered by Plaintiff is not known at this time. While Plaintiffs demand that Amo pay $123,531.69 to settle Plaintiffs’ HVAC claims against Amo in this litigation, there is nothing before the Court to show how Plaintiffs obtained this valuation. In Greshko, the Court found that although the “declarations may be sufficient on the issue of [respondent’s] attorney's beliefs and motivation for the settlements, [the] declarations [we]re insufficient on the issue of respondents' proportionate liability. [The] attorney did not even attempt to lay the slightest factual foundation for his opinions. He does not even state what specific facts he relied upon, or what the expert opinion was that supported his conclusion . . .” (Greshko v. County of Los Angeles Since the declaration supporting the motion is insufficient, and since Allstate has met its burden under the Tech-Bilt factors demonstrating that the settlement is inadequate, the motion for determination of good faith settlement is DENIED without prejudice.

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