This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/14/2019 at 00:52:04 (UTC).

HEATHER BENNETT VS BYUNG W KANG ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/16/2018 a Contract - Other Contract case was filed by HEATHER BENNETT against BYUNG W KANG in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2398

  • Filing Date:

    04/16/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

MICHAEL P. LINFIELD

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

BENNETT HEATHER

Respondents and Defendants

KANG BYUNG W.

DOES 1 TO 10

CNC COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE INC.

CNC PROPERTIES

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

8/6/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

7/26/2018: Minute Order

DECLARATION OF PATRICIA M. BAKST IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

6/25/2018: DECLARATION OF PATRICIA M. BAKST IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

DECLARATION OF MARILISA WORDEN IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

6/25/2018: DECLARATION OF MARILISA WORDEN IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

DECLARATION OF PLAINTIFF, HEATHER BENNETR, IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

6/25/2018: DECLARATION OF PLAINTIFF, HEATHER BENNETR, IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

6/25/2018: NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR: (1) TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND, (2) HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION;ETC.

6/25/2018: PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR: (1) TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND, (2) HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION;ETC.

Minute Order

6/25/2018: Minute Order

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

6/29/2018: DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

6/29/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

6/29/2018: ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Minute Order

5/31/2018: Minute Order

Unknown

5/14/2018: Unknown

DEFENDANTS' OBJECTIONS TO NOTICE OF RELATED CASES FILED BY PLAINTIFF HEATHER BENNETT

5/15/2018: DEFENDANTS' OBJECTIONS TO NOTICE OF RELATED CASES FILED BY PLAINTIFF HEATHER BENNETT

NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

5/10/2018: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

5/3/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

SUMMONS

4/30/2018: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR: 1. VIOLATION OF LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODES; ETC

4/16/2018: COMPLAINT FOR: 1. VIOLATION OF LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODES; ETC

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/12/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 34; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 07/12/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 34; Jury Trial - Not Held - Clerical Error

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  • 06/06/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 34; Hearing on Motion for Summary Adjudication - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 06/06/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by CNC Commercial Real Estate, Inc. (Defendant); Byung W. Kang (Defendant)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 34; Case Management Conference (/ OSC RE ENTRY OF DEFAULT RE TIMOTHY YONG LEE DBA FOUR SEASONS) - Held

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference / OSC RE ENTRY OF DEFAULT RE TIMOT...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/28/2019
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by Byung W. Kang (Defendant)

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  • 05/17/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 34; Case Management Conference (/Trial Setting Conference) - Held

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  • 05/17/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference /Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/17/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Byung W. Kang (Defendant)

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67 More Docket Entries
  • 05/11/2018
  • NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

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  • 05/10/2018
  • Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/10/2018
  • NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

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  • 05/10/2018
  • Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/03/2018
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 05/03/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/30/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Heather Bennett (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/30/2018
  • SUMMONS

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  • 04/16/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Heather Bennett (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/16/2018
  • COMPLAINT FOR: 1. VIOLATION OF LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODES; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC702398    Hearing Date: January 08, 2020    Dept: 34

SUBJECT: Motion to Consolidate for trial

Moving Party: Plaintiffs Heather Bennett, Sarah Cibula, and Hunter Cibula

Resp. Party: Defendants/Cross-Complainants Byung W. Kang and CNC Commercial Real Estate, Inc. aka CNC Properties

Plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate for trial is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND:

On October 1, 2013, Plaintiff Heather Bennett and her two minor children became tenants in the upstairs unit of Defendants Byung W. Kang and CNC Commercial Real Estate Inc. aka CNC Properties’ duplex property that are subject to the City of Los Angeles’ Rent Stabilization and Tenant Habitability Ordinances. (FAC, ¶¶ 2-3, 6.) Plaintiff has continuously lived in the upstairs unit according and pursuant to the terms of the leave even though the original lease term expired in or about September 2014. (FAC, ¶ 6.)

Starting when Defendant Kang purchased the property and Defendant CNC Properties acted as the manager of the property in December 2016, and after Defendant Kang offered to buy-out Plaintiff’s lease agreement, Defendants ignored or delayed responding to Plaintiff’s request for repairs, maintenance, and issues of pests, heating, balcony problems, and asbestos, all in a bad faith attempt to force Plaintiff to abandon her rights under the lease and local rent-control laws. (FAC, ¶¶ 19-46.)

On April 16, 2018, Plaintiff Heather Bennett commenced this action against Defendants Byung W. Kang and CNC Commercial Real Estate, Inc. aka CNC Properties.

On or about April 30, 2018, Defendants, in retaliation for filing this action against them, filed an unlawful detainer action against Plaintiff. (FAC, ¶ 47.)

On May 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed the operative first amended complaint (“FAC”) against Defendants for (1) violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code; (2) breach of warranty of habitability; (3) violation of Health and Safety Codes; (4) breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment; (5) nuisance; (6) retaliatory and constructive eviction; (7) breach of contract; (8) fraud; (9) violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200; (10) negligence; (11) negligence per se; (12) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (13) negligent infliction of emotional distress; (14) trespass; and (15) willful misconduct.

On May 31, 2018, the Court found that cases BC702398 and BC703676 are related.

On June 25, 2018, the Court denied without prejudice Plaintiff’s ex parte application for temporary restraining order and hearing on order to show cause re: preliminary injunction.

On July 26, 2018, the Court found that cases BC702398, BC703676, and BC709105 are related.

On January 24, 2019, the Court, based upon the stipulation of the parties, permitted Plaintiff to file an amendment to their complaint, adding her children, Sarah Cibula and Hunter Cibula as Plainitffs.

On March 7, 2019, Defendants filed a cross-complaint against Timothy Yong Lee dba Four Seasons Air Conditioning and Heating for (1) indemnity and (2) contribution.

On August 7, 2019, Defendants filed their first amended cross complaint against Timothy Yong Lee dba Four Seasons Air Conditioning and Heating for (1) indemnity and (2) contribution.

On November 18, 2019, the Court, pursuant to a joint request by the parties, referred the case to the Los Angeles Superior Court Mandatory Settlement Conference Program and ordered the parties to engage in and complete a Mandatory Settlement Conference.

On December 4, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the notice of motion to consolidate and on December 12, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the memorandum in support of its motion to consolidate case number BC702398 with BC709105, on the grounds that both cases involve common questions of fact and law, they have already been deemed related, and consolidation of these matters will avoid unnecessary costs and delays. (Motion, p. 3:1-5.)

ANALYSIS:

A noticed motion to consolidate must: (1) list all of the named parties in each case, the names of those who have appeared, and the names of their respective attorneys of record; (2) contain the captions of all the cases sought to be consolidated, with the lowest numbered case first; (3) be filed in each case sought to be consolidated; (4) be served on all attorneys of record and all nonrepresented parties in all of the cases sought to be consolidated; and (5) a proof of service must be filed as part of the motion. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.350(a).) The instant motion sufficiently complies with these requirements.

Trial courts may consolidate actions involving common questions of law or fact. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1048.) Consolidating actions does not affect the rights of the parties. Consolidation's purpose is to avoid unnecessary costs or delay, avoid procedural duplication, particularly in the proof of issues common to both action, and avoid inconsistent results by hearing and deciding common issues together. (Estate of Baker (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 471, 485.) Deciding a motion to consolidate rests in the trial court's sound discretion and will not be reversed except upon a clear abuse of discretion showing. (Feliner v. Steinbaum (1955) 132 Cal.App.2d 509, 511.)

Each case presents its own facts and circumstances, but trial courts generally consider the following factors: (1) timeliness of the motion: whether granting consolidation would delay the trial of any of the cases involved; (2) complexity: whether joining the actions involved would make the trial too confusing or complex for a jury; and (3) prejudice: whether consolidation would adversely affect the rights of any party. (State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1956) 47 Cal.2d 428, 430-431.) In deciding a motion to consolidate, a court should weigh whether the common issues predominate over the individual issues and whether any risks of jury confusion or prejudice to the parties outweigh reducing time and expense that would result from consolidation. (Todd-Stenberg v. Shield (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 976, 978.)

Two types of consolidation are available: (1) a consolidation for purposes of trial only, where the two actions remain otherwise separate, and (2) a complete consolidation or consolidation for all purposes, where the two actions are merged into a single proceeding under one case number and result in only one verdict or set of findings and one judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1048; Hamilton v. Asbestos Corp. (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1127, 1147.) In a consolidation for trial, the pleadings, verdicts, findings, and judgments are kept separate. The actions are simply tried together for the sake of convenience and judicial economy. Because the separate actions do not merge, a party's appearance in one is not an appearance in the other. (Sanchez v. Superior Court (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 1391, 1395-1399.)

Plaintiffs seek to consolidate the two actions for trial. (Motion, p. 2:16-27.) Plaintiffs argue that both cases “involve the identical issues of law, defendants, witnesses, evidence, documents and duplex property” and the facts of both cases “are nearly identical, differing only in that the property is a duplex and two of the habitability issues vary in minor respects.” (Motion, pp. 2:26-3:1.) Plaintiff maintains that “because both cases involve common issues of fact and law, and because these cases have already been deemed related, consolidation for all purposes will enable the court to try and dispose of all three cases in a single proceeding, instead of three separate proceedings, which will eliminate a substantial duplication of time, effort and costs for everyone involved, including the court.” (Id. at p. 3:1-5.)

In opposition, Defendants argue that “they would be severely prejudiced by consolidation of these matters with the potential for confusion of the jury and conflation of the issues,” especially because this is a last minute consolidation by Plaintiffs. (Opp., p. 2:21-23.) Defendants maintain that “Plaintiffs have overstated the commonality of the witnesses, evidence, and issues of law in the two separate liability and coverage actions, without providing sufficient facts in support of this belief.” (Id. at p. 4:18-19.) Defendants argue that “Plaintiffs’ units have different habitability allegations and the Plaintiffs have different personal injury and property damage allegations.” (Id. at p. 4:20-21.)

For example, Defendants note some of the differences between the two cases:

· “Bennett: (LASC Case No. BC702398)

o One of the Plaintiffs in this matter has a history of cancer and this would prejudice Defendants in the Worden matter.

o There is a pending UD action (LASC Case No. 18STUD3901). There is no pending UD action in the Worden matter.

o There have been numerous repairs made in the Bennett unit recently that were not requested or necessary in the Worden unit.

o Plaintiffs are alleging emotional distress of varying degrees with potential different treatment.

· Worden: (LASC Case No. BC709105)

o Three of the Plaintiffs are minor and the guardian for these minors has not yet been appointed.

o Plaintiffs in this unit were relocated for water intrusion and remediation in their kitchen. This did not occur in the Bennett unit and is drastically separate allegation from the Bennett matter.” (Id. at p. 2:6-20.)

The Court finds that BC702398 and BC709105 both have common issues of law and fact. Both cases allege identical claims for relief, such as violations of the same municipal and health and safety codes, habitability statutes, fraud, and emotional distress claims. Both cases also concern the same property, will have many of the same witnesses, and make the same allegations of concealment and refusal to investigate and make repairs. Further, both cases contain similar documentary evidence including asbestos reports and city citations regarding the property. The Court also finds that consolidating the actions would not make the trial too complex or confusing for the jury. The Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate cases BC702398 and BC709105 for trial.