On 12/06/2017 HELIX ELECTRIC INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ELECNOR BELCO ELECTRIC INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are ERNEST HIROSHIGE, ANTHONY MOHR, MAURICE A. LEITER and KENNETH R. FREEMAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
MAURICE A. LEITER
KENNETH R. FREEMAN
HELIX ELECTRIC INC.
ELECNOR BELCO ELECTRIC INC.
DOES 1 THROUGH 50
FIDELITY AND DEPOSIT COMPANY OF MARYLAND
TRAVELERS CASUIALTY & SURETY CO. OF AM
CLARK CONSTRUCTION GROUP-CALIFORNIA LP
SKIDMORE OWINGS & MERRILL LLP
GLOW ELECTRIC COMPANY INC.
DOES 1 THROUGH 50
FIDELITY AND DEPOSIT COMPANY OF MARYLAND
ELECNOR BELCO ELECTRIC INC.
PIERCE TIMOTHY L. ESQ.
KLINGER MARILYN SYDNEY
WORLEY KIRSTEN AIMEE
BAKER MICHAEL J. ESQ.
BAKER MICHAEL JAY
MCGUINNESS JOSEPH GERARD
PIERCE TIMOTHY L.
FLASHMAN JEFFREY SCOTT
6/11/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION HELIX'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION
6/11/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF SAMIRA F. TORSHIZI IN SUPPORT OF HELIX'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL
6/11/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF SAMIRA F. TORSHIZI IN SUPPORT OF CLARK'S OPPOSITION TO BELCO'S MOTION TO COMPEL
6/11/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF SHAKIR HUSSAINI IN SUPPORT OF CLARK'S OPPOSITION TO BELCO'S MOTION TO COMPEL
6/11/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION CLARK'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER PRODUCTION
6/11/2019: Separate Statement
6/12/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF ERRATA REGARDING NONPARTY CLARKS OPPOSITION TO BELCOS MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS
6/12/2019: Notice - HELIX ELECTRIC, INC.S NON- OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE AS COMPLEX
6/14/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF (1) MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY (NOT FURTHER DISCOVERY; (2) MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY; (3) MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE AS COMPLEX
6/21/2019: Notice - NOTICE DEFENDANT ELECNOR BELCO ELECTRIC, INC,'S NOTICE OF POSTING PRO HAC VICE RENEWAL FEES
7/2/2019: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER RE CONTINUE HEARINGS RE ELECNOR BELCO ELECTRIC, INC.'S MOTIONS TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS BY HELIX ELECTRIC, INC. AND CLARK CONSTRUCTION
7/12/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR ORDER MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE AS COMPLEX)
8/1/2019: Complex Civil Case Questionnaire
8/2/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information
8/8/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT RULING RE COMPLEX CIVIL CASE QUESTIONNAIRE;)
8/8/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT RULING RE COMPLEX CIVIL CASE QUESTIONNAIRE;) OF 08/08/2019
8/13/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF MINUTE ORDER
Hearing03/21/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 54 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearing03/11/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 54 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice (of ruling on demurrer to Elecnor Belco Electric, Inc.'s Third Amended Compliant); Filed by Helix Electric, Inc. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:15 AM in Department 54, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - HeldRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:30 AM in Department 54, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Jury Trial (with a 20 day estimate) - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
DocketReply (in support of demurrer to third amended complaint); Filed by Helix Electric, Inc. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 54, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
DocketMemorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by Elecnor Belco Electric, Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice (of Amended Case Management Order); Filed by Elecnor Belco Electric, Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE CASES; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF ZACHARY SANDERSRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Related CasesRead MoreRead Less
DocketDECLARATION OF ZACHARY SANDERS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE CASESRead MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration; Filed by Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Motion; Filed by Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Related Case; Filed by Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Elecnor Belco Electric, Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketHELIX ELECTRIC, INC.'S COMPLAINT FOR: (1) BREACH OF CONTRACT ;ETCRead MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Helix Electric, Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC685978 Hearing Date: May 20, 2021 Dept: 54
Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
Helix Electric, Inc.,
BC685978 (Consolidated with BC686594)
Elecnor Belco Electric, Inc., et al.,
Hearing Date: May 20, 2021
Department 54, Judge Maurice A. Leiter
Demurrer to Third Amended Complaint
Moving Party: Defendant Helix Electric, Inc.
Responding Party: Plaintiff Elecnor Belco, Inc.
T/R: HELIX’S DEMURRER TO THE EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION IS SUSTAINED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.
HELIX’S DEMURRER TO THE THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION IS OVERRULED.
BELCO TO FILE AND SERVE A FOURTH AMENDED COMPLAINT WITHIN 30 DAYS OF NOTICE OF RULING. HELIX TO FILE AND SERVE A RESPONSE WITHIN 30 DAYS THEREAFTER.
HELIX TO NOTICE.
The Court considers the moving papers, opposition and reply.
This action arises out of the construction of the federal courthouse. On March 5, 2021, Elecnor Belco, Inc. filed the operative third amended complaint against Helix Electric, asserting causes of action for (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (3) abandonment of contract; (4) recovery on open book account; (5) account stated; (6) reasonable value; (7) violation of Bus. & Prof. Code § 7108.5; (8) fraud and deceit: concealment; and (9) recovery on payment bond.
A demurrer to a complaint may be taken to the whole complaint or to any of the causes of action stated in it. (CCP § 430.50(a).) A demurrer challenges only the legal sufficiency of the complaint, not the truth of its factual allegations or the plaintiff's ability to prove those allegations. (Picton v. Anderson Union High Sch. Dist. (1996) 50 Cal. App. 4th 726, 732.) The court must treat as true the complaint's material factual allegations, but not contentions, deductions or conclusions of fact or law. (Id. at 732-33.) The complaint is to be construed liberally to determine whether a cause of action has been stated. (Id. at 733.)
Helix demurs to the third and eighth causes of action.
A. Eighth Cause of Action for Fraud
The elements of fraud are: “(a) misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b) knowledge of falsity (or ‘scienter’); (c) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance; (d) justifiable reliance; and (e) resulting damage.” (Charnay v. Cobert (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 170, 184.) In California, fraud, including negligent misrepresentation, must be pled with specificity. (Small v. Fritz Companies, Inc. (2003) 30 Cal.4th 167, 184.) “The particularity demands that a plaintiff plead facts which show how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the representations were tendered.” (Cansino v. Bank of America (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1462, 1469.)
Helix argues that the allegations amount only to a breach of contract. Belco alleges Helix concealed various matters, including the existence of the “Drive to 35” initiative, changes to the “P100 performance requirements,” redesigns, and Helix’s involvement with Glow from Belco. (TAC ¶ 105.) Belco claims Helix concealed these facts to defraud Belco into executing “certain purported waivers and releases of claims relating to Belco’s work on the Project” and to perform extra work. (TAC ¶ 109.) Belco alleges these concealments caused Belco unnecessary work and expense.
Belco’s allegations are insufficient to establish fraud. The purported concealments and allegations of intent do not fall within the circumstances in which a breach of contract claim may be pursued as a fraud claim. (See e.g. Benavides v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co. (2006) 136 Cal. App. 4th 1241, 1252.)
The demurrer to the eighth cause of action is SUSTAINED. The Court will allow leave to amend as this is the first time the complaint has been challenged by demurrer.
B. Third Cause of Action for Abandonment of Contract
“Under the abandonment doctrine, once the parties cease to follow the contract's change order process, and the final project has become materially different from the project contracted for, the entire contract—including its notice, documentation, changes, and cost provisions—is deemed inapplicable or abandoned, and the plaintiff may recover the reasonable value for all of its work.” (Amelco Electric v. City of Thousand Oaks (2002) 27 Cal. 4th 228, 239.)
Helix asserts that the allegations of abandonment contradict other allegations in the complaint and that Belco failed to allege both parties abandoned the contract. Belco alleges: “[d]uring the Project, the extensive changes and redesigns, which were implemented while construction was already in progress, prevented Helix and Belco from consistently following, and caused Helix and Belco to dispense with and abandon, the formal Subcontract procedures for authorizing, documenting, and accounting for the costs of the material changes to Belco’s work. Indeed, throughout the Project, Helix discarded the formal Subcontract procedures and orally directed Belco to complete changed and extra work without issuing a written change order.” This is sufficient to state a cause of action for abandonment. Belco may allege alternative theories; minor contradictions do not provide grounds for sustaining a demurrer. (See Mendoza v. Rast Produce Co., Inc. (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1395, 1402; Rader Co. v. Stone (1986) 178 Cal.App.3d 10, 29.)
The demurrer to the third cause of action is OVERRULED.
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