This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/09/2019 at 00:07:34 (UTC).

HENRY ROMAN VS NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION

Case Summary

On 01/18/2017 HENRY ROMAN filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is BARBARA A. MEIERS. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7361

  • Filing Date:

    01/18/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

BARBARA A. MEIERS

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

BLANCHARD LONNIE C. III ESQ.

ROMAN HENRY

Defendants and Respondents

NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION

DOES 1 THROUGH 10

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

DION-KINDEM PETER R.

BLANCHARD LONNIE C. III ESQ.

Defendant Attorney

GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP

 

Court Documents

Unknown

4/30/2018: Unknown

Minute Order

5/9/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

5/10/2018: Minute Order

DECLARATION OF JESSE A. CRIPPS IN SUPPORT OF AMANDA C. MACHIN'S VERIFIED APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION PRO IMC VICE

7/31/2018: DECLARATION OF JESSE A. CRIPPS IN SUPPORT OF AMANDA C. MACHIN'S VERIFIED APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION PRO IMC VICE

PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO I)CFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

8/7/2018: PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO I)CFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

Minute Order

8/10/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

8/20/2018: Minute Order

Motion for Summary Judgment

2/4/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Request for Judicial Notice

2/4/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Response

4/30/2019: Response

Opposition

4/30/2019: Opposition

Minute Order

5/23/2019: Minute Order

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

3/10/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

Unknown

4/6/2017: Unknown

DEFENDANT NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STAY

6/2/2017: DEFENDANT NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STAY

RULING RE: DEFENDANT NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP.'S MOTION

7/5/2017: RULING RE: DEFENDANT NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP.'S MOTION

Minute Order

7/5/2017: Minute Order

45 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/23/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 61; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held - Taken under Submission

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore; Filed by NOrthrop Grumman Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/17/2019
  • Reply (Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by NOrthrop Grumman Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Opposition (Plaintiff's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Henry Roman (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Response (Plaintiff's Responses to Defendant's Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Henry Roman (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/02/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 61; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 02/04/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by NOrthrop Grumman Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 02/04/2019
  • Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by NOrthrop Grumman Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 02/04/2019
  • Declaration (OF JESSE A. CRIPPS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS); Filed by NOrthrop Grumman Corporation (Defendant)

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101 More Docket Entries
  • 01/25/2017
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 01/25/2017
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 01/23/2017
  • at 4:30 PM in Department 12; Unknown Event Type - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 01/23/2017
  • Minute order entered: 2017-01-23 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/23/2017
  • Minute Order

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  • 01/20/2017
  • Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Lonnie C. III Blanchard, Esq. (Attorney); Henry Roman (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/20/2017
  • PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUD!CIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., 170.6)

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  • 01/18/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR RECOVERY OF PENALTIES PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA LABOR CODE SECTION 2699 AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

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  • 01/18/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Henry Roman (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/18/2017
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC647361    Hearing Date: July 13, 2020    Dept: 61

Defendant Northrop Grumman System Corp.’s Motion to Dismiss or Quash Service of Summons is GRANTED.

Defendant to provide notice.

  1. MOTION TO DISMISS

“The summons and complaint shall be served upon a defendant within three years after the action is commenced against the defendant. For the purpose of this subdivision, an action is commenced at the time the complaint is filed.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 583.210, subd. (a).) The calculation of time for the purposes of this statute does not include any period in which “[t]he prosecution of the action or proceedings in the action was stayed and the stay affected service.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 583.240, subd. (b).)

NGSC argues that dismissal under this statute is proper here because the complaint was filed on January 18, 2017, while NGSC was added as a Doe defendant more than three years later on January 31, 2020, and was served even later, in March 2020. (Motion at pp. 9–10.)

A difficulty with NGSC’s argument is that proceedings in this matter were ordered stayed from July 5, 2017, to August 10, 2018. (See 7/5/2017 and 8/10/2018 Orders.) NGSC argues that this stay did not affect service and that Roman could have added NGSC as a Doe defendant during this time. (Motion at p. 10.) But the stay was a mandatory one entered pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 1281.4, based on overlapping issues between the proceedings in this case and proceedings in arbitration. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 1281.4.) Any proceedings against NGSC would have been as subject to the stay as proceedings against NG. (Contrast Higgins v. Superior Court (2017) 15 Cal.App.5th 973, 982 [holding that stay of proceedings related to bankruptcy of single defendant did not affect service against non-bankrupt defendants because bankruptcy stays apply only to the debtor].) Thus the stay of proceedings in this case affected service within the meaning of the statute, and the period in which to serve NGSC has not yet run.

II. MOTION TO QUASH

NGSC argues that the service of summons against it must be quashed under Code of Civil Procedure § 474 because Roman was never ignorant of NGSC’s identity or role in his allegations. (Motion at pp. 10–12.)

“When the plaintiff is ignorant of the name of a defendant, he must state that fact in the complaint, or the affidavit if the action is commenced by affidavit, and such defendant may be designated in any pleading or proceeding by any name, and when his true name is discovered, the pleading or proceeding must be amended accordingly.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 474.)

The criteria for a motion to quash under Code of Civil Procedure § 474 was discussed in A.N. v. County of Los Angeles:

First, section 474 includes an implicit requirement that a plaintiff may not “unreasonably delay” his or her filing of a Doe amendment after learning a defendant's identity. Second, a defendant named in an action by a Doe amendment under section 474 may challenge the amendment by way of an evidence-based motion, which argues that the plaintiff “unreasonable delayed” his or her filing of the challenged amendment. Third, “unreasonable delay” . . . includes a prejudice element, which requires a showing by the defendant that he or she would suffer prejudice from plaintiff's delay in filing the Doe amendment.

(Supra (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 1058, 1066–67.)

This element of “prejudice” does not apply when the Doe defendant is added after the statute of limitations has already run. (See Woo v. Superior Court (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 169, 177.)

NGSC argues that Roman was objectively aware of NGSC’s potential liability as Roman’s employer because NGSC was listed as an employer on Roman’s pay-stubs, and he was subjectively aware of this as well because Roman sent a PAGA letter to both NG and NGSC in July 2016. (Motion at p. 11.)

The court agrees with NGSC that Roman’s delay in bringing suit against NGSC was not reasonable. Roman does not contest the evidence cited by NGSC, but only argues that he did not “definitively” know which entity was “the actual employer.” (Opposition at p. 11.) But Roman knew enough to sue NG, and knew enough to issue a PAGA letter to NGSC, and ought to have known enough to have sought adjudication of the issue.

Roman argues that NGSC ought to be estopped from seeking to have the claim dismissed because NG in these proceedings never disputed that it was Roman’s employer, and in fact indicated that it was, until very recently. (Opposition at pp. 4–8.) The difficulty with Roman’s argument is that the doctrine of estoppel that he invokes is designed “to prevent [a] defendant from profiting from his deception.” (Tejada v. Blas (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 1335, 1341.) The deceptions that Roman identifies are all representations on the part of a different entity, NG, not NGSC, the entity seeking to have the complaint dismissed.

But Roman is correct in another respect. Unless the addition of a Doe defendant takes place after the statute of limitations has run, a motion to dismiss under Code of Civil Procedure § 474 entails an element of “prejudice” for the defendant seeking dismissal. (Opposition at p. 12; see A.N., supra, 171 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1066–67.) And NGSC’s showing of prejudice here consists of a conclusory averment that it exists. (Motion at p. 12.) No trial date is set in this action, and there is no reason to believe NGSC won’t be afforded adequate time to conduct discovery as to Roman’s claims. Thus if NGSC is to obtain dismissal under section 474, it must show that the statute of limitations has run.

NGSC argues that in fact it has. The statute of limitations for a PAGA claim is one year, which means it would have run long before NGSC was added as a defendant. (Brown v. Ralphs Grocery Co. (2018) 28 Cal.App.5th 824, 829, citing Code Civ. Proc. § 340.)

Section 474 provides a method for adding defendants after the statute of limitations has expired, but this procedure is available only when the plaintiff is actually ignorant of the facts establishing a cause of action against the party to be substituted for a Doe defendant. The question is whether the plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known that he had a cause of action against the defendant.

(McClatchy v. Coblentz, patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 368, 371–72, internal citations, quotation marks, and alterations omitted.)

It is clear that Roman reasonably should have known, and indeed did know, the identity of NGSC and its relation to his claims at the time the Complaint was filed, based on facts apparent to Roman at that time, including NGSC’s appearance on his pay-stubs. This much is apparent from the PAGA letter identifying NGSC as a defendant that he sent before he filed his complaint. (Cripps Decl. Exhs. A, B.) Accordingly, because Roman reasonably should have known of his cause of action against NGSC when he filed the Complaint, the doe amendment naming NGSC does not relate back, and the motion to quash under section 474 is properly GRANTED.

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