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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/06/2021 at 04:07:01 (UTC).

JANINE MICHELLE YODER VS EDWARD D RAY III ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/21/2018 JANINE MICHELLE YODER filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against EDWARD D RAY III. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Chatsworth Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GEORGINA T. RIZK, KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE, STEPHEN P. PFAHLER and MARK A. BORENSTEIN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4775

  • Filing Date:

    02/21/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Chatsworth Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

GEORGINA T. RIZK

KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE

STEPHEN P. PFAHLER

MARK A. BORENSTEIN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

YODER JANINE MICHELLE

Defendants and Respondents

SUNRISE RENT-A-CAR

RAY EDWARD D. III

DOES 1 TO 100

RENT-A-CAR SUNRISE

AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS

SEDGWICK CLAIMS MANAGEMENT SERVICES INC.

INSURANCE COMPANY

AMERICAN RED CROSS LOS ANGELES REGION

OLD REPUBLIC INSURANCE COMPANY

AMERICAN RED CROSS CORPORATION

AMERICAN RED CROSS-NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

OLD REPUBLIC GENERAL INSURANCE GROUP

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

THE BARNES FIRM

HENDIZADEH SALAR ESQ.

CASTILLO ANTONIO III

Defendant Attorneys

PANOSIAN SAVADA

PANOSIAN SAVADA ESQ..

MORRIS ASHLEY RAE

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSE TO FORM INTERROGATORIES)

1/25/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSE TO FORM INTERROGATORIES)

Request for Judicial Notice

12/21/2020: Request for Judicial Notice

Status Report

10/28/2020: Status Report

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE TO SECOND AMEN...)

7/29/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE TO SECOND AMEN...)

Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

7/20/2020: Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

4/27/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/25/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/25/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

2/14/2020: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

1/16/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Complaint - (AMENDED)

1/16/2020: Complaint - (AMENDED)

Other - - OTHER - CAUSE OF ACTION-GENERAL NEGLIGENCE 2ND AMENDED

1/16/2020: Other - - OTHER - CAUSE OF ACTION-GENERAL NEGLIGENCE 2ND AMENDED

Case Management Statement

11/8/2019: Case Management Statement

Notice of Case Management Conference

9/25/2019: Notice of Case Management Conference

Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

8/23/2019: Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

8/23/2019: Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

Other - - CAUSE OF ACTION- GENERAL NEGLEGENCE

8/7/2019: Other - - CAUSE OF ACTION- GENERAL NEGLEGENCE

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

5/2/2019: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

172 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/08/2021
  • Hearing11/08/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Jury Trial

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  • 10/28/2021
  • Hearing10/28/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Final Status Conference

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  • 07/29/2021
  • Hearing07/29/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department F49 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 06/01/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by American National Corporation Erroneously Sued As American Red Cross Los Angeles Region (Defendant)

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  • 05/26/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F49, Stephen P. Pfahler, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held

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  • 05/26/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/20/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F49, Stephen P. Pfahler, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Protective Order - Held

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  • 05/20/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Protective Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/19/2021
  • DocketReply (Defendant American National Red Cross Reply to Plaintiffs Opposition to Motion to Compel Supplemental Responses to Form Interrogatories); Filed by American National Corporation Erroneously Sued As American Red Cross Los Angeles Region (Defendant)

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  • 05/13/2021
  • DocketOpposition (TO DEFENDANT AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS?S MOTION TO FURTHER COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND FOR SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,550; DECLARATION OF ANTONIO CASTILLO, III); Filed by Janine Michelle Yoder (Plaintiff)

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211 More Docket Entries
  • 06/03/2019
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 2, Mark A. Borenstein, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 06/03/2019
  • DocketOrder Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil ((as Counsel for Plaintiff)); Filed by Salar Hendizadeh, Esq. (Attorney)

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  • 06/03/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion of Attorney Salar Hendizadeh to be Relieved...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/02/2019
  • DocketDeclaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil; Filed by Janine Michelle Yoder (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2019
  • DocketMotion to Be Relieved as Counsel (for Plaintiff Janine Michelle Yoder); Filed by Salar Hendizadeh, Esq. (Attorney)

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  • 02/27/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Janine Michelle Yoder (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Janine Michelle Yoder (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Janine Michelle Yoder (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: May 26, 2021    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 9

Date: 5-26-21

Case #BC694775

Trial Date: Not Set

FURTHER RESPONSES

MOVING PARTY: Defendants, American National Corporation, et al.

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff, Janine Yoder

RELIEF REQUESTED

Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

On July 21, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Sunrise Rent-A-Car Corporation. On January 31, 2020, the court overruled in part and sustained without leave in part on the demurrer to the second amended complaint brought by American National Red Cross. Defendant answered on August 7, 2020.

On October 20, 2020, Defendant Edward Ray filed a general denial.

RULING: Denied.

Defendants, American National Red Cross moves to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories (set one). On January 25, 2021, the court granted Defendant’s motion to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories, numbers 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 7.0, 8.6, 8.8, 9.1, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 11.1, 11.2, 12.3, 12.4, 20.1, 20.2, 20.3, 20.4, 20.5, 20.6, 20.7, 20.8, 20.9, 20.10, and 20.11. Plaintiff was ordered to provide verified, complete and straightforward responses without objection in compliance with Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.220 within 20 days of the order.

Defendant states that no responses were served. On February 26, 2021, counsel substituting into the action for representation of Plaintiff. Defendant demanded compliance with the order, but again no formal discovery responses were served. Defendant filed the subject motion to compel further responses on April 9, 2021.

Plaintiff opposes the motion on grounds that Plaintiff in fact sent further information on February 17, 2021. [Declaration of Ashley Morris, Ex. C.] Plaintiff also contends Defendant failed to sufficiently meet and confer before filing the subject motion, and the motion lacks a separate statement.

Defendant in reply reiterates the lack of complete, straightforward responses. Defendant also opposes Plaintiff’s request for sanctions.

The court acknowledges the e-mail correspondence attached to the motion, but notes the responses are not verified. The court also finds the meet and confer efforts with new counsel cooperative and sufficient.

Nevertheless, the court already granted the motion to compel further responses. No new responses were provided justifying a new motion on different content, and the re-filing of the subject motion is both untimely and improper. Remedies for the failure to comply with a prior court order are addressed in Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.300, subdivision (e).

The motion to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories (set one) served on August 11, 2020 is therefore denied

The court declines to impose sanctions in favor of Plaintiff. The responses remain outstanding, and the renewed filing of the motion upon the substitution of new counsel does not warrant sanctions to opposing counsel. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (d).)

Moving Defendant to give notice.

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: May 20, 2021    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 6

Date: 5-20-21

Case #BC694775

Trial Date: 11-8-21

PROTECTIVE ORDER

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff, Janine Yoder[1]

RESPONDING PARTY: Unopposed/Defendant, American National Red Cross

RELIEF REQUESTED

Motion for Protective Order

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

On July 21, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Sunrise Rent-A-Car Corporation. On January 31, 2020, the court overruled in part and sustained without leave in part on the demurrer to the second amended complaint brought by American National Red Cross. Defendant answered on August 7, 2020.

On October 20, 2020, Defendant Edward Ray filed a general denial.

On February 26, 2021, counsel substituted into the action for plaintiff.

On March 11 and 15, 2021, the court granted the motions for summary judgment brought by Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., and Old Republic General Insurance Group.

On April 2, 2021, the court overruled the demurrer of Yoder to the answer of American National Red Cross.

RULING: Denied

With Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., and Old Republic General Insurance Group granted summary judgment, the action only remains as to Defendant American National Red Cross. Plaintiff moves for a protective order to prevent disclosure of medical records possibly in possession of American National Red Cross.

It appears that Plaintiff may have provided medical records during discovery in support of her claim for medical specials, and now seeks to insure said records aren’t disclosed to other persons. Plaintiff submits an unsigned stipulation, whereby defendants agreed to protect from disclosure Plaintiff’s current residence, age and social security number, due to her concerns of a stalker/stalking. [Ex. A.] The threat to her medical records is less clear.

A Court may make any order that justice requires to protect a party from “unwanted annoyance, embarrassment or oppression or undue burden and expense.” (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.090, subd. (b), 2031.060, subd. (b), 2033.080, subd. (b).) The burden of proof is on the party seeking the protective order to show “good cause” for the order he or she seeks. (Fairmont Insurance Co. v. Superior Court (2000) 22 Cal.4th 245, 255.) A motion for a protective order “shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.090.) “A meet and confer declaration in support of a motion shall state facts showing a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal resolution of each issue presented by the motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2016.040.)

Other than a generalized statement regarding fear of disclosure, the motion lacks any support regarding an actual threat of release. The records in and of themselves are protected by their own disclosure laws, and defense counsel is also presumably aware of said rules.

The motion is therefore denied.

The motion for summary judgment of American National Red Cross is on calendar for July 7, 2021.

Moving Defendant to give notice.


[1]The subject motion was filed on January 19, 2021 while Plaintiff still appeared in the action in pro per.

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: April 22, 2021    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 1

Date: 4-2-21

Case #BC694775

Trial Date: 11-8-21

DEMURRER

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff, Janine Yoder[1]

RESPONDING PARTY: Defendant, American National Red Cross

RELIEF REQUESTED

Demurrer to the Answer

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

On July 21, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Sunrise Rent-A-Car Corporation. On January 31, 2020, the court overruled in part and sustained without leave in part on the demurrer to the second amended complaint brought by American National Red Cross. Defendant answered on August 7, 2020.

On October 20, 2020, Defendant Edward Ray filed a general denial.

On February 26, 2021, counsel substituted into the action for plaintiff.

On March 11 and 15, 2021, the court granted the motions for summary judgment brought by Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., and Old Republic General Insurance Group.

RULING: Overruled/Moot.

Plaintiff submits the subject demurrer to the answer to the second amended complaint on grounds of uncertainty. Defendants respond that the answer sufficiently alleges all affirmative defenses.

Because the court previously granted the motions for summary judgment of Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., and Old Republic General Insurance Group, the demurrer to these defendants is moot. The court therefore only considers the demurrer to the remaining defendant, American National Red Cross.

An “answer to a complaint must include ‘[a] statement of any new matter constituting a defense.’ The phrase ‘new matter’ refers to something relied on by a defendant which is not put in issue by the plaintiff. [Citation.] Thus, where matters are not responsive to essential allegations of the complaint, they must be raised in the answer as ‘new matter.’ [Citation.] Where, however, the answer sets forth facts showing some essential allegation of the complaint is not true, such facts are not ‘new matter,’ but only a traverse.” (Walsh v. West Valley Mission Community College District (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 1532, 1546 (italics original).)

“Generally, a party must raise an issue as an affirmative defense where the matter is not responsive to essential allegations of the complaint. [Citations omitted.] Thus, where a defendant relies on facts not put in issue by the plaintiff, the defendant must plead such facts as an affirmative defense.” (Bevill v. Zoura (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 694, 698; South Shore Land Co. v. Petersen (1964) 226 Cal.App.2d 725, 733–734 [In considering a demurrer to the answer, the defect in question need not appear on the face of the answer: “the determination of the sufficiency of the answer requires an examination the answer” in context of the operative complaint purportedly being answered].)

A party must allege any and all affirmative defenses or risk waiver. (Cal. Code Civ. Proc., § 430.80(a); See Roy v. Superior Court of County of San Bernardino (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 337, 345.) An answering party must aver ultimate facts, rather than conclusions. (FPI Development, Inc. v. Nakashimi (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 367, 384.) The “onus of proof” on any “new matter” alleged in the answer is the burden of the pleading defendant. (Harris v. City of Santa Monica (2013) 56 Cal.4th 203, 239.)

“A demurrer for uncertainty is strictly construed, even where a complaint is in some respects uncertain, because ambiguities can be clarified under modern discovery procedures.” (Khoury v. Maly's of California, Inc.

The demurrer challenges both the factual content of the allegations as well as the applicability and validity of certain affirmative defenses. Other than general statements of law and conclusions however, the demurrer insufficiently articulates any alleged deficiencies. The court finds the affirmative defenses both sufficiently factual and proper. (FPI Development, Inc. v. Nakashimi, supra, 231 Cal.App.3d 384 (footnote 4); Walsh v. West Valley Mission Community College District, supra, 66 Cal.App.4th 1546.) The demurrer to the answer of the remaining defendant, American National Red Cross, is overruled.

The motion for summary judgment previously set for April 1, 2021 is now on calendar for July 7, 2021.

Defendant to give notice.


[1]The subject demurrer was filed on August 8, 2020 while Plaintiff still appeared in the action in pro per.

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: March 15, 2021    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 6

Date: 3-15-21

Case #BC694775

Trial Date: 11-8-21

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

MOVING PARTY: Defendant, Old Republic Insurance Company

RESPONDING PARTY: Unopposed/ Plaintiff, Janine Yoder[1]

RELIEF REQUESTED

Motion for Summary Judgment

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

On July 21, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Sunrise Rent-A-Car Corporation. On January 31, 2020, the court overruled in part and sustained without leave in part on the demurrer to the second amended complaint brought by American National Red Cross. Defendant answered on August 7, 2020.

On October 20, 2020, Defendant Edward Ray filed a general denial.

On February 26, 2021, counsel substituted into the action for plaintiff.

RULING: Granted.

Request for Judicial Notice: Granted.

Defendant Old Republic Insurance Company moves for summary judgment on grounds of lack of duty or causation. The complaint alleges the subject basis of liability against moving party:

“Janine Michelle Yoder was covered by American Red Cross insurances which is Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc and Old Republic General Insurance Group Inc.; is Iiable for this accident because Janine Michelle Yoder was covered by American Red : Cross insurance which is Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc, and the Old Republic General Insurance Group Inc. Sedgwick claims that they do not have UM/UIM Coverage for American Red Cross. In the State of California, they can not exclude this Coverage. It's California Vehicle Code, Insurance Code 11580.1, since January 1, 9 1976. With this, Janine Michelle Yoder was covered even though being a volunteer at 10 the time of injury. This breaches their duty, and their duty of care to the plaintiff, to help Janine Michelle Yoder with her recovery for almost 4 years and still ongoing.”

Defendant first contends that Plaintiff fails to establish any basis of duty. Nothing in Insurance Code section 11580.2 requires a carrier provide uninsured motorist coverage to an insured. (Ins. Code, § 11580.2, subd. (a)(1).) The insured, American Red Cross, waived coverage from Old Republic Insurance for the July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016 effective insurance policy. [Declaration of Michael Smith, Ex. A.]

Defendant next contends that it was not a substantial factor in the accident. Defendant was not responsible for the actions of the driver, or provision of the vehicle. [Declaration of Ashely Smith, Ex.: Requests for Admissions and Responses and Traffic Collision Report.]

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “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, subd. (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.)

“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 inference that may be drawn form that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi, 159 Cal.App.4th at 467; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).) “An issue of fact can only be created by a conflict in the evidence. It is not created by speculation, conjecture, imagination or guesswork.” (Lyons v. Security Pacific National Bank (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 1001, 1041 (citation omitted).)

The court finds Defendant shifts the burden on the issues regarding a lack of any owed duty or causation. The uninsured motorist coverage portion of the policy was declined. Plaintiff cannot allege a basis of duty on a non-applicable insurance coverage provision. It is also undisputed that Defendant was in no way responsible for the vehicle driven by Reyes. The operative complaint otherwise contains no specific factual allegations that would support a theory of direct liability against Moving Defendants. (Laabs v. City of Victorville (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 1242, 1258 [“Pleadings serve as the ‘outer measure of materiality’ in a summary judgment motion, and the motion may not be granted or denied on issues not raised by the pleadings”].) Plaintiff submits no opposition to the motion, and therefore fails to raise any triable issues of material fact.

The unopposed motion is granted.

Additional motions for summary judgment and a demurrer scheduled for March 15, 2021 and continuing through April 1, 2021 set.

Moving Defendant to give notice.


[1]Moving counsel filed a notice of non-opposition.

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: March 11, 2021    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 5

Date: 3-11-21

Case #BC694775

Trial Date: 11-8-21

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

MOVING PARTY: Defendant, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc.

RESPONDING PARTY: Unopposed/ Plaintiff, Janine Yoder[1]

RELIEF REQUESTED

Motion for Summary Judgment

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

On July 21, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Sunrise Rent-A-Car Corporation. On January 31, 2020, the court overruled in part and sustained without leave in part on the demurrer to the second amended complaint brought by American National Red Cross. Defendant answered on August 7, 2020.

On October 20, 2020, Defendant Edward Ray filed a general denial.

On February 26, 2021, counsel substituted into the action for plaintiff.

RULING: Granted.

Request for Judicial Notice: Granted.

Defendant Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. moves for summary judgment on grounds of lack of duty or causation. The complaint alleges the subject basis of liability against moving party:

“Janine Michelle Yoder was covered by American Red Cross insurances which is Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc and Old Republic General Insurance Group Inc.; is Iiable for this accident because Janine Michelle Yoder was covered by American Red : Cross insurance which is Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc, and the Old Republic General Insurance Group Inc. Sedgwick claims that they do not have UM/UIM Coverage for American Red Cross. In the State of California, they can not exclude this Coverage. It's California Vehicle Code, Insurance Code 11580.1, since January 1, 9 1976. With this, Janine Michelle Yoder was covered even though being a volunteer at 10 the time of injury. This breaches their duty, and their duty of care to the plaintiff, to help Janine Michelle Yoder with her recovery for almost 4 years and still ongoing.”

Defendant first contends that Plaintiff fails to establish any basis of duty. Nothing in Insurance Code section 11580.2 requires a carrier provide uninsured motorist coverage to an insured. (Ins. Code, § 11580.2, subd. (a)(1).) The insured, American Red Cross, waived coverage from Old Republic Insurance for the July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016 effective insurance policy. [Declaration of Michael Smith, Ex. A.]

Defendant next contends that it was not a substantial factor in the accident. Defendant was not responsible for the actions of the driver, or provision of the vehicle. [Declaration of Ashely Smith, Ex.: Requests for Admissions and Responses and Traffic Collision Report.]

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “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, subd. (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.)

“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 inference that may be drawn form that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi, 159 Cal.App.4th at 467; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).) “An issue of fact can only be created by a conflict in the evidence. It is not created by speculation, conjecture, imagination or guesswork.” (Lyons v. Security Pacific National Bank (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 1001, 1041 (citation omitted).)

The court finds Defendant shifts the burden on the issues regarding a lack of any owed duty or causation. The uninsured motorist coverage portion of the policy was declined. Even if the policy were active, Plaintiff still fails to allege a basis of duty to adjust the policy under a negligence standard. (Sanchez v. Lindsey Morden Claims Services, Inc. (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 249, 250 [An independent adjuster engaged by an insurer owes no duty of care to the claimant insured, with whom the adjuster has no contract”].) It is also undisputed that Defendant was in no way responsible for the vehicle driven by Reyes. The operative complaint contains no specific factual allegations that would support a theory of direct liability against Moving Defendants. Pleadings serve as the “outer measure of materiality” in a summary judgment motion, and the motion may not be granted or denied on issues not raised by the pleadings. (Laabs v. City of Victorville (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 1242, 1258.) Plaintiff submits no opposition to the motion, and therefore fails to raise any triable issues.

The unopposed motion is granted.

Additional motions for summary judgment and a demurrer scheduled for March 15, 2021 and continuing through April 1, 2021 set.

Moving Defendant to give notice.


[1]Moving counsel filed a notice of non-opposition.

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: January 25, 2021    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 4

Date: 1-25-21

Case #BC694775

Trial Date: Not Set

FURTHER RESPONSES

MOVING PARTY: Defendants, American National Corporation, et al.

RESPONDING PARTY: Unopposed/ Plaintiff, Janine Yoder, Pro Per

RELIEF REQUESTED

Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

On July 21, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Sunrise Rent-A-Car Corporation. On January 31, 2020, the court overruled in part and sustained without leave in part on the demurrer to the second amended complaint brought by American National Red Cross. Defendant answered on August 7, 2020.

On October 20, 2020, Defendant Edward Ray filed a general denial.

RULING: Granted.

Defendants, American national Red Cross, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., and Old Republic Insurance Company move to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories (set one). The court notes that although all defendants represented by moving counsel are identified, the actual form interrogatories only indicate American National Corporation as the serving party. [Declaration of Devon Mills, Ex. C.] The court therefore only considers this motion as to American National Corporation.

The court also notes that moving party improperly reserved the subject item as a motion to compel responses instead of as a motion to compel further responses. Furthermore, Defendant states at the end of the points and authorities that Plaintiff in fact failed to serve verified responses, which would in fact render the subject motion as one for a motion to compel initial responses. (Appleton v. Sup. Ct. (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 635-636.)

Assuming the motion constitutes a valid motion to compel further responses,[1] the subject items were served on August 27, 2019. Responses were served on August 11, 2020. The subject motion was filed on September 25, 2020, and is therefore timely.

Defendant contends Plaintiff submitted improper objections to Form Interrogatory numbers 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 7.0, 8.6, 8.8, 9.1, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 11.1, 11.2, 12.3, 12.4, 20.1, 20.2, 20.3, 20.4, 20.5, 20.6, 20.7, 20.8, 20.9, 20.10, and 20.11. The responses in varying report consisted of relevance, overly broad, harassing, duplicative and “privileged” objections, as well as an assurance that requested medical specials information will provided on a “separate form.”

The objections to judicial council form interrogatories lack merit.

“But ‘[f]or discovery purposes, information is relevant if it “might reasonably assist a party in evaluating the case, preparing for trial, or facilitating settlement….” [Citation.] Admissibility is not the test and information, unless privileged, is discoverable if it might reasonably lead to admissible evidence. [Citation.] These rules are applied liberally in favor of discovery [citation], and (contrary to popular belief), fishing expeditions are permissible in some cases. [Citation.]’ (Citations.)” (Cruz v. Superior Court (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 646, 653–654.) Defendant is entitled to seek information regarding the circumstances of the claimed incident, as well as general information regarding the Plaintiff, such as residence and employment history.

Objecting parties must file evidence detailing the amount of work involved, in order to support objections based upon duplicative, harassing, burden and oppression. (West Pico Furniture Co. v. Sup. Ct. (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 417.) “[S]ome burden is inherent in all demands for discovery. The objection of burden is valid only when that burden is demonstrated to result in injustice.” (Id. at p. 418.) Plaintiff initiated the action and must therefore comply with discovery requirements entitled to Defendants. Plaintiff otherwise submits no opposition supporting the objection.

Plaintiff makes no showing that the request is overbroad. (Obregon v. Superior Court

On the privilege objections, Plaintiff offers no specific basis, except for a single work product objection. The work product privilege applies where the sought after documents contains a party’s “impressions, conclusions, opinions or legal research or theories,” the information is protected by the work product doctrine. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2018.030(c).) “An objecting party may be entitled to protection if it can make a preliminary or foundational showing that answering the interrogatory would reveal the attorney's tactics, impressions, or evaluation of the case, or would result in opposing counsel taking undue advantage of the attorney's industry or efforts”].) (Coito v. Superior Court Notes, statements, and impressions of the case are protected by the work product doctrine. A list of potential witnesses is not work product. (Coito v. Superior Court (2012) 54 Cal.4th 480, 495; Nacht & Lewis Architects, Inc. v. Superior Court (1996) 47 Cal.App.4th 214, 217–218.) Plaintiff offers no support for this objection.

The motion is therefore granted. Plaintiff is ordered to provide verified, complete and straightforward responses without objection in compliance with Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.220 within 20 days. Sanctions against Plaintiff are neither requested, nor imposed.

Four motions scheduled beginning on March 11, 2021 and continuing through April 1, 2021, consisting of three motions for summary judgment and a demurrer.

Moving Defendant to give notice.


[1]The court considers the motion on the substance of the responses rather than rendering the motion as one for initial responses lacking verification in order to facilitate more efficient adjudication of the action.

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: January 05, 2021    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 4

Date: 1-5-21

Case #BC694775

ENTRY OF DEFAULT

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff, Janine Yoder, Pro Per

RESPONDING PARTY: Unopposed/Defendant, Edward Ray

RELIEF REQUESTED

Motion for Entry of Judgment

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

On July 21, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Sunrise Rent-A-Car Corporation. On January 31, 2020, the court overruled in part and sustained without leave in part on the demurrer to the second amended complaint brought by American National Red Cross. Defendant answered on August 7, 2020.

On October 20, 2020, Defendant Edward Ray filed a general denial.

RULING: Denied/Moot.

Plaintiff Yoder moves for a court order entering a default against Edward Ray, III, due to the failure to file any answer to the complaint. The motion was filed on July 20, 2020. Ray filed a general denial on October 20, 2020. The court record shows no default entered by the clerk prior to the submission of the general denial. The motion is now moot.

Multiple motions scheduled beginning on January 25, 2021 through March 16, 2021, including three motions for summary judgment, a demurrer and a motion to compel.

Plaintiff to give notice.

Case Number: BC694775    Hearing Date: July 29, 2020    Dept: F49

Dept. F-49

Calendar # 6

Date: 7-29-20

Case #BC694775

DEMURRER TO THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

MOVING PARTY: Defendant, American National Red Cross

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff, Janine Yoder, Pro Per

RELIEF REQUESTED

Demurrer to the Second Amended Complaint

· 1st Cause of Action: Negligence

· 2nd Cause of Action: Motor Vehicle

Motion to Strike Punitive Damages

SUMMARY OF ACTION

On March 10, 2016, the rental car driven by Defendant Edward Ray collided into the rear of the vehicle of Plaintiff Janine Yoder. Ray was allegedly uninsured at the time of the collision. Plaintiff alleges she was acting as a volunteer and/or agent of Defendant American National Red Cross at the time of the collision, and therefore covered by insurance issued by Defendant Old Republic General Insurance, Inc. with claim adjustment service provided by Defendant Sedgwick Claims Services, Inc. Defendants denied the claim on grounds that no uninsured motorist policy coverage was issued to American National Red Cross.

On February 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint for negligence and motor vehicle. On June 3, 2019, the court granted the motion of Plaintiff’s counsel for leave to withdraw. On July 19, 2019, Plaintiff in pro per filed a first amended complaint. On September 20, 2019, the Personal Injury court assigned the action to Department 49.

On January 9, 2020, the court sustained the demurrer of American National Corporation to the first amended complaint. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint for negligence and motor vehicle only. On January 16, 2020, Plaintiff in pro per filed a second amended complaint for Negligence and Motor Vehicle as two separate documents.

RULING

1st Cause of Action, Negligence: Overruled.

2nd Cause of Action: Motor Vehicle: Sustained without Leave to Amend.

The notice of demurrer and demurrer to the second amended complaint state that ONLY Defendant American National Red Cross brings this demurrer, though counsel represents other parties as well. Defendant American National Red Cross submits the subject demurrer on grounds that the second amended complaint lacks any alleged facts supporting the claims for negligence and motor vehicle against it. Defendant also contends that the complaint is barred by the statute of limitations, and that any claims are barred by the exclusive provisions of the Workers Compensation Act.

Plaintiff in opposition states that she was driving the vehicle as a volunteer for American National Red Cross, and that her supervisor insisted she handle a specific task, even after her complaints of fatigue. Plaintiff also contends she was entitled to insurance coverage from the vehicle insurer, non-moving defendants Old Republic Insurance Company and Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. Plaintiff alleges Sedgwick is wrongfully withholding payment benefits for medical services rendered to Plaintiff following the collision.

On the second cause of action for Motor Vehicle, the second amended complaint lacks facts establishing a basis of liability against moving defendant for the operation of the vehicle by Defendant Ray. After three attempts the court finds Plaintiff cannot state a claim for motor vehicle against American National Red Cross and therefore sustains the demurrer without leave to amend on the subject cause of action.

As for the first cause of action for General Negligence, notwithstanding the car accident allegations, Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant American National Red Cross negligently breached its duty of care to protect her from harm by forcing her to make a vehicle trip even after complaining of fatigue. The second amended complaint therefore factually articulates a claim for general negligence against moving defendant American National Red Cross.

The arguments regarding relation back doctrine improperly reference the alleged conduct of the non-moving insurance defendants. The court declines to consider the allegations of the non-moving insurance defendants. The argument otherwise lacks any address regarding the general breach of duty allegation based on the direction of Plaintiff’s activities during her volunteer time with moving defendant. The arguments strictly delineating the circumstances of the vehicle collision are disposed of in the motor vehicle cause of action, and the court now focuses the case on volunteer/agent relationship alleged in the operative pleading. The court therefore overrules the demurrer on this ground.

Finally, on the Workers Compensation exclusivity discussion, the court also overrules the demurrer. Injury claims are subject to the exclusive provisions of the Workers’ Compensation statutory provisions, where the injury to the employee occurs as a result of a “service growing out of and incidental” to employment, and the employee is “acting within the course” of employment. (Lab. Code, §§ 3600(a)(2), 3602; Charles J. Vacanti, M.D., Inc. v. State Comp. Ins. Fund (2001) 24 Cal.4th 800, 813 Shoemaker v. Myers (1990) 52 Cal.3d 1, 16.) The injury must cause a disability and/or require medical attention. (Gomez v. Acquistapace (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 740, 748.)

The argument lacks any specific legally supported argument regarding whether a volunteer relationship constitutes an employee for purposes of Workers Compensation Act preemption. The court declines to consider any further argument requiring inference beyond the operative pleading. The demurrer is therefore overruled on this ground.

Any attempted demurrer by the other defendants is no longer timely. Defendant may not raise this argument again with new defendants within the third amended complaint. “A party demurring to a pleading that has been amended after a demurrer to an earlier version of the pleading was sustained shall not demur to any portion of the amended complaint, cross-complaint, or answer on grounds that could have been raised by demurrer to the earlier version of the complaint, cross-complaint, or answer.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (b).)

The demurrer is therefore sustained without leave to amend on the motor vehicle cause of action only as American National Red Cross, and overruled as to the negligence cause of action as to American National Red Cross.

Defendant is ordered to answer the complaint within 10 days.

Defendant is ordered to provide notice.

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