This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/26/2020 at 21:18:02 (UTC).

JEAN LAHIJANI VS AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/07/2018 JEAN LAHIJANI filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are CHRISTOPHER K. LUI and DANIEL M. CROWLEY. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7229

  • Filing Date:

    03/07/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

DANIEL M. CROWLEY

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

LAHIJANI JEAN

Defendants and Respondents

ABH INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED

OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY

AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES

OTIS ELEVATOR INTERNATIONAL INC.

PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION

DOES 1-50

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

CAGHOUBIAN BABAK ESQ.

YAGHOUBIAN BABAK

YAGHOUBIAN BABAK BOBBY

Defendant Attorneys

GIRALDO ALEXANDER BEAU

SCOTT CONNOR MATTHEW

CHIU SYLVIA

BROSAMLE ANTHONY DEAN

 

Court Documents

Notice of Rejection Of Electronic Filing

9/21/2020: Notice of Rejection Of Electronic Filing

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT; HEARING O...)

6/25/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT; HEARING O...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/14/2020

4/14/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/14/2020

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

4/14/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Opposition - OPPOSITION OF DEFENDANT PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION DBA AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

4/10/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION OF DEFENDANT PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION DBA AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT;

2/4/2020: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT;

Request for Dismissal

1/7/2020: Request for Dismissal

Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

11/14/2019: Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

11/14/2019: Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (DEFENDANT PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION DBA AMTECH ELAVA...)

11/20/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (DEFENDANT PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION DBA AMTECH ELAVA...)

Notice of Ruling

11/21/2019: Notice of Ruling

Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANT PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION DBA AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES TO OPPOSITION OF PLAINTIFF JEAN LAHIJANI TO MOTION FOR AN ORDER THAT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTERS SPECIFIED IN RE

11/13/2019: Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANT PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR CORPORATION DBA AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES TO OPPOSITION OF PLAINTIFF JEAN LAHIJANI TO MOTION FOR AN ORDER THAT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTERS SPECIFIED IN RE

Request for Judicial Notice

11/6/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION FOR FAILURE TO ATTEND INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

10/15/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION FOR FAILURE TO ATTEND INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE

Motion re: - MOTION RE: AMTECH'S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF'S VERIFIED RESPONSES TO DISCOVERY AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

10/16/2019: Motion re: - MOTION RE: AMTECH'S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF'S VERIFIED RESPONSES TO DISCOVERY AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

Separate Statement

10/7/2019: Separate Statement

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE) OF 07/31/2019

7/31/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE) OF 07/31/2019

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY AND PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR SERVICES DBA AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

7/18/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY AND PACIFIC COAST ELEVATOR SERVICES DBA AMTECH ELEVATOR SERVICES' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

66 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/08/2021
  • Hearing03/08/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 10/27/2020
  • Hearing10/27/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 10/27/2020
  • Hearing10/27/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Verified Responses to Plaintiff's Verified Responses to Discovery and for Monetary Sanctions

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  • 10/27/2020
  • Hearing10/27/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted

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  • 10/27/2020
  • Hearing10/27/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 28 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to Appoint Guardian Ad Litem

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  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketApplication And Order For Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem; Filed by Jean Lahijani (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Rejection of Electronic Filing; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/27/2020
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) (proof of electronic service); Filed by Jean Lahijani (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/27/2020
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Babak Bobby Yaghoubian (Attorney)

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  • 08/03/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 28, Daniel M. Crowley, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Held - Continued

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109 More Docket Entries
  • 05/03/2019
  • DocketAmended Complaint (1st); Filed by Jean Lahijani (Plaintiff); Jean Lahijani (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/03/2019
  • DocketComplaint ( (1st)); Filed by Jean Lahijani (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/22/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation (Defendant); Otis Elevator Company (Defendant)

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  • 04/18/2019
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation (Defendant); Otis Elevator Company (Defendant)

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  • 03/07/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

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  • 03/07/2018
  • DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 03/07/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 03/07/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Jean Lahijani (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/07/2018
  • DocketRequest-Waive Court Fees

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  • 03/07/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC697229    Hearing Date: October 27, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One); Motion to Deem Matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as True

Having considered the moving, opposing, reply, and supplemental reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On March 7, 2018, Plaintiff Jean Lahijani (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Amtech Elevator Services, Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation, ABH Industries Incorporated, Otis Elevator Company, and Otis Elevator International, Inc.  The complaint alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, and false imprisonment for a refusal to move a vehicle and a subsequent altercation that occurred on March 11, 2016.

On May 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint omitting the causes of action for battery and false imprisonment.

On October 16, 2019, Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services filed motions to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) (hereinafter the “Motions”) as true against Plaintiff.

On November 20, 2019, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ motions for Plaintiffs to appoint a guardian ad litem.

On January 8, 2020, Plaintiff dismissed Defendant Otis Elevator Company from the complaint without prejudice.

On January 13, 2020, the Court granted Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ Motions so long as Plaintiff did not file an application for guardian ad litem before November 30, 2019.

On January 16, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator ServicesMotions to March 29, 2020. The Court also stayed discovery until March 19, 2020.

On March 10, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator ServicesMotions to April 7, 2020.

On March 12, 2020, the Court advanced the hearings on the motions, and continued them to May 27, 2020.

On April 14, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator ServicesMotions to June 25, 2020.

On June 25, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator ServicesMotions to August 3, 2020.

On June 26, 2020, Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint naming Mahvash Kohanshad as Plaintiff’s guardian ad litem.

A trial setting conference is scheduled for August 3, 2020.

On September 21, 2020, Plaintiff filed an Application and Order for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem, which was rejected by the Court “because Court requires medical proof of the condition that supports a finding of incompetency.

PARTY’S REQUESTS

Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services (“Pacific Coast”) asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production of Documents (All Set One) due to Plaintiff’s failure to provide timely verifications.

Defendant Pacific Coast also asks the Court to deem the matters within Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff due to Plaintiff’s failure to serve verifications.

Defendant Pacific Coast further asks the Court to impose monetary sanctions of $2,445 against Plaintiff and/or his counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

LEGAL STANDARD

If a party to whom interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses and for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The statute contains no time limit for a motion to compel where no responses have been served. All that need be shown in the moving papers is that a set of interrogatories was properly served on the opposing party, that the time to respond has expired, and that no response of any kind has been served. (See Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905-906.)

Where there has been no timely response to a demand for the production of documents, the demanding party may seek an order compelling a response. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (b).) Failure to timely respond waives all objections, including privilege and work product. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (a).)  Thus, unless the party to whom the demand was directed obtains relief from waiver, he or she cannot raise objections to the documents demanded. There is no deadline for a motion to compel responses. Likewise, for failure to respond, the moving party need not attempt to resolve the matter outside court before filing the motion.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010.)

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (b), a “party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with section 2023.010).”  The court “shall” grant the motion to deem requests for admission admitted “unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220.”  (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

Sanctions are mandatory in connection with a motion to deem matters specified in a request for admissions as true and motions to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel unless the court “finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”  (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2031.300, subd. (c), 2033.280, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

On April 22, 2019, Defendant Pacific Coast served Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Request for Production, and Request for Admission (All Set One) on Plaintiff by U.S. Express Mail. (Both Declarations of Connor M. Scott (“Scott Decl.”), ¶¶ 2-4, Exh. A-C.) Plaintiff served unverified responses. (Scott Decl., ¶¶ 3, 5-7, Exh. B, D-F.)

Plaintiff’s counsel does not believe his client is competent enough to comprehend the nature and extent of signing verifications in this matter. (Both Declarations of Babak Bobby Yaghoubian (“Yaghoubian Decl.”), ¶ 1.) Plaintiff suffered a heart attack after the altercation that gives rise to this action. (Oppositions, p. 2:4-2:24.) He was placed in a medically-induced coma and put on ice to lessen brain damage. (Ibid.) Plaintiff’s physical and mental health has been declining as a result. (Ibid.) He cannot coherently respond to spoken language and occasionally wanders off. (Ibid.)

It has been over one year since Defendant Pacific Coast filed the discovery motions now before the Court. This is partially a result of the COVID crisis, but also the fault of Plaintiff’s counsel in failing to have a guardian ad litem appointed for Plaintiff.  It would appear that such a guardian ad litem has been appointed as reflected in Plaintiff’s second amended complaint filed on June 26, 2020.  However, there is no lodged evidence showing Plaintiff has served discovery responses through Plaintiff’s guardian ad litem.  As has been said before, Plaintiff’s outstanding responses are akin to no responses at all. (See Appleton v. Superior Court (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 636.) Additionally, on September 21, 2020, Plaintiff filed an Application and Order for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem, which was rejected by the Court for the following reason: “Other - REJECT app. of MAHVASH KOHANSHAD to be GAL for JEAN LAHIJANI because Court requires medical proof of the condition that supports a finding of incompetency.” (9/21/2020 Notice of Rejection of Electronic Filing.) Now, over a year after the filing of the Motions, and following numerous continuances, a guardian ad litem has yet to be appointed. As such, the motions are properly granted.

The evidence of Plaintiff’s lack of mental capacity makes an imposition of monetary sanctions against Plaintiff unjust. Nevertheless, the Court finds sanctions are properly imposed on Plaintiff’s counsel for his year-long delays in seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem. The Court finds Moving Defendant’s request for $2,445 in monetary sanctions is unreasonable. These motions are relatively straight-forward and nearly duplicative. Rather, the Court finds $900 in sanctions is an appropriate amount considering the number of motions at issue, that all of them were opposed, that all of the oppositions were replied to.

CONCLUSION

The motions are GRANTED.

Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses without objections to Defendant Pacific Coast’s Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) within 20 days of this ruling.

The Court deems the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff.

Plaintiff’s counsel is ordered to pay Defendant Pacific Coast $900 within 30 days of this ruling.

Defendant Pacific Coast is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

The parties are directed to the header of this tentative ruling for further instructions.

Case Number: BC697229    Hearing Date: August 03, 2020    Dept: 28

No tentative.

Case Number: BC697229    Hearing Date: June 25, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint; Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One); Motion to Deem Matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as True

Having considered the moving, opposing, reply, and supplemental reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On March 7, 2018, Plaintiff Jean Lahijani (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Amtech Elevator Services, Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation, ABH Industries Incorporated, Otis Elevator Company, and Otis Elevator International, Inc.  The complaint alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, and false imprisonment for a refusal to move a vehicle and a subsequent altercation that occurred on March 11, 2016.

On May 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint omitting the causes of action for battery and false imprisonment.

On October 16, 2019, Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services filed motions to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff.

On November 20, 2019, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ motions for Plaintiffs to appoint a guardian ad litem.

On January 8, 2020, Plaintiff dismissed Defendant Otis Elevator Company from the complaint without prejudice.

On January 13, 2020, the Court granted Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ discovery motions filed on October 16, 2019 so long as Plaintiff did not file an application for guardian ad litem before November 30, 2019.

On January 16, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ motions to compel responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true to March 29, 2020.  The Court also stayed discovery until March 19, 2020.

On February 21, 2020, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint (“SAC”) pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a)(1).

On March 10, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ motions to compel responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true to April 7, 2020.

On March 12, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ motions to compel responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true to May 27, 2020.

On April 14, 2020, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ motions to compel responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true and Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a SAC to June 25, 2020.

A trial setting conference is scheduled for June 25, 2020.

PARTY’S REQUESTS

Plaintiff asks the Court for leave to file a SAC for Plaintiff to: (1) state Mahvash Kohanshad is her guardian ad litem, (2) omit references to Otis Elevator Company, and (3) omit the intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault causes of action.

Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services (“Pacific Coast”) asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production of Documents (All Set One) due to Plaintiff’s failure to provide timely verifications.

Defendant Pacific Coast also asks the Court to deem the matters within Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff due to Plaintiff’s failure to serve verifications.

Defendant Pacific Coast further asks the Court to impose monetary sanctions of $2,445 against Plaintiff and/or his counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

LEGAL STANDARD

Leave to Amend Complaint

California Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a)(1) provides, in relevant part: “The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading or proceeding by adding or striking out the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party, or a mistake in any other respect; and may, upon like terms, enlarge the time for answer or demurrer.  The court may likewise, in its discretion, after notice to the adverse party, allow, upon any terms as may be just, an amendment to any pleading or proceeding in other particulars; and may upon like terms allow an answer to be made after the time limited by this code.”

“This discretion should be exercised liberally in favor of amendments, for judicial policy favors resolution of all disputed matters in the same lawsuit.”  (Kittredge Sports Co. v. Superior Court (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 1045, 1047.)  Ordinarily, the court will not consider the validity of the proposed amended pleading in ruling on a motion for leave since grounds for a demurrer or motion to strike are premature.  The court, however, does have discretion to deny leave to amend where a proposed amendment fails to state a valid cause of action as a matter of law and the defect cannot be cured by further amendment.  (See California Casualty General Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 274, 281 (overruled on other grounds by Kransco v. American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. (2000) 23 Cal.4th 390).)

Under California Rules of Court Rule, rule 3.1324, subdivision (a), a motion to amend a pleading shall (1) include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered to differentiate it from previous pleadings or amendments; (2) state what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted, if any, and where, by page, paragraph and line number, the deleted allegations are located; and (3) state what allegations are proposed to be added to the previous pleading, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number, the additional allegations are located.

Under California Rule of Court, rule 3.1324, subdivision (b), a separate declaration must accompany the motion and must specify (1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.

Discovery Motions

If a party to whom interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses and for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The statute contains no time limit for a motion to compel where no responses have been served. All that need be shown in the moving papers is that a set of interrogatories was properly served on the opposing party, that the time to respond has expired, and that no response of any kind has been served. (See Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905-906.)

Where there has been no timely response to a demand for the production of documents, the demanding party may seek an order compelling a response. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (b).) Failure to timely respond waives all objections, including privilege and work product. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (a).)  Thus, unless the party to whom the demand was directed obtains relief from waiver, he or she cannot raise objections to the documents demanded. There is no deadline for a motion to compel responses. Likewise, for failure to respond, the moving party need not attempt to resolve the matter outside court before filing the motion.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010.) salt

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (b), a “party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with section 2023.010).”  The court “shall” grant the motion to deem requests for admission admitted “unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220.”  (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

Sanctions are mandatory in connection with a motion to deem matters specified in a request for admissions as true and motions to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel unless the court “finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”  (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2031.300, subd. (c), 2033.280, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

Leave to Amend Complaint

Plaintiff’s counsel argues it cannot proceed with this action unless Plaintiff’s proposed guardian ad litem, Mahvash Kohanshad, is named as such in the SAC.  (Motion, 3:16-3:23.)  On November 4, 2019, the Court rejected Plaintiff’s application for Mahvash Kohanshad to be appointed as Plaintiff’s guardian ad litem because she was not named in the complaint.  (Yaghoubian Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.)  Plaintiff’s counsel became aware of the November 4, 2019 rejection on January 13, 2020.  (Ibid.)

The Court finds the motion for leave to amend is properly granted.  Plaintiff must seek appointment of a guardian ad litem to litigate this action, but cannot do so because a guardian ad litem is not named in Plaintiff’s complaint.

Defendant Pacific Coast argues that the motion should be denied because granting it would “create subsequent procedural issues.”  Defendant Pacific Coast does not clearly state what these issues are.  Rather, Defendant Pacific Coast goes on to explain what the Court is already aware of: a guardian ad litem must be appointed by the Court when the plaintiff lacks an ability to make decisions.  After Mahvash Kohanshad is named in the complaint, Plaintiff’s counsel may seek such an application to have Mahvash Kohanshad appointed as Plaintiff’s guardian ad litem.  Dismissing or staying this action would be an inequitable and round-about way to have Plaintiff’s rights.  As such, the motion for leave to amend the complaint is properly granted.

Discovery Motions

Defendant Pacific Coast’s discovery motions are based on Plaintiff lacking a capacity to make decisions.  Plaintiff is seeking a guardian ad litem to be appointed after the granting of Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a SAC.  Thus, it is in the interest of justice to continue the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast’s discovery motions to enable Plaintiff to seek an appointment of a guardian ad litem.

CONCLUSION

The motion for leave to file a SAC is GRANTED.

Plaintiff’s counsel is ordered to file the proposed SAC attached as Exhibit C to Bobak Bobby Yaghoubian’s declaration within 10 days of this ruling.

An OSC Re: Failure to Appoint Guardian Ad Litem is scheduled for August 3, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

The motions to compel responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true are CONTINUED to August 3, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Please review the header to this tentative ruling for further instructions.

Case Number: BC697229    Hearing Date: January 13, 2020    Dept: 4A

Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One); Motion to Deem Matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as True

Having considered the moving, opposing, reply, and supplemental reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On March 7, 2018, Plaintiff Jean Lahijani (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Amtech Elevator Services, Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation, ABH Industries Incorporated, Otis Elevator Company, and Otis Elevator International, Inc.  The complaint alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, and false imprisonment for a refusal to move a vehicle and a subsequent altercation that occurred on March 11, 2016.

On May 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”) omitting the causes of action for battery and false imprisonment.

On October 16, 2019, Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services filed motions to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff.

On November 20, 2019, the Court continued the hearings on Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services’ motions for Plaintiffs to appoint a guardian ad litem.

On January 8, 2020, Plaintiff dismissed Defendant Otis Elevator Company from the complaint without prejudice.

Trial is set for March 9, 2020.

PARTY’S REQUESTS

Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services (“Moving Defendant”) asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production of Documents (All Set One) due to Plaintiff’s failure to provide timely verifications.

Moving Defendant also asks the Court to deem the matters within Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff due to Plaintiff’s failure to serve verifications.

Moving Defendant further asks the Court to impose monetary sanctions of $2,445 against Plaintiff and/or his counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

LEGAL STANDARD

If a party to whom interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses and for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The statute contains no time limit for a motion to compel where no responses have been served. All that need be shown in the moving papers is that a set of interrogatories was properly served on the opposing party, that the time to respond has expired, and that no response of any kind has been served. (See Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905-906.)

Where there has been no timely response to a demand for the production of documents, the demanding party may seek an order compelling a response. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (b).) Failure to timely respond waives all objections, including privilege and work product. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (a).)  Thus, unless the party to whom the demand was directed obtains relief from waiver, he or she cannot raise objections to the documents demanded. There is no deadline for a motion to compel responses. Likewise, for failure to respond, the moving party need not attempt to resolve the matter outside court before filing the motion.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010.) salt

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (b), a “party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with section 2023.010).”  The court “shall” grant the motion to deem requests for admission admitted “unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220.”  (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

Sanctions are mandatory in connection with a motion to deem matters specified in a request for admissions as true and motions to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel unless the court “finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”  (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2031.300, subd. (c), 2033.280, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

On April 22, 2019, Moving Defendant served Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Request for Production, and Request for Admission (All Set One) on Plaintiff by U.S. Express Mail.  (Both Declarations of Connor M. Scott (“Scott Decl.”), ¶ 2-4, Exh. A-C.)  Plaintiff served unverified responses.  (Scott Decl., ¶¶ 3, 5-7, Exh. B, D-F.)

Plaintiff’s counsel does not believe his client is competent enough to comprehend the nature and extent of signing verifications in this matter.  (Both Declarations of Babak Bobby Yaghoubian (“Yaghoubian Decl.”), ¶ 1.)  Plaintiff suffered a heart attack after the altercation that gives rise to this action.  (Oppositions, p. 2:4-2:24.)  He was placed in a medically-induced coma and put on ice to lessen brain damage.  (Ibid.)  Plaintiff’s physical and mental health has been declining as a result.  (Ibid.)  He cannot coherently respond to spoken language and occasionally wanders off.  (Ibid.)  Plaintiff’s application for guardian ad litem filed on October 28, 2019 was rejected due to incorrect entries in the application on October 30, 2019.  (Yaghoubian Decl., ¶ 9, Exh. 2.)  Plaintiff filed a subsequent application for guardian ad litem on November 1, 2019.  (Yaghoubian Decl., ¶ 9, Exh. 3.)

On November 1, 2019, the Court continued the hearing on these motions to allow time for Plaintiff to seek an appointment of a guardian ad litem.  Plaintiff has not obtained a guardian ad litem. a guardian ad litem after the November 1, 2019 hearing date.  Plaintiff’s counsel has nevertheless been active in litigating this action as evidenced by a January 7, 2020 request for dismissal Plaintiff’s counsel filed with the Court.  As such, the Court finds it in the interest of justice to rule on the merits of Moving Defendant’s motions.

Plaintiff’s outstanding responses are akin to no responses at all.  (See Appleton v. Superior Court (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 636.)  As such, the motions are properly granted.

The evidence of Plaintiff’s lack of mental capacity makes an imposition of monetary sanctions against Plaintiff unjust.  Nevertheless, the Court finds sanctions are properly imposed on Plaintiff’s counsel for failing to seek an appointment of a guardian ad litem for Plaintiff since the November 1, 2019 hearing date.

The Court finds Moving Defendant’s request for $2,445 in monetary sanctions is unreasonable.  These motions are relatively straight-forward and nearly duplicative.  Rather, the Court finds $900 in sanctions is an appropriate amount considering the number of motions at issue, that all of them were opposed, that all of the oppositions were replied to.

CONCLUSION

The motions are GRANTED.

Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses without objections to Moving Defendant’s Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) within 20 days of this ruling.

The Court deems the matters in Moving Defendant’s Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff.

Plaintiff’s counsel is ordered to pay Moving Defendant $900 within 300 days of this ruling.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC697229    Hearing Date: November 20, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One); Motion to Deem Matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as True

Having considered the moving, opposing, and reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On March 7, 2018, Plaintiff Jean Lahijani (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Amtech Elevator Services, Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation, ABH Industries Incorporated, Otis Elevator Company, and Otis Elevator International, Inc.  The complaint alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, and false imprisonment for a refusal to move a vehicle and a subsequent altercation that occurred on March 11, 2016.

On May 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”) omitting the causes of action for battery and false imprisonment.

On October 16, 2019, Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services filed motions to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) and a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff.

Trial is set for March 9, 2020.

PARTY’S REQUESTS

Defendant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation dba Amtech Elevator Services (“Moving Defendant”) asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to provide verifications for responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production of Documents (All Set One) due to Plaintiff’s failure to provide timely verifications.

Moving Defendant also asks the Court to deem the matters within Request for Admissions (Set One) as true against Plaintiff because of her failure to serve verifications.

Moving Defendant further asks the Court to impose monetary sanctions of $2,445 against Plaintiff and/or his counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

LEGAL STANDARD

If a party to whom interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses and for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The statute contains no time limit for a motion to compel where no responses have been served. All that need be shown in the moving papers is that a set of interrogatories was properly served on the opposing party, that the time to respond has expired, and that no response of any kind has been served. (See Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905-906.)

Where there has been no timely response to a demand for the production of documents, the demanding party may seek an order compelling a response. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (b).) Failure to timely respond waives all objections, including privilege and work product. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (a).)  Thus, unless the party to whom the demand was directed obtains relief from waiver, he or she cannot raise objections to the documents demanded. There is no deadline for a motion to compel responses. Likewise, for failure to respond, the moving party need not attempt to resolve the matter outside court before filing the motion.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010.) salt

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (b), a “party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with section 2023.010).”  The court “shall” grant the motion to deem requests for admission admitted “unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220.”  (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

Sanctions are mandatory in connection with a motion to deem matters specified in a request for admissions as true and motions to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel unless the court “finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”  (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2031.300, subd. (c), 2033.280, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

On April 22, 2019, Moving Defendant served Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Request for Production, and Request for Admission (All Set One) on Plaintiff by U.S. Express Mail.  (Both Declarations of Connor M. Scott (“Scott Decl.”), ¶ 2-4, Exh. A-C.)  Plaintiff served unverified responses.  (Scott Decl., ¶¶ 3, 5-7, Exh. B, D-F.)

Plaintiff’s counsel does not believe his client is competent enough to comprehend the nature and extent of signing verifications in this matter.  (Both Declarations of Babak Bobby Yaghoubian (“Yaghoubian Decl.”), 1.)  Plaintiff suffered a heart attack after the altercation that gives rise to this action.  (Oppositions, p. 2:4-2:24.)  He was placed in a medically-induced coma and put on ice to lessen brain damage.  (Ibid.)  Plaintiff’s physical and mental health has been declining as a result.  (Ibid.)  He cannot coherently respond to spoken language and occasionally wanders off.  (Ibid.)  Plaintiff’s application for guardian ad litem filed on October 28, 2019 was rejected two days later due to incorrect entries in the application.  (Yaghoubian Decl., 9, Exh. 2.)  Plaintiff filed a subsequent application for guardian ad litem on November 1, 2019.  (Yaghoubian Decl., 9, Exh. 3.)

The Court finds it is in the interest of justice to continue the hearing on these motions to allow time for Plaintiff to seek the appointment of a guardian ad litem.  The Court disagrees with Moving Defendant’s argument that Plaintiff’s delay since June of 2019 in seeking a guardian ad litem should bar the continuance of the hearing on these motions.  It is clear from the record that Plaintiff’s counsel thought Plaintiff’s condition would improve.  Due to this unfortunately mistaken optimism, Moving Defendant’s written discovery has gone unanswered because unverified responses are akin to no responses.  (See Appleton v. Superior Court (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 636.)

The motions are therefore CONTINUED to January 13, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 4A at Spring Street Courthouse located at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.