This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/29/2019 at 01:57:35 (UTC).

JESSICA FIERRO VS PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION ET AL

Case Summary

On 06/26/2017 JESSICA FIERRO filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is CHRISTOPHER K. LUI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6093

  • Filing Date:

    06/26/2017

  • 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 Judge

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

FIERRO JESSICA

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 TO 30

PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA

PLANNED PARENHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

MARKARIAN CHRISTOPHER V. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

FIELDSLAW APC

FIELDS GARY DAVID

 

Court Documents

ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL FSC AND RELATED MOTION DISCOVERY DATES

5/31/2018: ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL FSC AND RELATED MOTION DISCOVERY DATES

NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL DATE AND ALL APPLICABLE DATES

7/27/2018: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL DATE AND ALL APPLICABLE DATES

Substitution of Attorney

8/10/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

12/17/2018: Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

Motion to Continue Trial Date

3/6/2019: Motion to Continue Trial Date

Minute Order

3/28/2019: Minute Order

Notice of Ruling

3/29/2019: Notice of Ruling

REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL AND NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES OF DEFENDANT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC.

12/8/2017: REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL AND NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES OF DEFENDANT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC.

CIVIL DEPOSIT

12/8/2017: CIVIL DEPOSIT

ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

12/8/2017: ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Complaint

6/26/2017: Complaint

Summons

6/26/2017: Summons

CoverSheet

6/26/2017: CoverSheet

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

8/25/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

2 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/16/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 03/29/2019
  • Notice of Ruling (MOTION TO CONTINUETRIALANDFINAL STATUS CONFERENCE DATES AND ALLRELATED DEADLINES); Filed by Planned Parenhood Federation of America (Defendant)

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  • 03/28/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Continue Trial (and Final Status Conference Dates and all Related Deadlines) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 03/28/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Defendant's Motion to Continue Trial and Final Sta...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/26/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 4; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 03/12/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 4; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 03/06/2019
  • Motion to Continue Trial Date; Filed by Planned Parenhood Federation of America (Defendant)

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  • 12/17/2018
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District) (2nd stip cont 3 mos. (1st stip 3 mos.) FSC 3-12-19 to 6-10-19; Trl 3-26-19 to 6-24-19); Filed by Planned Parenhood Federation of America (Defendant)

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  • 08/10/2018
  • Substitution of Attorney

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  • 08/10/2018
  • Substitution of Attorney; Filed by JESSICA FIERRO (Plaintiff)

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4 More Docket Entries
  • 12/08/2017
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 12/08/2017
  • REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL AND NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES OF DEFENDANT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC.

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  • 12/08/2017
  • Request; Filed by Planned Parenhood Federation of America (Defendant)

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  • 12/08/2017
  • Answer; Filed by Planned Parenhood Federation of America (Defendant)

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  • 12/08/2017
  • ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

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  • 08/25/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 08/25/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by JESSICA FIERRO (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/26/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by JESSICA FIERRO (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/26/2017
  • Summons; Filed by JESSICA FIERRO (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/26/2017
  • Complaint

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC666093    Hearing Date: December 10, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Tax Costs

Having considered the moving and opposing papers, the Court rules as follows.  No reply papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On June 26, 2017, Plaintiff Jessica Fierro (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. alleging premises liability and negligence for a slip-and-fall that occurred on July 31, 2015.

On August 5, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to her complaint renaming Doe 1 as Defendant Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles.

On September 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to her complaint renaming Doe 2 as Defendant Broadway Main Associates, LLC.

On September 25, 2019, the Court entered summary judgement in Defendant Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. favor and against Plaintiff.

On October 10, 2019, Defendant Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. filed a memorandum of costs.

On October 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to strike and/or tax costs.

Trial is set for May 26, 2019.

PARTYS REQUEST

Plaintiff asks the Court for an order striking or taxing Defendant Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.’s (“Opposing Defendant”) request for attorney’s fees because attorney’s fees are not permitted here.

LEGAL STANDARD

“A prevailing party who claims costs must serve and file a memorandum of costs within 15 days after the date of service of the notice of entry of judgment or dismissal by the clerk under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.5 or the date of service of written notice of entry of dismissal, or within 180 days after entry of judgment, whichever is first.”  (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1700, subd. (a)(1).)

“Any notice of motion to strike or to tax costs must be served and filed 15 days after service of the costs memorandum.  If the cost memorandum was served by mail, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013.”  (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1700, subd. (b)(1).)

“Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding.  This means that the prevailing party is entitled to all of his costs unless another statute provides otherwise.  Absent such statutory authority, the court has no discretion to deny costs to the prevailing party.”  (Nelson v. Anderson (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 111, 128-129 (citations and internal quotations omitted); Code of Civ. Proc. § 1032, subd. (b) (“Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding”).)

Initial verification of a bill of costs is prima facie evidence of the reasonable necessity of the claimed costs, and there is no requirement that copies of bills, invoices, statements or other supporting documentation be attached to the bill of costs; however, if costs have been put in issue by a motion to tax costs, the burden shifts to the party claiming costs to establish reasonableness.  (Jones v. Dumrichob, (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1258, 1267.)

DISCUSSION

Attorney’s fees are allowable when based on contract, statute, or law.  (Code Civ. Proc. § 1033.5, subd. (a)(10).)  Plaintiff argues Opposing Defendant’s request for attorney’s fees is not allowable because there was no contract between Plaintiff and Opposing Defendant nor any statute or law that authorizes attorney’s fees.  (Motion, pp. 4:3-5:13.)  Opposing Defendant does not object to Plaintiff’s request to strike attorney’s fees.  (Opposition, p. 2:26-2:27.)

The Court agrees with Plaintiff.  The Court granted summary judgment in Opposing Defendant’s favor on September 25, 2019 because Opposing Defendant demonstrated it did not own, possess, or control the premises Plaintiff allegedly slipped and fell on.  There is no contractual dispute between these parties.  The Court is unaware of any statute or law that would entitle Opposing Defendant to attorney’s fees in this context.

The motion is GRANTED.

The Court strikes item number 10 for $3,812.50 in attorney’s fees from Opposing Defendant’s memorandum of costs filed on October 10, 2019:

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC666093    Hearing Date: November 19, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Quash Service of Summons

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

BACKGROUND

On June 26, 2017, Plaintiff Jessica Fierro (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (“PPFA”) alleging premises liability and negligence for a slip-and-fall that occurred on July 31, 2015.

On July 12, 2019, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 437c.

On August 5, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to her complaint naming Defendant Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles (“PPLA”) as Doe 1.

On September 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to her complaint naming Defendant Broadway Main Associates, LLC (“BMA”) as Doe 2.

On September 25, 2019, the Court entered summary judgement in PPFA’s favor and against Plaintiff.

On October 15, 2019, Defendant PPLA filed a motion to quash the service of summons pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 418.10.

On October 23, 2019, Defendant BMA filed a motion to quash the service of summons pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 418.10.

Trial is set for May 26, 2020.

PARTIES’S REQUESTS

PPLA and BMA ask the Court to quash the service of summons on them because Plaintiff was not genuinely ignorant of their identities sufficient to name them as Doe Defendants.

LEGAL STANDARD

A defendant may serve and file a notice of motion to quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over it. (Code Civ. Proc. § 418.10, subd. (a).) California Code of Civil Procedure section 418.10 provides the exclusive procedure for challenging personal jurisdiction at the outset. (Roy v. Superior Court (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 337, 342.) Although the defendant is the moving party, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to defeat the motion by establishing that jurisdictional grounds exist. (Mihlon v. Superior Court (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 703, 710.)

“Improper service of a defendant under section 474 may be attacked by a motion to quash.”  (McClatchy v. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 368, 375 (emphasis and citation omitted).)  “If the terms of . . . section 474 have not been complied with, the purported defendant has not been named as such in the complaint.  A service upon one not named in a complaint does not confer jurisdiction to proceed upon the complaint against him, and the motion to quash is proper.”  (Ibid.

“Among the requirements for application of the section 474 . . . is that the new defendant in an amended complaint be substituted for an existing fictitious Doe defendant named in the original complaint.” (Woo v. Superior Court (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 169, 176) A further and nonprocedural requirement for application of the section 474 . . . is that [Plaintiff] must have been genuinely ignorant of [Defendant Doe’s] identity at the time she filed her original complaint. The omission of the defendant’s identity in the original complaint must be real and not merely a subterfuge for avoiding the requirements of section 474. Furthermore, if the identity ignorance requirement of section 474 is not met, a new defendant may not be added after the statute of limitations has expired even if the new defendant cannot establish prejudice resulting from the delay. However, if the plaintiff is actually ignorant of the defendant’s identity, the section 474 . . . applies even if that ignorance is the result of the plaintiff's negligence.” (Id. at p. 177; see also Optical Surplus, Inc. v. Superior Court (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 776, 779-782.)

DISCUSSION

PPLA and BMA argue that their motions to quash must be granted because Plaintiff was not actually ignorant of PPLA’s and BMA’s identities such that they could be named as Doe Defendants.

PPLA argues that Plaintiff knew of PPLA’s identity at the time of the incident that gave rise to the complaint because Plaintiff sought medical treatment at PPLA.  (PPLA Motion, p. 8:5-8:14.)  The front door of the clinic states “Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.”  (Ibid.)  Plaintiff argues the font on the front door was small, inconspicuous, and bunched with many other words.  (PPLA Opposition, p. 4:22-4:28; Mesaros Decl., ¶ 4, Exh. B.)  Plaintiff submits a picture of the front door, which shows the words “Planned Parenthood” along with various other smaller text.  The Court agrees with Plaintiff.  It would be hardly fair to impute notice of PPLA’s identity to Plaintiff who was distraught from her injuries based on lettering on the door in small text requiring a high level of attention to notice it.

Both PPLA and BMA argue Plaintiff knew of their identities in August of 2018 when PPFA identified BMA as the property owner where the incident occurred and PPLA as the entity that operated there and had employees there in discovery responses.  (Sweeny Decl., 5 Exh. C.)  Plaintiff argues that PPFA did not provide documentation supporting this claim, as asked of in the discovery responses.  (Oppositions, pp. 6:3-7:13; Mesaros Decl., 13.)  As such, Plaintiff was not convinced that PPFA was not the correct Defendant.  (Ibid.)  It was not until PPFA filed its motion for summary judgment on July 12, 2019 that Plaintiff made the decision to name PPLA and BMA as Doe Defendants, and it did so based on the evidence submitted in support of the motion.  (Oppositions, pp. 7:12-8:9.)

The Court finds Plaintiff was genuinely ignorant of PPLA’s and BMA’s identities when filing the complaint and when it received the discovery responses stating their involvement in this action in August of 2018.  Plaintiff reasonably believed that PPLA’s and BMA’s involvement in this action was a mere contention of PPFA’s and was unsupported with evidence.  This is because documentation was not provided in support of PPFA’s discovery responses identifying PPLA and BMA as tortfeasors.  Accordingly, Plaintiff has complied with section 474 such that PPLA and BMA have been properly named as Doe Defendants.

The motions are DENIED.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.