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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/04/2019 at 07:05:13 (UTC).

JESSICA OJEDA VS R&S RESEARCH LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/08/2017 JESSICA OJEDA filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against R S RESEARCH LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are JOSEPH R. KALIN, RICHARD E. RICO and EDWARD B. MORETON. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0635

  • Filing Date:

    05/08/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

JOSEPH R. KALIN

RICHARD E. RICO

EDWARD B. MORETON

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

OJEDA JESSICA

Defendants and Respondents

R&S RESEARCH LLC

DOES 1 TO 20

BERUMEN ELVA

ORTHOPAEDIC SOLUTIONS INC.

STERIWEB MEDICAL LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

ELIHU KAVEH S. ESQ.

BABAJANIAN AREEN

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

FORMAN DAN M.

FELTON JAMES

 

Court Documents

JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF DEFENDANT ELVA BERUMEN

5/22/2018: JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF DEFENDANT ELVA BERUMEN

MEMORANDUM OF COSTS (SUMMARY)

7/16/2018: MEMORANDUM OF COSTS (SUMMARY)

Declaration

11/13/2018: Declaration

Reply

12/11/2018: Reply

Notice

12/18/2018: Notice

Order

12/18/2018: Order

Proof of Personal Service

1/11/2019: Proof of Personal Service

Declaration

1/17/2019: Declaration

Declaration

1/17/2019: Declaration

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

1/23/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice

2/14/2019: Notice

Unknown

5/2/2019: Unknown

Proof of Service

1/16/2018: Proof of Service

SUMMONS

5/8/2017: SUMMONS

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

7/6/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Unknown

8/11/2017: Unknown

Unknown

8/11/2017: Unknown

NOTICE OF STATUS CONFERENCE

9/5/2017: NOTICE OF STATUS CONFERENCE

73 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/20/2019
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Jessica Ojeda (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/17/2019
  • Answer; Filed by Steriweb Medical, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 05/02/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Status Conference) of 05/02/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/25/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 04/17/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Jessica Ojeda (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/29/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Protective Order

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  • 03/20/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 03/20/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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125 More Docket Entries
  • 06/19/2017
  • NOTICE OF MINUTE ORDER ENTERED ON MAY 23, 2017

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  • 05/23/2017
  • at 00:00 AM in Department 74; (Affidavit of Prejudice; Transferred to different departmnt) -

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  • 05/23/2017
  • Minute Order

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  • 05/23/2017
  • Minute order entered: 2017-05-23 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/08/2017
  • PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER

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  • 05/08/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 05/08/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Jessica Ojeda (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/08/2017
  • Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Jessica Ojeda (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/08/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF GOV'T CODE 1294O ET SEQ.; ETC

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2017
  • Objection Document; Filed by R&S Research, LLC (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC660635    Hearing Date: August 20, 2020    Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

JESSICA OJEDA

vs.

R&S Research, LLC

Defendants.

Case No.: BC660635

Hearing Date: August 20, 2020

Plaintiff’s motion to bifurcate the trial is DENIED.

On May 8, 2017, Plaintiff Jessica Ojeda filed suit against R&S Research, LLC, and Elva Berumen. In March, 2019, Plaintiff amended the Complaint to substitute Steriweb Medical, LLC and Orthopedic Solutions, Inc for Doe Defendants. On December 9, 2019, Plaintiff amended the Complaint to substitute Bertram Rosenthal as a Doe Defendant.

On May 22, 2018, this Court granted Defendant Elva Berumen’s motion for a judgment on the pleadings. On June 25, 2019, Orthopedic Solutions, Inc. was dismissed from the complaint.

On August 15, 2019, default was entered against Defendant R&S Research, LLC.

Plaintiff now moves to bifurcate the trial. The motion is unopposed.

Legal Standard

“Code of Civil Procedure section 598 allows a party to seek an order before trial ‘that the trial of any issue or any part thereof shall precede the trial of any other issue or any part thereof in the case,’ where ‘the convenience of witnesses, the ends of justice, or the economy and efficiency of handling the litigation would be promoted thereby ….’” Estate of Young (2008) 160 Cal. App. 4th 62, 90.

Where a separate trial is ordered on the issue of liability, the procedure is commonly referred to as “bifurcation.” The objective of bifurcation, of course, is to avoid wasting time and money on the trial of damages issues if the liability issue is resolved against plaintiff. (Horton v. Jones (1972) 26 CA3d 952, 954.) Granting or denying of a motion for separate trials lies within the trial court's sound discretion, and is subject to reversal on appeal only for clear abuse. (Grappo v. Coventry Financial Corp. (1991) 235 CA3d 496, 504.)

Discussion

Plaintiff moves for the Court to bifurcate the trial into two phases: (1) alter-ego and (2) liability/damages. Because Defendant R&S Research, LLC is in default, Plaintiff argues that if it is determined that Bertram Rosenthal and Steriweb Medical, LLC are alter-egos of R&S Research, LLC, the need for a jury to be empaneled to hear the second stage of liability/damages would be eliminated by allowing the entire case to be resolved through the default judgment process.

Plaintiff’s argument is unpersuasive. First, Plaintiff argues that bifurcation is justified because the issue of alter-ego liability is separate and distinct from the complaint’s allegations of liability arising out of discrimination, harassment, and discrimination. However, the fact that Plaintiff is propounding a theory of vicarious liability does not, by itself, demonstrate a need for bifurcation. Innumerous cases have contained the two-step liability process (i.e., established vicarious liability first, and underlying liability second), and Plaintiff has presented no case law wherein the advancement of a theory of vicarious liability was found to justify bifurcation per se.

Second, while true that a finding of alter-ego could alleviate the need to proceed to the liability/damages portion of the trial, Plaintiff does not address the possibility that R&S Research, LLC could move to set aside default, thereby necessitating a trial on the liability/damages issue regardless.

Finally, the interests of judicial economy and convenience are only served if a finding of alter-ego is found—if alter-ego liability is not found, this will create additional and unnecessary inconveniences and delays.

In light of the foregoing, the motion is DENIED.

It is so ordered.

Dated: August , 2020

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi

Judge of the Superior Court

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via CourtCall. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.

Case Number: BC660635    Hearing Date: June 25, 2020    Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

JESSICA OJEDA

vs.

R&S Research, LLC

Defendants.

Case No.: BC660635

Hearing Date: June 25, 2020

Plaintiff’s motion to bifurcate the trial is DENIED.

On May 8, 2017, Plaintiff Jessica Ojeda filed suit against R&S Research, LLC, and Elva Berumen. In March, 2019, Plaintiff amended the Complaint to substitute Steriweb Medical, LLC and Orthopedic Solutions, Inc for Doe Defendants. On December 9, 2019, Plaintiff amended the Complaint to substitute Bertram Rosenthal as a Doe Defendant.

On May 22, 2018, this Court granted Defendant Elva Berumen’s motion for a judgment on the pleadings. On June 25, 2019, Orthopedic Solutions, Inc. was dismissed from the complaint.

On August 15, 2019, default was entered against Defendant R&S Research, LLC.

Plaintiff now moves to bifurcate the trial. The motion is unopposed.

Legal Standard

“Code of Civil Procedure section 598 allows a party to seek an order before trial ‘that the trial of any issue or any part thereof shall precede the trial of any other issue or any part thereof in the case,’ where ‘the convenience of witnesses, the ends of justice, or the economy and efficiency of handling the litigation would be promoted thereby ….’” Estate of Young (2008) 160 Cal. App. 4th 62, 90.

Where a separate trial is ordered on the issue of liability, the procedure is commonly referred to as “bifurcation.” The objective of bifurcation, of course, is to avoid wasting time and money on the trial of damages issues if the liability issue is resolved against plaintiff. (Horton v. Jones (1972) 26 CA3d 952, 954.) Granting or denying of a motion for separate trials lies within the trial court's sound discretion, and is subject to reversal on appeal only for clear abuse. (Grappo v. Coventry Financial Corp. (1991) 235 CA3d 496, 504.)

Discussion

Plaintiff moves for the Court to bifurcate the trial into two phases: (1) alter-ego and (2) liability/damages. Because Defendant R&S Research, LLC is in default, Plaintiff argues that if it is determined that Bertram Rosenthal and Steriweb Medical, LLC are alter-egos of R&S Research, LLC, the need for a jury to be empaneled to hear the second stage of liability/damages would be eliminated by allowing the entire case to be resolved through the default judgment process.

Plaintiff’s argument is unpersuasive. First, Plaintiff argues that bifurcation is justified because the issue of alter-ego liability is separate and distinct from the complaint’s allegations of liability arising out of discrimination, harassment, and discrimination. However, the fact that Plaintiff is propounding a theory of vicarious liability does not, by itself, demonstrate a need for bifurcation. Innumerous cases have contained the two-step liability process (i.e., established vicarious liability first, and underlying liability second), and Plaintiff has presented no case law wherein the advancement of a theory of vicarious liability was found to justify bifurcation per se.

Second, while true that a finding of alter-ego could alleviate the need to proceed to the liability/damages portion of the trial, Plaintiff does not address the possibility that R&S Research, LLC could move to set aside default, thereby necessitating a trial on the liability/damages issue regardless.

Finally, the interests of judicial economy and convenience are only served if a finding of alter-ego is found—if alter-ego liability is not found, this will create additional and unnecessary inconveniences and delays.

In light of the foregoing, the motion is DENIED.

It is so ordered.

Dated: June 25, 2020

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi

Judge of the Superior Court

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via CourtCall. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.

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