This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:39:12 (UTC).

JOHN JU DOE ET AL VS LAWNDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT ET

Case Summary

On 02/07/2018 JOHN JU DOE filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against LAWNDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT ET. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is AMY D. HOGUE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3048

  • Filing Date:

    02/07/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

AMY D. HOGUE

 

Party Details

Guardian Ad Litem and Plaintiff

USRY ARANIA AND INDIVIDUALLY

Defendants and Respondents

WILLIAMS STEPHANIE BATISTE

HAMILTON BETSY

LAWNDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT

ISIAH ROSA

DOES 1 TO 20

MS. MARTHA

GILLETTE COURTNEY

MARTHA MS.

Minor

DOE JOHN JU

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Minor Attorney

MCNAIR GREGORY L. ESQ.

Defendant Attorney

BORDIN-WOSK JOSHUA

 

Court Documents

Case Management Statement

7/29/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

8/2/2019: Case Management Statement

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

4/30/2018: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

SUMMONS

6/1/2018: SUMMONS

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

10/9/2018: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Proof of Personal Service

10/12/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Opposition

10/18/2018: Opposition

Reply

10/24/2018: Reply

Certificate of Mailing for

10/31/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Order

10/31/2018: Order

Minute Order

10/31/2018: Minute Order

Notice of Case Management Conference

11/29/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference

Notice of Case Management Conference

11/29/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference

Motion to Quash

12/7/2018: Motion to Quash

Separate Statement

12/7/2018: Separate Statement

Motion to Quash

12/13/2018: Motion to Quash

Notice

12/13/2018: Notice

Separate Statement

12/13/2018: Separate Statement

43 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/19/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Case Management Conference

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  • 08/07/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 7, Amy D. Hogue, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 08/02/2019
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by Lawndale Elementary School District (Defendant)

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  • 07/29/2019
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by Usry, Arania and individually (Plaintiff); John Ju Doe (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/24/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 7, Amy D. Hogue, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 06/20/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Lawndale Elementary School District (Defendant)

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  • 06/11/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Held

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  • 06/11/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 06/11/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Cas...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/04/2019
  • DocketReply (in Support of Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint); Filed by Lawndale Elementary School District (Defendant)

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57 More Docket Entries
  • 04/30/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 04/16/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 04/16/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL

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  • 04/16/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 02/22/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 02/22/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL

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  • 02/22/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 02/07/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by null

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  • 02/07/2018
  • DocketDECLARATION OF GREGORY L MCNAIR IN SUPPORT OF REQUEST FOR USE OF FICTITIOUS NAME

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  • 02/07/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: BC693048 Hearing Date: November 23, 2021 Dept: B

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LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

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Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka

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Department B

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

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Calendar No. 3 \r\n

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PROCEEDINGS

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John\r\nJu Doe, et al. v. Lawndale Elementary School District, et al.

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BC693048

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  1. Lawndale Elementary School\r\nDistrict, et al.’s Motion for Issue, Evidentiary, or Monetary Sanctions, or, in\r\nthe Alternative, for a Trial Continuance to Conduct Further Discovery

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Lawndale\r\nElementary School District, et al.’s (“Lawndale”) Motion for Issue,\r\nEvidentiary, or Monetary Sanctions, or, in the Alternative, for a Trial\r\nContinuance to Conduct Further Discovery is denied, in part, and granted, in\r\npart.

    Lawndale’s\r\nmotion for issue, evidentiary, or monetary sanctions is denied. Lawndale’s\r\nmotion for trial continuance and motion to reopen discovery are granted.

    Background

    Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on February 7, 2018. Plaintiffs’ operative Second Amended Complaint\r\nwas filed on January 23, 2020. Plaintiffs\r\nallege the following facts: Plaintiff Doe was a student with special needs\r\nattending the Realizing Amazing Potential After School Program (“RAP”) at Billy\r\nMitchell Elementary School in the Lawndale Elementary School District. On January 6, 2017, Plaintiff Doe was attacked\r\nand sexually assaulted by a fellow student. Plaintiff Doe’s mother, Plaintiff Arania Usry,\r\nadvocated for her child as a student with special needs.

    Thereafter, Plaintiff was transferred to another\r\nschool in the same district called Lucile J. Smith Elementary School. In\r\nretaliation for Usry’s advocacy, Defendants allegedly fabricated a story that\r\nit was Plaintiff Doe who would, in fact, physically and sexually assault other\r\nstudents. Plaintiff Doe was forced to\r\nleave the school and both Plaintiffs suffered severe emotional distress.

    Courtney Gillette was the principal of Billy Mitchell\r\nElementary School. Stephanie Batiste\r\nWilliams was the program supervisor for the afterschool RAP program at Billy\r\nMitchell. Martha Lugo was Doe’s afterschool RAP program leader. Rosa Isiah was the principal of Lucile J.\r\nSmith Elementary School. Wendy Moulton\r\nwas Plaintiff Doe’s teacher at Lucile J. Smith Elementary School. Plaintiff’s operative Second Amended Complaint\r\nincludes the following causes of action: 1. Negligence by Doe against LESD,\r\nGillette, and Martha Lugo; 2. IIED by Doe and Usry against LESD and Isiah.

    First, the Court notes that Defendants have combined\r\nthree separate motions into one motion: 1. Motion for Issue, Evidentiary, or\r\nMonetary Sanctions; 2. Motion for Trial Continuance; 3. Motion to Reopen\r\nDiscovery.

    Motion for Issue, Evidentiary, or Monetary Sanctions

    If a party fails to comply with a court order\r\ncompelling discovery responses or attendance at a deposition, the court may\r\nimpose monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating sanctions. CCP § 2025.450(h) (depositions); §\r\n2030.290(c) (interrogatories); § 2031.300(c) (demands for production of\r\ndocuments). CCP § 2023.030 provides\r\nthat, “[t]o the extent authorized by the chapter governing any particular\r\ndiscovery method . . . , the court, after notice to any affected party, person,\r\nor attorney, and after opportunity for hearing, may impose . . . [monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating]\r\nsanctions against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery\r\nprocess . . . .” Code of Civil Procedure\r\n§ 2023.010 provides that “[m]isuses of the discovery process include, but are\r\nnot limited to, the following: . .\r\n. (d) Failing to respond or to submit to\r\nan authorized method of discovery. . . . (g) Disobeying a court order to\r\nprovide discovery. . . . .”

    The type of severe sanctions sought by Defendants such\r\nas issue and evidentiary sanctions for failure to comply with a court order are\r\nallowed only where the failure was willful. See,\r\nR.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486,\r\n495; See also Vallbona v. Springer (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 1525, 1545; See, also, Biles v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1327. Where sanctions are sought for the initial\r\nfailure to respond to discovery or insufficient responses to discovery, only\r\nmonetary sanctions are authorized. Evidentiary or issue sanctions are not\r\nauthorized without a prior court order compelling responses. New Albertsons,\r\nInc. v. Superior Court (2008) 168 CA4th 1403, 1427-28.

    Defendants move for an order imposing an issue\r\nsanction to prohibit Plaintiffs from making or supporting any claim that\r\nPlaintiff John Ju Doe suffered damages necessitating future therapy,\r\npsychological evaluations, “sports and exercise,” and coaching and family\r\nsessions. Defendants move for an issue\r\nsanction prohibiting Plaintiffs from making a claim that John Ju Doe was\r\nmisdiagnosed with autism. Defendants\r\nmove for an order imposing an evidentiary sanction prohibiting Plaintiffs from\r\nintroducing evidence as to the above topics. Defendants move for an order that an adverse\r\njury instruction be read to the jury that the jury may draw an inference\r\nadverse to Plaintiffs. Defendants also\r\nmove for monetary sanctions.

    The requests for sanctions are based on the ground\r\nthat, during the course of discovery, Plaintiffs willfully failed to respond or\r\nsubmit to authorized methods of discovery and made evasive responses to\r\ndiscovery. Defendants contend that\r\nPlaintiffs withheld relevant medical records. Defendants contend that Plaintiffs’ expert\r\nrelied on medical reports and treatments that were allegedly never disclosed or\r\nproduced to Defendants during discovery.

    In opposition, Plaintiffs argue that all the\r\nconsultations and treatments that were contained in the experts’ report were\r\nnot hidden from Defendants but were freely disclosed during depositions, were\r\nwithin records held by the Torrance Unified School District and were available\r\nto Defendants via a deposition subpoena. Plaintiffs state that these consultations and\r\ntreatments were undertaken, not directly for treating John Ju Doe for injuries\r\nrelated to the instant lawsuit, but, instead for the purpose of John Ju Doe’s\r\nIEP assessment.

    The Court finds that the imposition of issue,\r\nevidentiary, and monetary sanctions as requested by Defendants are too severe\r\nunder the factual circumstances noted above. Defendants fail to show that\r\nPlaintiffs have intentionally hidden from Defendants the information noted\r\nabove. Defendants fail to establish that\r\nPlaintiffs have willfully failed to comply with their discovery obligations.

    Defendants’ motion for issue, evidentiary, or monetary\r\nsanctions is denied.

    Motion for Trial Continuance

    Pursuant to CRC Rule 3.1332(a), “To ensure the prompt\r\ndisposition of civil cases, the dates assigned for a trial are firm. All parties and their counsel must regard the\r\ndate set for trial as certain.” Under\r\nCRC Rule 3.1332(b), “A party seeking a continuance of the date set for trial,\r\nwhether contested or uncontested or stipulated to by the parties, must make the\r\nrequest for a continuance by a noticed motion or an ex parte application under\r\nthe rules in chapter 4 of this division, with supporting declarations. The party must make the motion or application\r\nas soon as reasonably practical once the necessity for the continuance is\r\ndiscovered.”

    Under CRC Rule 3.1332(c), “[a]lthough continuances of\r\ntrials are disfavored, each request for a continuance must be considered on its\r\nown merits. The court may grant a\r\ncontinuance only on an affirmative showing of good cause requiring the\r\ncontinuance. Circumstances that may\r\ninclude good cause include:

    (1)\r\nThe unavailability of an essential lay or expert witness because of death,\r\nillness, or other excusable circumstances;

    (2) The unavailability of a party because of\r\ndeath, illness, or other excusable circumstances;

    (3) The unavailability of trial counsel\r\nbecause of death, illness, or other excusable circumstances;

    (4) The substitution of trial counsel, but\r\nonly where there is an affirmative showing that the substitution is required in\r\nthe interests of justice;

    (5) The addition of a new party if:

    (A)\r\nThe new party has not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery and\r\nprepare for trial; or

    (B)\r\nThe other parties have not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery\r\nand prepare for trial in regard to the new party's involvement in the case;

    (6) A party's excused inability to obtain\r\nessential testimony, documents, or other material evidence despite diligent\r\nefforts; or

    (7) A significant, unanticipated change in the\r\nstatus of the case as a result of which the case is not ready for trial.”

    Other factors set forth in CRC Rule\r\n3.1332(d) that are relevant in determining whether to grant a continuance\r\ninclude:

    (1)\r\nThe proximity of the trial date;

    (2)\r\nWhether there was any previous continuance, extension of time, or delay of\r\ntrial due to any party;

    (3)\r\nThe length of the continuance requested;

    (4)\r\nThe availability of alternative means to address the problem that gave rise to\r\nthe motion or application for a continuance;

    (5)\r\nThe prejudice that parties or witnesses will suffer as a result of the continuance;\r\n

    (6)\r\nIf the case is entitled to a preferential trial setting, the reasons for that\r\nstatus and whether the need for a continuance outweighs the need to avoid\r\ndelay;

    (7)\r\nThe court's calendar and the impact of granting a continuance on other pending\r\ntrials;

    (8)\r\nWhether trial counsel is engaged in another trial;

    (9)\r\nWhether all parties have stipulated to a continuance;

    (10)\r\nWhether the interests of justice are best served by a continuance, by the trial\r\nof the matter, or by imposing conditions on the continuance; and

    (11)\r\nAny other fact or circumstance relevant to the fair determination of the motion\r\nor application.

    The Court notes that Plaintiffs do\r\nnot oppose the request for a trial continuance. Defendants have established\r\ngood cause for a trial continuance to conduct further discovery. Therefore, the motion for trial continuance is\r\ngranted.

    Motion to Reopen Discovery

    Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.050 states, in relevant part:

    “(a)\r\nOn motion of any party, the court may grant leave to complete discovery\r\nproceedings, or to have a motion concerning discovery heard, closer to the\r\ninitial trial date, or to reopen discovery after a new trial date has been set.\r\nThis motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section\r\n2016.040.

    (b)\r\nIn exercising its discretion to grant or deny this motion, the court shall take\r\ninto consideration any matter relevant to the leave requested, including, but\r\nnot limited to, the following:

    (1)\r\nThe necessity and the reasons for the discovery.

    (2)\r\nThe diligence or lack of diligence of the party seeking the discovery or the\r\nhearing of a discovery motion, and the reasons that the discovery was not\r\ncompleted or that the discovery motion was not heard earlier.

    (3)\r\nAny likelihood that permitting the discovery or hearing the discovery motion\r\nwill prevent the case from going to trial on the date set, or otherwise\r\ninterfere with the trial calendar, or result in prejudice to any other party.

    (4)\r\nThe length of time that has elapsed between any date previously set, and the\r\ndate presently set, for the trial of the action.”

    Meet and Confer

    Defendants set forth a meet and confer declaration in\r\nsufficient compliance with CCP § 2024.050 and CCP § 2016.040. (Decl., Benjamin A. Sampson, ¶ 8).

    Motion to Reopen Discovery

    The Court notes that Plaintiffs do\r\nnot oppose the request to reopen discovery. Defendants have established the\r\nnecessity of conducting additional discovery and reasonable diligence in\r\npursuing discovery. Thus, the request to\r\nreopen discovery is granted. Discovery\r\nis reopened for the limited purpose of conducting discovery regarding the treatments\r\nand consultations undertaken by Plaintiff John Ju Doe that was only recently\r\ndiscovered by Defendants.

    Thus, the motion for issue,\r\nevidentiary, or monetary sanctions is denied.

    The motion for trial continuance and\r\nmotion to reopen discovery is granted.

    The trial date is continued to\r\n________________.

    The final status conference date is\r\ncontinued to _________________.

    All discovery cut off dates are to\r\ncorrespond to the new trial date.

    Defendants are ordered to give\r\nnotice of this ruling.

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Case Number: BC693048 Hearing Date: July 15, 2021 Dept: B

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LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

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Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka

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Department B

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

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Calendar No. 10 \r\n

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PROCEEDINGS

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John\r\nJu Doe, et al. v. Lawndale Elementary School District, et al.

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BC693048

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  1. Lawndale Elementary School\r\nDistrict, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, or, in the Alternative, Summary\r\nAdjudication

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Lawndale\r\nElementary School District, et al.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, or, in the\r\nAlternative, Summary Adjudication is denied, in part, and granted, in part.

    Background

    Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on February 7, 2018. Plaintiffs’ operative Second Amended Complaint\r\nwas filed on January 23, 2020. Plaintiffs\r\nallege the following facts: Plaintiff Doe was a student with special needs\r\nattending the Realizing Amazing Potential After School Program (“RAP”) at Billy\r\nMitchell Elementary School in the Lawndale Elementary School District. On January 6, 2017, Plaintiff Doe was\r\nattacked and sexually assaulted by a fellow student. Plaintiff Doe’s mother, Plaintiff Arania Usry,\r\nadvocated for her child as a student with special needs who was sexually\r\nassaulted.

    Thereafter, Plaintiff was transferred to another\r\nschool in the same district called Lucile J. Smith Elementary School. In\r\nretaliation for Usry’s advocacy, Defendants allegedly fabricated a story that\r\nit was Plaintiff Doe who would, in fact, physically and sexually assault other\r\nstudents. Plaintiff Doe was forced to\r\nleave the school and both Plaintiffs suffered severe emotional distress.

    Courtney Gillette was the principal of Billy Mitchell\r\nElementary School. Stephanie Batiste\r\nWilliams was the program supervisor for the afterschool RAP program at Billy\r\nMitchell. Martha Lugo was Doe’s afterschool\r\nRAP program leader. Rosa Isiah was the\r\nprincipal of Lucile J. Smith Elementary School. Wendy Moulton was Plaintiff Doe’s teacher at\r\nLucile J. Smith Elementary School. Plaintiff’s\r\noperative Second Amended Complaint includes the following causes of action: 1.\r\nNegligence by Doe against LESD, Gillette, and Martha Lugo; 2. IIED by Doe and\r\nUsry against LESD and Isiah.

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Objections

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Defendants’ objections 1, 2, 5, and 6 are overruled. Defendants’ objections 3 and 4 are sustained.

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Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Summary\r\nAdjudication

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The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or\r\nsummary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the\r\nparties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations,\r\ntrial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar\r\nv. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c,\r\nsubdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the\r\nevidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’\r\nand uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no\r\ntriable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to\r\njudgment as a matter of law.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7\r\nCal. App. 4th 1110, 1119.)

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“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden\r\nis always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no\r\ntriable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128\r\nCal. App. 4th 1510, 1519.) A defendant\r\nmoving for summary judgment or summary adjudication “has met his or her burden\r\nof showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one\r\nor more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established, or that\r\nthere is a complete defense to the cause of action.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “Once the defendant . . . has met that\r\nburden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue\r\nof one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense\r\nthereto.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “If the\r\nplaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” Avivi\r\nv. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal. App. 4th 463, 467.

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“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the\r\ncourt must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except\r\nevidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all\r\nreasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most\r\nfavorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi,\r\n159 Cal.App.4th at 467; CCP § 437c(c).)

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Defendants move for summary judgment in favor of\r\nDefendants as to Plaintiffs’ causes of action. Alternatively, Defendants move\r\nfor summary adjudication as to the following issues, Issue 1: Plaintiffs’ claim against Lawndale\r\nElementary School District for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is without\r\nmerit as a matter of law. Issue 2: Plaintiff Arania Usry’s Intentional\r\nInfliction of Emotional Distress claim against Lawndale Elementary School\r\nDistrict is barred by release.

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First Cause of Action for Negligence by Doe Against\r\nLESD, Gillette, and Lugo

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“The elements of a cause of action\r\nfor negligence are duty, breach, causation, and damages.” Johnson v. Prasad (2014) 224\r\nCal.App.4th 74, 78.

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Defendant Courtney Gillette

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Courtney Gillette’s motion for\r\nsummary judgment is granted. Defendant\r\nGillette has met her burden to show that one or more elements of Plaintiff’s\r\ncause of action cannot be established. Plaintiff\r\nhas not met his burden to show that a triable issue of material fact exists as\r\nto Plaintiff’s cause of action. Gillette\r\nhas provided facts supported with competent evidence to show that she did not\r\nbreach a duty to Plaintiff and caused no damages to Plaintiff. Gillette was not the supervisor of the RAP\r\nprogram and she did not supervise Williams, the individual who did supervise\r\nthe RAP program. (Defendant’s Facts and\r\nSupporting Evidence, 1-8.) Plaintiff\r\nprovided no evidence to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact.\r\n Instead, Plaintiff merely argues that\r\nGillette, as a principal, had a general duty to maintain safety of the students\r\nat the school. However, Plaintiff\r\nsubmitted no evidence to show that Gillette breached this duty. The Court notes that Gillette was only named\r\nas a Defendant to the first cause of action. Therefore, Gillette’s motion for summary\r\njudgment is granted.

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Defendants LESD and Martha Lugo

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As to Defendants LESD and Lugo, a\r\ntriable issue of material fact exists as to the first cause of action. The Court notes that these Defendants did not\r\nspecifically move for summary adjudication as to this cause of action. Because Lugo was not named in the second cause\r\nof action, her motion, similar to Gillette’s, is simply a motion for summary\r\njudgment.

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Plaintiff has submitted the following evidence to\r\nestablish the existence of a triable issue of material fact as to the first\r\ncause of action. Plaintiff Doe was a\r\nspecial needs student who suffered from a speech disability and polyuria. On January 6, 2017, he was being supervised by\r\nhis teacher Lugo. Doe was allowed to go\r\nto the boy’s bathroom without supervision. A fellow student shoved a finger in Doe’s anus\r\nwhile he was in the bathroom with Doe. A\r\ntriable issue of fact exists as to Doe being properly supervised by Defendants\r\nwhen he was allowed to go to the bathroom unsupervised. (Plaintiff’s Additional Material Facts and\r\nSupporting Evidence, 128-168.)

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“California law has long imposed on school authorities\r\na duty to ‘supervise at all times the conduct of the children on the school\r\ngrounds and to enforce those rules and regulations necessary to their\r\nprotection. [Citations.]’ [Citations.] [Citations.] The standard of care\r\nimposed upon school personnel in carrying out this duty to supervise is\r\nidentical to that required in the performance of their other duties. This\r\nuniform standard to which they are held is that degree of care ‘which a person\r\nof ordinary prudence, charged with [comparable] duties, would exercise under\r\nthe same circumstances.’ [Citations.] Either a total lack of supervision\r\n[citation] or ineffective supervision [citation] may constitute a lack of\r\nordinary care on the part of those responsible for student supervision....”\r\n[Citation.]' [Citation.]” (Hoff v. Vacaville Unified School Dist. (1998)\r\n19 Cal.4th 925, 934, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 811, 968 P.2d 522.) Our Supreme Court has\r\nrecognized “... the commonly known tendency of students to engage in aggressive\r\nand impulsive behavior which exposes them and their peers to the risk of\r\nserious physical harm.” Jennifer C. v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist.\r\n(2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1320, 1326–27.

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“Given the foreseeability of harm to special education\r\nstudents, the well-settled statutory duty of school districts to take all\r\nreasonable steps to protect them, the relatively minimal burden on school\r\ndistricts to ensure adequate supervision for any students they permit on their\r\ncampuses prior to the start of school, and the paramount policy concern of\r\nproviding our children with safe learning environments, we find the District\r\nowed the minor a duty of care to protect him from an assault on campus.” Id.\r\nat 1327. “Given the unique vulnerability of “special needs” students, it is\r\nforeseeable that they may be victimized by other students. Where school\r\nofficials allow a hidden area to be maintained on campus, it is foreseeable\r\nthat other students may use the hiding place to take advantage of a “special\r\nneeds” student. School officials were on constructive notice that this hidden\r\nalcove was a potential place for victimization, i.e. a “problem area.” Id.\r\nat 1328.

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Here, given Plaintiff’s special needs, a triable issue\r\nof material fact exists as to whether he was adequately supervised at the time\r\nof his alleged assault. Thus, triable\r\nissues of fact exist as to the elements of breach and causation of the first\r\ncause of action. (Plaintiff’s Additional Material Facts and Supporting Facts,\r\n174-177.)

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Second Cause of Action for IIED by Doe and Usry\r\nAgainst LESD and Isiah

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“The elements of a prima facie case for the tort of\r\nintentional infliction of emotional distress are: (1) extreme and outrageous\r\nconduct by the defendant with the intention of causing, or reckless disregard\r\nof the probability of causing, emotional distress; (2) the plaintiff's\r\nsuffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (3) actual and proximate\r\ncausation of the emotional distress by the defendant’s outrageous conduct.” Miller\r\nv. Fortune Commercial Corp. (2017) 15 Cal.App.5th 214, 228–29.

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Issue 1: Plaintiffs’\r\nClaim Against Lawndale Elementary School District for Intentional Infliction of\r\nEmotional Distress is Without Merit as a Matter of Law.

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Defendants LESD and Maria Isiah

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Defendants argue that Plaintiffs lack competent\r\nevidence that Defendants’ actions were extreme and outrageous. However, a triable issue of material fact\r\nexists as to whether Defendants’ actions amount to extreme and outrageous\r\nconduct. (Plaintiffs’ Additional\r\nMaterial Facts and Supporting Evidence, 82-111.) Defendants allegedly failed to institute a\r\nprocess for amending Doe’s Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”) or to develop\r\na “504” plan for Doe despite Usry’s requests. In light of the circumstances of the assault\r\nallegedly perpetrated upon Doe at the prior school, refusing to amend the IEP\r\nor to develop the 504 plan may show evidence of extreme and outrageous conduct.\r\n In addition, Plaintiffs submitted\r\nevidence that Isiah made harassing telephone calls to Ms. Usry’s job. Finally, Plaintiffs submitted evidence that\r\nDefendants punished Doe for false allegations of sexual misconduct.

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Defendants refute these allegations contending that\r\nall appropriate plans were followed through with, that Defendants could not\r\ninstitute a 504 plan, that no harassing conduct took place, and that the\r\nallegations against Doe were substantiated by other parents. However, all these facts merely establish\r\nissues of fact for the trier of fact based on the credibility and weighing of\r\nevidence. “Where reasonable men may\r\ndiffer, it is for the jury, subject to the control of the court, to determine\r\nwhether, in the particular case, the conduct has been sufficiently extreme and\r\noutrageous to result in liability.” Fuentes\r\nv. Perez (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 163, 172.

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While Defendant Isiah did not move for summary\r\nadjudication, she was only named as a Defendant in the second cause of action.\r\nTherefore, she correctly moved only for summary judgment. However, a triable issue of material fact\r\nexists as to the second cause of action as to Isiah for the reasons noted\r\nabove. Therefore, Defendant’s Isiah’s\r\nmotion for summary judgment is denied.

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Issue 2: Plaintiff\r\nArania Usry’s Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim Against Lawndale\r\nElementary School District is Barred By Release.

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Defendant LESD

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Defendant LESD argues that Plaintiff Usry in a prior\r\naction released any and all claims that may be the subject of her action\r\nherein. (Defendant’s Separate Statement\r\nof Facts and Supporting Evidence, 79-81.) However, the plain language of the settlement\r\nagreement signed by Usry indicates that the agreement concerned a special\r\neducation due process proceeding that was pending before the California\r\nDepartment of General Services, Office of Administrative Hearings. There is no specific release language stating\r\nthat she released her right to present tort claims in a separate civil action. Therefore, a triable issue of material fact\r\nexists as to whether the agreement is applicable to the cause of action for\r\nIIED. (Plaintiff’s Separate Statement of\r\nFacts and Supporting Evidence, 112-115.)

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Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

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