This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/30/2020 at 08:15:45 (UTC).

JOYCE MCCLURE VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 02/01/2019 JOYCE MCCLURE filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is YOLANDA OROZCO. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3613

  • Filing Date:

    02/01/2019

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

YOLANDA OROZCO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

MCCLURE JOYCE

Defendants and Cross Defendants

RELIANCE PLUMBING

HAR-BRO INC.

CALIFORNIA CASUALTY

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

RELIANCE HOME SERVICES

RELIANCE HOME SERVICES INC.

Defendants, Cross Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

CALIFORNIA CASUALTY

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

RELIANCE HOME SERVICES INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

FASEN LEO

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

MCFARLANE PAMELA

FELDMAN MARK ALLEN

ROUSIER SUSAN

MCFARLANE PAMELA L.

REDFIELD RYAN P.

Defendant and Cross Defendant Attorneys

MCFARLANE PAMELA L.

REDFIELD RYAN P.

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal

6/15/2020: Request for Dismissal

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/15/2020

4/15/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/15/2020

Memorandum - MEMORANDUM IN REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S LATE-FILED OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET NO. ONE.

1/28/2020: Memorandum - MEMORANDUM IN REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S LATE-FILED OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET NO. ONE.

Declaration - DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS TO COMPEL

11/13/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS TO COMPEL

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

11/13/2019: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Cross-Complaint

10/21/2019: Cross-Complaint

Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

9/6/2019: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITH MOTION TO STRIKE (CCP 430.10) [RES...)

8/7/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITH MOTION TO STRIKE (CCP 430.10) [RES...)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF PAUL F. SULLIVAN RE PLAINTIFF'S LATE OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER OF DEFENDANT CALIFORNIA CASUALTY

8/5/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF PAUL F. SULLIVAN RE PLAINTIFF'S LATE OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER OF DEFENDANT CALIFORNIA CASUALTY

Cross-Complaint

7/29/2019: Cross-Complaint

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

7/25/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Demand for Jury Trial

7/25/2019: Demand for Jury Trial

Request for Judicial Notice

6/14/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Case Management Order

6/3/2019: Case Management Order

Case Management Statement

5/31/2019: Case Management Statement

Cross-Complaint - CROSS-COMPLAINT ON BEHALF OF DEF/CROSS-COMPLAINT CITY OF LOS ANGELES

3/27/2019: Cross-Complaint - CROSS-COMPLAINT ON BEHALF OF DEF/CROSS-COMPLAINT CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Order to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service

2/8/2019: Order to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service

Notice of Case Management Conference

2/8/2019: Notice of Case Management Conference

52 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/18/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Joyce McClure (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/15/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by California Casualty Indemnity Exchange Erroneously Sued As California Casualty (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 06/05/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Reliance Home Services, Inc. (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 06/04/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal (- Not Entered); Filed by Joyce McClure (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/18/2020
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 05/06/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 04/23/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/17/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 04/17/2020
  • Docketat 2:02 PM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Nunc Pro Tunc Order

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58 More Docket Entries
  • 03/27/2019
  • DocketCross-Complaint (on behalf of Def/Cross-Complaint City of Los Angeles); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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  • 03/13/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Har-Bro Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 02/08/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/08/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/01/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/01/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Joyce McClure (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/01/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Joyce McClure (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/01/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Joyce McClure (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCV03613    Hearing Date: February 04, 2020    Dept: 31

DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY IS GRANTED.

Relevant Background

On February 1, 2019, Plaintiff Joyce McClure filed the instant action against Defendants City of Los Angeles (“City of L.A.”); Har-Bro, Inc. (“Har-Bro”); Reliance Plumbing (“Reliance”); California Casualty (“Casualty”); and Does 1 through 100. The Complaint asserts causes of action for:

  1. Property Damage (against City of L.A., Reliance, and Har-Bro);

  2. General Negligence (against City of L.A., Reliance, and Har-Bro);

  3. Breach of Oral Agreement (against Har-Bro);

  4. Breach of Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing (against Har-Bro);

  5. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (against City of L.A., Har-Bro, and Reliance);

  6. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (against “SNMC, DITECH, BAC, CTC); and

  7. Breach of Written Contract (against Casualty).

Defendant Har-Bro (hereinafter “Defendant”) seeks an order compelling Plaintiff’s responses without objections to Special Interrogatories, Set One, propounded by Defendant on August 6, 2019.

Legal Standard

For a motion to compel initial discovery responses, all a propounding party must show is that it properly served its discovery requests, that the time to respond has expired, and that the party to whom the requests were directed failed to provide a timely response. (See Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905 906.) Indeed, "[o]nce [a party] 'fail[ed] to serve a timely response,' the trial court had authority to grant [opposing party's] motion to compel responses." (Sinaiko Healthcare Counseling, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 405.) By failing to respond, the offending party waives any objection to the demand. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290(a).)

Discussion

Defendant seeks an order compelling Plaintiff’s responses without objections to Special Interrogatories, Set One. Defendant asserts that on August 6, 2019, it propounded Special Interrogatories, Set One, on Plaintiff and that her responses were due by September 10, 2019. (Heravi Decl. ¶ 2, Exh. A.) Defendant contends that on September 11, 2019, Plaintiff’s counsel requested an extension to September 24, 2019, which was granted. Defendant asserts that as of the date of filing, November 13, 2019, no response has been received.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that her lack of response was unintentional and in good faith. Plaintiff asserts that the primary reason why Plaintiff has failed to submit or serve any response to the Special Interrogatories is due to the fact that Plaintiff did not receive said Special Interrogatories, which consists of more than two hundred interrogatories. Plaintiff contends that her attorney only received a Request for Admissions, Request for Production of Documents, and Form Interrogatories, which were all served by mail on August 6, 2019. Plaintiff asserts that she will serve responses to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories on or before January 30, 2020.

In reply, Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s claim that she never received the discovery is implausible, as, among other things, on October 16, 2019, a meet and confer letter was both emailed and mailed from defense counsel notifying Plaintiff’s counsel of Plaintiff’s failure to timely respond to Special Interrogatories. (Heravi Decl. ¶ 6, Exh. D.) Defendant asserts that moreover, all three Defendant in this action attest to having received the Special Interrogatories that were served in August. (Heravi Reply Decl. ¶ 13, Exh. 3.)

The Court finds that despite Plaintiff’s arguments otherwise, Defendant properly served its discovery requests, the time to respond has expired, and Plaintiff has failed to provide a timely response. Plaintiff’s assertion that it did not receive the discovery at issue is unpersuasive given Plaintiff’s history of claiming that she did not receive written discovery propounded by other Defendants (Heravi Reply Decl. ¶ 13, Exh. 3) and is contrary to the evidence before the Court. Moreover, even if Plaintiff did not receive the Special Interrogatories on August 6, 2019, Plaintiff would have been aware of the Special Interrogatories since at least October 16, 2019, when the meet and confer letter was sent to Plaintiff’s counsel. It is clear to the Court that Plaintiff is in possession of the Special Interrogatories now, as Plaintiff makes a point to belabor the number of special interrogatories that have been propounded on her. Defendant’s motion to compel was filed on November 13, 2019. As of the date of Plaintiff’s late-filed Opposition on January 27, 2020, Plaintiff still had not served answers to the discovery at issue.

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s motion to compel responses without objections to its Special Interrogatories, Set One is GRANTED.

Sanctions

The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a response to interrogatories, 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.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290(c).)

Defendant seeks sanctions against Plaintiff and her counsel of record, Leo Fasen, in the amount of $1,515.00 consisting of 3 hours preparing the moving papers billed at a rate of $260, 0.5 hour reviewing the moving papers, an anticipated 1 hours reviewing the opposition and preparing a reply, and 1.5 hours spent attending and traveling to the hearing on the instant motion billed at a rate of $225 per hour, plus the $60 filing fee.

The Court finds that Plaintiff did not act with substantial justification in failing to respond to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories or that other circumstances would make the imposition of the sanction unjust. Nevertheless, the Court finds that the amount of sanctions requested is unreasonable given the relative simplicity of the motion. The Court thus awards reduced sanctions in the amount of $1,030.00 for 2 hours preparing the moving papers billed at a rate of $260, 1 hour preparing a reply, and 1 hour attending the hearing billed at a rate of $225, plus the $60 filing fee.

Conclusion

Defendant’s motion to compel responses without objections to its Special Interrogatories, Set One is GRANTED. Plaintiff and her counsel of record are ordered to pay monetary sanctions in the amount of $1,030.00 to Defendant within thirty (30) days.

Case Number: 19STCV03613    Hearing Date: October 28, 2019    Dept: 31

DEMURRER TO FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION IS GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.

Relevant Background

On February 1, 2019, Plaintiff Joyce McClure filed the instant action against Defendants City of Los Angeles (“City of L.A.”); Har-Bro, Inc. (“Har-Bro”); Reliance Plumbing (“Reliance”); California Casualty (“Casualty”); and Does 1 through 100. The Complaint asserts causes of action for:

  1. Property Damage (against City of L.A., Reliance, and Har-Bro);

  2. General Negligence (against City of L.A., Reliance, and Har-Bro);

  3. Breach of Oral Agreement (against Har-Bro);

  4. Breach of Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing (against Har-Bro);

  5. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (against City of L.A., Har-Bro, and Reliance);

  6. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (against “SNMC, DITECH, BAC, CTC); and

  7. Breach of Written Contract (against Casualty).

On April 19, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name), correcting Reliance Plumbing to Reliance Home Services (hereinafter “Defendant”). Defendant filed the instant demurrer with motion to strike on September 6, 2019.

Legal Standard on Demurrer

A demurrer for sufficiency tests whether the complaint states a cause of action. Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 747. When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. (Wilson v. Transit Authority of City of Sacramento (1962) 199 Cal.App.2d 716, 720-21.) In a demurrer proceeding, the defects must be apparent on the face of the pleading or via proper judicial notice. (Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994.) “A demurrer tests the pleading alone, and not on the evidence or facts alleged.” (E-Fab, Inc. v. Accountants, Inc. Servs. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1315.) As such, the court assumes the truth of the complaint’s properly pleaded or implied factual allegations. (Id.) However, it does not accept as true deductions, contentions, or conclusions of law or fact. (Stonehouse Homes LLC v. City of Sierra Madre (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 531, 538.) A demurrer may be sustained “only if the complaint fails to state a cause of action under any possible legal theory.” (Sheehan v. San Francisco 49ers, Ltd. (2009) 45 Cal.4th 992, 998.)

Legal Standard for Motion to Strike

Any party, within the time allowed to respond to a pleading may serve and file a notice of motion to strike the whole or any part thereof. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 435, subd. (b)(1); Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1322(b).) The court may, upon a motion or at any time in its discretion and upon terms it deems proper: (1) strike out any irrelevant, false, or improper matter inserted in any pleading; or (2) strike out all or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of California, a court rule, or an order of the court. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 436, subds. (a)-(b); Stafford v. Shultz (1954) 42 Cal.2d 767, 782 [“Matter in a pleading which is not essential to the claim is surplusage; probative facts are surplusage and may be stricken out or disregarded”].)

Discussion

Demurrer: Fifth Cause of Action for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

“The elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress are: (1) extreme and outrageous conduct by the defendant with the intention of causing, or reckless disregard of the probability of causing, emotional distress; (2) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (3) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct. Conduct to be outrageous must be so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community.” (Christensen v. Superior Court (1991) 54 Cal.3d 868, 903.) “Generally, conduct will be found to be actionable where the ‘recitation of the facts to an average member of the community would arouse his resentment against the actor, and lead him to exclaim, ‘Outrageous!’” (Cochran v. Cochran (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 488, 494.)

“While the outrageousness of a defendant's conduct normally presents an issue of fact to be determined by the trier of fact, the court may determine in the first instance, whether the defendant's conduct may reasonably be regarded as so extreme and outrageous as to permit recovery.” (Trerice v. Blue Cross of California (1989) 209 Cal.App.3d 878, 883.) Courts have held that conduct must be “so outrageous that it exceeds all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community.” (Hughes v. Pair (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1035, 1051.) “Liability for intentional infliction of emotional distress does not extend to mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, petty oppressions, or other trivialities.” (Id.)

Courts have also held that “[s]evere emotional distress means . . . emotional distress of such substantial quantity or enduring quality that no reasonable man in a civilized society should be expected to endure it.” (Hailey v. California Physicians' Service (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 452, 476.)

Defendant demurs to the fifth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) on the grounds that it fails to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action against it. Defendant notes that the Complaint alleges that “[t]he acts and conduct alleged in paragraphs 16 through 44, was outrageous, intentional and malicious and done for the purpose of causing Plaintiff to suffer humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress. The conduct of Defendants City of L.A., Reliance and Har-Bro, in confirming and ratifying that conduct, was done with knowledge that Plaintiff would suffer emotional and physical distress, and was done with a wanton and reckless disregard of the consequences to Plaintiff.” (Complaint ¶ 68.) Defendant argues that a review of paragraphs 16-44 show that only three of them apply to conduct by Defendant.

Defendant asserts that Plaintiff does not allege any acts that would rise to the level required to state a cause of action for IIED. Defendant contends that Plaintiff has not alleged any extreme or outrageous behavior that exceeds the bounds of a civilized community; at best, she pled a negligence cause of action and added general and conclusory allegations that the conduct was “outrageous, intentional and malicious and done for the purpose of causing Plaintiff to suffer humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress.” Defendant argues that this is simply not enough. Defendant asserts that what is confusing about this cause of action is the fact that Plaintiff compliments Defendant in paragraph 36 of her Complaint: “The owner of Reliance stepped up, and ordered his workers to place fans under the house to dry the crawlspace. He also gave Plaintiff a new sump pump, even though the old one was still operable after the mud was cleaned out. (Complaint ¶ 36.) Defendant contends that this alleged conduct appears to be the exact opposite of the acts encompassed by an IIED claim.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that she has sufficiently alleged her IIED cause of action against Defendant.

The Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to allege facts sufficient to state a cause of action for IIED against Defendant. As the Complaint stands, Plaintiff alleges that after a flood in her basement, Plaintiff “contacted Bill West Plumbing, which was bought by Reliance. Plaintiff was given an estimate of $3,500 but later increased to $8,700.” (Complaint ¶ 12.) The Complaint further alleges that “Plaintiff was informed by Har-Bro that all Reliance had done was dump “kitty litter” on a 10 square foot area under her house, and that it was still extremely wet underneath.” (Complaint ¶ 17.) “On or about February 6, 2017, workers from Reliance plugged up the drains on Plaintiff’s driveway, behind the gate, causing a flood that reached over her ankles and more flooding under the house. However, Plaintiff observed that the work done by Reliance did not dry under the house, and that Reliance's work was not completed because although everything was put back in its place[,] it was improperly done.” (Complaint ¶ 18.) The Complaint also alleges that “Plaintiff also informed Reliance regarding the dump "kitty litter" that was performed by Ralph of Reliance. The owner of Reliance stepped up, and ordered his workers to place fans under the house to dry the crawlspace. He also gave Plaintiff a new sump pump, even though the old one was still operable after the mud was cleaned out it.” (Complaint ¶ 36.)

The alleged actions of Defendant may not reasonably be regarded as so extreme and outrageous as to permit recovery. None of the alleged conduct by Defendant was so outrageous that it exceeds all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community.

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s demurrer to the fifth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress is SUSTAINED with leave to amend.

Motion to Strike

Defendant moves to strike allegations in the Complaint related to punitive damages that are sought in relation to the fifth cause of action for IIED.

Given the Court’s ruling sustaining Defendant’s demurrer to the fifth cause of action for IIED with leave to amend, Defendant’s motion to strike is DENIED as moot.

Conclusion

Defendant’s demurrer to the fifth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress is SUSTAINED with 20 days’ leave to amend. Defendant’s motion to strike is DENIED as moot.

Moving party to give notice.

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