This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/27/2019 at 00:39:01 (UTC).

JURADO RAPHAEL REESE II VS CRUNCH LOS ANGELES LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/16/2018 JURADO RAPHAEL REESE II filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against CRUNCH LOS ANGELES 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 MEL RED RECANA, SAMANTHA JESSNER, KENNETH R. FREEMAN and GREGORY KEOSIAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8168

  • Filing Date:

    03/16/2018

  • 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

MEL RED RECANA

SAMANTHA JESSNER

KENNETH R. FREEMAN

GREGORY KEOSIAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

REESE JURADO RAPHAEL II

Corona,, CA 92880

REESE II JURADO RAPHAEL

Defendants and Respondents

ALEXANDER ROBERT

SALAS GEORGE

MORENO VALLEY FITNESS LLC

CONTI CALVIN

CRUNCH FRANCHISING LLC

JUNK RYAN

SAN DIMAS FITNESS LLC

CRUNCH LOS ANGELES LLC

FITNESS CLUB AND MANAGEMENT

HARMAN FITNESS

MURRITA FITNESS AND HEALTH LLC

DOES 1 TO 100

KREISLER JOE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

SHEGERIAN CARNEY R. ESQ.

TRACY MICHAEL L. ESQ.

Law Offices Of Michael Tracy

Irvine,, CA 92614

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

HARTMAN KATHLEEN M. ESQ.

HARTMAN KATHLEEN M ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Case Management Order

10/23/2019: Case Management Order

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

10/23/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Notice of Motion - NOTICE OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

8/14/2019: Notice of Motion - NOTICE OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

Notice of Motion - NOTICE OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

8/14/2019: Notice of Motion - NOTICE OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

Declaration - DECLARATION OF KAITLYN Q. CHANG IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

8/14/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF KAITLYN Q. CHANG IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - MOTION TO DEEM RFA'S ADMITTED

8/14/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - MOTION TO DEEM RFA'S ADMITTED

Declaration - DECLARATION OF KAITLYN Q. CHANG IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

8/14/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF KAITLYN Q. CHANG IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO HAVE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS DEEM ADMITTED

Declaration - DECLARATION OF BEN MIDGLEY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

7/29/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF BEN MIDGLEY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

6/17/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Notice of Case Management Conference

3/5/2019: Notice of Case Management Conference

Notice - Notice of transfer to civil complex courthouse

1/14/2019: Notice - Notice of transfer to civil complex courthouse

Minute Order -

7/16/2018: Minute Order -

DEFENDANT MURRIETA FITNESS AND HEALTH LLC'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

7/17/2018: DEFENDANT MURRIETA FITNESS AND HEALTH LLC'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

DEFENDANT MORENO VALLEY FITNESS, INC'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

7/17/2018: DEFENDANT MORENO VALLEY FITNESS, INC'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

CIVIL DEPOSIT -

7/17/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT -

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

6/8/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

4/18/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PLAINTIFF JURADO RAPHAEL REESE II'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) DISCRIMINATION HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION ON THE BASIS OF RACE, ANCESTRY, AND/OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN VIOLATION OF FEHA; FAILURE TO PR

3/16/2018: PLAINTIFF JURADO RAPHAEL REESE II'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) DISCRIMINATION HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION ON THE BASIS OF RACE, ANCESTRY, AND/OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN VIOLATION OF FEHA; FAILURE TO PR

153 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/18/2021
  • Hearing05/18/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 05/10/2021
  • Hearing05/10/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 03/09/2020
  • Hearing03/09/2020 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

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  • 02/25/2020
  • Hearing02/25/2020 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Sanctions

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  • 01/21/2020
  • Hearing01/21/2020 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 01/06/2020
  • Hearing01/06/2020 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Proof of Service of Individual Defendants

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  • 01/06/2020
  • Hearing01/06/2020 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition

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  • 12/09/2019
  • Hearing12/09/2019 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted

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  • 12/09/2019
  • Hearing12/09/2019 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted

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  • 12/09/2019
  • Hearing12/09/2019 at 09:00 AM in Department 61 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted

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243 More Docket Entries
  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Jurado Raphael II Reese (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Jurado Raphael II Reese (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Jurado Raphael II Reese (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 04/18/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 04/12/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/12/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFLRINCE

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Jurado Raphael II Reese (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketPLAINTIFF JURADO RAPHAEL REESE II'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) DISCRIMINATION HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION ON THE BASIS OF RACE, ANCESTRY, AND/OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN VIOLATION OF FEHA; FAILURE TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION IN VI

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC698168    Hearing Date: February 25, 2020    Dept: 61

Defendants San Dimas Fitness, LLC, Murreita Fitness and Health, LLC, Harman Fitness, LLC, Fitness Club Management, LLC, Moreno Valley Fitness, Inc., and Crunch Franchising LLC’s Motion for Terminating and Evidentiary Sanctions is GRANTED as follows: the Requests for Admission at issue on the hearing of December 9, 2019 are deemed admitted.

  1. MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

The court may impose terminating sanctions, include an order striking pleadings, and order dismissing an action, or an order rendering judgment by default against a party, for conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030.) This conduct include “[f]ailing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery,” and “[d]isobeying a court order to provide discovery.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010.)

Ultimate discovery sanctions are justified where there is a willful discovery order violation, a history of abuse, and evidence showing that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with discovery rules. (Van Sickle v. Gilbert (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1495, 1516.) Dismissal is a drastic measure, and terminating sanctions should only be ordered when there has been previous noncompliance with a rule or order and it appears a less severe sanction would not be effective. (Link v. Cater (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1326.) “[A] penalty as severe as dismissal or default is not authorized where noncompliance with discovery is caused by an inability to comply rather than willfulness or bad faith.” (Brown v. Sup. Ct. (1986) 180 Cal.App.3d 701, 707.)

Defendants move for terminating or evidentiary sanctions against Reese on the grounds that he has failed to appear for an independent medical examination ordered by the court on August 13, 2019, and when he appeared for a rescheduled examination in January 2020 he walked out after refusing to sign the medical consent form. (Motion at p. 1.) Defendants also argue that, despite being ordered to serve hard and verified copies of discovery responses on December 9, 2019, has refused to serve verifications. (Motion at p. 1; Chang Decl. ¶¶ 10–23.)

Reese responds that he has participated in an examination from his own provider, rendering one by Defendants’ choice unnecessary, and that he only left the January 2020 examination because the examiner wanted Reese to sign a medical consent form that stated that she had read his medical records, but she refused to produce them to Reese upon his demand. (Reese Decl. ¶¶ 11–15.) Reese also argues that he did not know that his responses needed to be verified because the proof of service that he sent them with was verified. (Opposition at p. 18.)

Sanctions are appropriate. Reese’s failure to continue with the January 2020 examination that was ordered by the court is not supported by any excuse save for Reese’s subjective desire not to sign a medical consent form, for which he does not offer any valid excuse not to sign. Reese’s consultation with his own chosen examiner does not satisfy this court’s order. Nor can Reese claim the ignorance of a pro per plaintiff as an excuse for failing to abide by this court’s order requiring verifications of his discovery responses; Defendants’ counsel, before filing this motion, sent Reese a letter notifying him of the deficiency, to which Reese offered no response. (Chang Decl. Exh. 21.) Just as Reese was on notice of the necessity of the examination, by court order no less, so was he repeatedly put on notice of the necessity of verified responses to Defendants’ discovery.

The court considers these willful violations of its orders warranting evidentiary and issue sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure § 2023.030, subd. (b) and (c). This court previously denied Defendants’ motion to deem matters admitted because he claimed to have provided responses. The court now orders that the Requests for Admission at issue in the December 9, 2019 hearing, be deemed admitted, as they remain unverified.

Defendants’ Motion for Sanctions is thus GRANTED.

Defendants to provide notice.

Case Number: BC698168    Hearing Date: January 21, 2020    Dept: 61

Defendant Crunch Franchising, LLC’s Motion for Summary Judgement is GRANTED.

  1. SUMMARY JUDGMENT

A party may move for summary judgment “if it is contended that the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c, subd. (a).) “[I]f all the evidence submitted, and all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law,” the moving party will be entitled to summary judgment. (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.) A motion for summary adjudication may be made by itself or as an alternative to a motion for summary judgment and shall proceed in all procedural respects as a motion for summary judgment. (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c, subd. (f)(2).)

The moving party bears an initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any triable issue of material fact, and if he does so, the burden shifts to the opposing party to make a prima facie showing of the existence of a triable issue of material fact. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850; accord Code Civ. Proc. § 437c, subd. (p)(2).)

Once the defendant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto. (Aguilar, supra, 25 Cal.4th at 850.) The plaintiff may not rely upon the mere allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto. (Ibid.) To establish a triable issue of material fact, the party opposing the motion must produce substantial responsive evidence. (Sangster v. Paetkau (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 151, 166.)

Crunch Franchising, LLC (hereafter “Crunch”) moves for summary judgment on the grounds that it is merely a franchisor for the three franchisee defendants whom Reese now sues, and is not Reese’s “employer” for the purposes of any of his claims. (Motion at p. 1.) Because Crunch is not Reese’s employer and had no direct involvement in the conduct alleged in his Complaint, Crunch reasons that summary judgment is appropriate here.

Franchisors and franchisees are separate legal entities, and a franchisor “becomes potentially liable for actions of the franchisee's employees, only if it has retained or assumed a general right of control over factors such as hiring, direction, supervision, discipline, discharge, and relevant day-to-day aspects of the workplace behavior of the franchisee's employees. Any other guiding principle would disrupt the franchise relationship.” (Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC (2014) 60 Cal.4th 474, 497–98.)

Crunch argues that it exercised no day-to-day control over the franchisees that employed Reese. It points to the franchise agreements between itself and its franchisees, which state that the franchisees bear responsibility for all aspects of their operation, including hiring and firing. (Migley Decl. Exhs. 1–3, § 7.1.13) The contracts also state that the franchisees are not agents, joint venturers, or otherwise affiliated with Crunch save as independent franchisees. (Migley Decl. Exhs. 1–3, § 17.1.) Although the agreement allows Crunch control over intellectual property (Migley Decl. Exhs. 1–3, § 7.1.6), Crunch argues that this is merely part of the franchisee relationship, and cites to the case Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC (2014) 60 Cal.4th 474, for the proposition that such control is consistent with a franchise agreement and “minimizes chain-wide variations that can affect product quality, customer service, trade name, business methods, public reputation, and commercial image.” (Id. at p. 497.) Ben Midgley, CEO of Crunch, testifies that Crunch does not train or direct franchisees regarding personnel issues. (Midgley Decl. ¶ 6.)

The court finds that Crunch has satisfied its burden to show no triable issues of fact as to whether it was Reese’s employer, or that its franchisors were its agents or joint-employers. Reese has submitted no opposition contesting this characterization of the franchisor-franchisee relationship.

The Motion for Summary Judgment is therefore GRANTED.

Case Number: BC698168    Hearing Date: January 06, 2020    Dept: 61

Defendants San Dimas Fitness, LLC, Murrieta Fitness and Health, LLC, Harman Fitness, LLC, Fitness Club Management, LLC, Moreno Valley Fitness, Inc., and Crunch Franchising, LLC’s Motions to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff Jurado Raphael Reese II is GRANTED. No sanctions are awarded. Depostion to take place pursuant to notice within 60 days.

  1. MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION

A party may make a motion compelling a witness’s deposition “after service of a deposition notice” if that witness “fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 2025.450, subd. (a).) The motion must include a meet-and-confer declaration and show good cause for the discovery sought. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2025.450, subd. (b)(1), (2).)

Defendants argue that Reese has failed to appear for noticed deposition on August 15, 2019, and they move to compel his attendance in light of this court’s December 5, 2019 denial of Reese’s ex parte application for a protective order. (Chang Decl. ¶¶ 7–9.)

Reese, in an opposition filed a week late, argues that the deposition notice is defective because the document requests include a typo naming parties other than the parties to this action (Opposition at p. 8), and because Reese was available for an earlier deposition in 2018 which Defendants cancelled. (Opposition at p. 8.) Reese also asks this court for a protective order to the effect that the deposition be taken by interrogatory in consideration for his PTSD diagnosis. (Opposition at p. 11.)

The opposition is a week untimely and is properly disregarded. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 1005, subd. (b) [providing that oppositions must be served nine court days ahead of hearing].) The opposition also fails to raise any substantive grounds to deny the motion. Reese waived any objections based on the purported irregularity in the deposition notice by failing to serve any objections before the deposition was taken. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 2025.410, subd. (a).) Likewise, the decision to cancel or reschedule an earlier deposition furnishes no basis to deny the motion as to a deposition notice served later. Finally, Reese fails to support his request for a protective order with evidence that his requested protection is necessary and proper.

Accordingly, the Motion to Compel Deposition is GRANTED.

  1. SANCTIONS

“If a motion under subdivision (a) is granted, the court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) in favor of the party who noticed the deposition and against the deponent or the party with whom the deponent is affiliated, 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. § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

Defendants ask for $4,320.00 in sanctions 9.6 hours of attorney work at $450 per hour. (Chang Decl. ¶ 12.) Reese argues this amount exceeds the amount allowed under Code of Civil Procedure § 177.5 (Opposition at pp. 3–4), but that section addresses sanctions payable to the court for violation of a court order, not sanctions allowable under the discovery statutes.

However, the court finds that sanctions are not proper at this time. Although Defendants met and conferred regarding Reese’s deposition shortly after he failed to appear, the impetus for the present motion was this court’s ruling of December 5, 2019, denying Reese’s ex parte application for a protective order. (Chang Decl. ¶ 10.) This motion was only filed the next day, without prior efforts to confer with Reese regarding the impact of that order on his deposition. While Defendants’ efforts were sufficient to seek an order compelling deposition, they are insufficient to justify sanctions under the same section.

Defendants to provide notice.

Case Number: BC698168    Hearing Date: December 09, 2019    Dept: 61

Defendants San Dimas Fitness, LLC, Harman Fitness, LLC, Fitness Club Management, LLC, Moreno Valley Fitness, Inc., and Crunch Franchising, LLC’s Motions to Deem Requests for Admissions, Set One, Admitted Against Plaintiff Jurado Raphael Reese II are GRANTED.

“Any party may obtain discovery . . . by a written request that any other party to the action admit the genuineness of specified documents, or the truth of specified matters of fact, opinion relating to fact, or application of law to fact. A request for admission may relate to a matter that is in controversy between the parties.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.010.) If a party fails to serve a timely response to requests for admissions, “[t]he requesting 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” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280 subd. (b).)

Defendants each served Reese with Requests for Admission, Set One, on June 7, 2019. (Chang Decl. ¶ 2.) Responses were due on July 12, 2019. (Chang Decl. ¶ 3.) Reese provided no responses by the due date and did not respond to Defendants’ efforts to meet and confer. (Chang Decl. ¶¶ 4–5.)

If code-compliant and objection-free responses are not served by the hearing on these motions, they shall be GRANTED.

Defendants to provide notice.