This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/28/2019 at 01:35:05 (UTC).

KAREN YEATES VS SOUTH LAKE AVENUE INVESTORS LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/07/2018 a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury case was filed by KAREN YEATES against SOUTH LAKE AVENUE INVESTORS LLC in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5251

  • Filing Date:

    05/07/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

YEATES KAREN

Respondents and Defendants

SOUTH LAKE AVENUE INVESTROS LLC

SOUTH LAKE AVENUE LLC

DOES 1 TO 100

SOUTH LAKE AVENUE INVESTORS LLC

 

Court Documents

Motion to Compel

2/20/2019: Motion to Compel

Motion to Compel

2/20/2019: Motion to Compel

Motion to Compel

2/20/2019: Motion to Compel

Notice

4/11/2019: Notice

Notice

4/11/2019: Notice

Minute Order

4/11/2019: Minute Order

Notice of Ruling

4/11/2019: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order

4/26/2019: Minute Order

Notice of Ruling

4/30/2019: Notice of Ruling

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT; DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

8/8/2018: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT; DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

SUMMONS

8/8/2018: SUMMONS

CROSS-COMPLALNT FOR INDEMNIFICATION, APPORTIONMENT OF FAULT AND DECLARATORY RELIEF

8/8/2018: CROSS-COMPLALNT FOR INDEMNIFICATION, APPORTIONMENT OF FAULT AND DECLARATORY RELIEF

CIVIL DEPOSIT

8/8/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

SUMMONS

5/7/2018: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND PERSONAL INJURIES BASED ON: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. PREMISES LLABILFLY

5/7/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND PERSONAL INJURIES BASED ON: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. PREMISES LLABILFLY

3 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/30/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 04/26/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 04/26/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 04/26/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Defendant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC's Motion to Compel...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/11/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 04/11/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Defendant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC's Motio...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/11/2019
  • Notice (Of Errata RE Ms. Nachiappan's Declaration in support of Motion to Compel Plaintiff, responses to Special Interrogatories, Set One); Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 04/11/2019
  • Notice (of Errata re Ms. Nachiappan's Declaration); Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 04/11/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 02/20/2019
  • Motion to Compel Plaintiff Karen Yeates' Rseponses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, Request for Sanctions Against Plaintiff and Her Counsel of Record, Raymond Ghermezian; Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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3 More Docket Entries
  • 08/08/2018
  • SUMMONS

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  • 08/08/2018
  • CROSS-COMPLALNT FOR INDEMNIFICATION, APPORTIONMENT OF FAULT AND DECLARATORY RELIEF

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  • 08/08/2018
  • Answer; Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 08/08/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 08/08/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 08/08/2018
  • Summons; Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 08/08/2018
  • Cross-Complaint; Filed by South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 05/07/2018
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND PERSONAL INJURIES BASED ON: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. PREMISES LLABILFLY

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  • 05/07/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Karen Yeates (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/07/2018
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC705251    Hearing Date: January 15, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion for Terminating Sanctions

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

BACKGROUND

On May 7, 2018, Plaintiff Karen Yeates (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants South Lake Avenue Investors LLC and South Lake Avenue, LLC alleging negligence and premises liability for a trip-and-fall that occurred on¿March 17, 2018.

On August 8, 2018, Defendant/Cross-Complainant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC filed a cross-complaint against Roes 1 to 20 seeking indemnification, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief.

On November 6, 2019, the Court ordered: (1) Plaintiff to testify at a deposition on November 25, 2019 or on a date mutually agreeable between the parties within 30 days of that ruling and (2) Plaintiff and her counsel to pay the moving party monetary sanctions.

On December 13, 2019, Defendant/Cross-Complainant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC filed a motion for terminating sanctions against Plaintiff pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030.

Trial is set for May 7, 2020.

PARTIES REQUESTS

Defendant/Cross-Complainant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (“Moving Party”) asks the Court to impose terminating sanctions against Plaintiff for his failure to comply with the Court’s November 6, 2019 order.

Moving Party also asks the Court to impose $1,766.73 in monetary sanctions against Plaintiff for having to bring this motion.

In the alternative, Moving Party asks the Court to compel Plaintiff’s compliance with the November 6, 2019 order.

Plaintiff asks the Court to impose $2,400 against Moving Party for bringing this meritless motion.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030 provides that, “[t]o the extent authorized by the chapter governing any particular discovery method . . . , the court, after notice to any affected party, person, or attorney, and after opportunity for hearing, may impose . . . [monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating] sanctions against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process . . . .” California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.010 provides that “[m]issues of the discovery process include, but are not limited to, the following: . . . (g) Disobeying a court order to provide discovery. . . .

“The trial court may order a terminating sanction for discovery abuse ‘after considering the totality of the circumstances: [the] conduct of the party to determine if the actions were willful; the detriment to the propounding party; and the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery.’” Los Defensores, Inc. v. Gomez (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 377, 390 (quoting Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246). “Generally, ‘[a] decision to order terminating sanctions should not be made lightly. But where a violation is willful, preceded by a history of abuse, and the evidence shows that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with the discovery rules, the trial court is justified in imposing the ultimate sanction.’” Los Defensores, supra, 223 Cal.App.4th at p. 390 (citation omitted).)

“Under this standard, trial courts have properly imposed terminating sanctions when parties have willfully disobeyed one or more discovery orders.”  (Los¿Defensores, 223 Cal.App.4th at p. 390 (citing¿Lang, supra, 77 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1244-1246 (discussing cases));¿see, e.g.,¿Collisson¿& Kaplan v.¿Hartunian¿(1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1611, 1617-1622 (terminating sanctions imposed after defendants failed to comply with one court order to produce discovery);¿Laguna Auto Body v. Farmers Ins. Exchange¿(1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 481, 491, disapproved on other grounds in¿Garcia v. McCutchen¿(1997) 16 Cal.4th 469, 478, n. 4 (terminating sanctions imposed against plaintiff for failing to comply with a discovery order and for violating various discovery statutes).)

DISCUSSION

On November 6, 2019, the Court ordered granted Moving Party’s motion to compel Plaintiff’s attendance and testimony at a deposition(Nachiappan Decl., ¶ 4, Exh. C.)  In that order, the Court ordered Plaintiff to testify at a deposition on November 25, 2019 or on a date mutually agreeable between the parties within 30 days of that ruling and (2) Plaintiff and her counsel to pay the Moving Party $926.73 in monetary sanctions within 30 days of that ruling.  (Ibid.) At the hearing, Plaintiff’s counsel requested the deposition to be set for November 25, 2019 because Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel were available on that date.  (Nachiappan Decl., 7.)

On November 22, 2019, Plaintiff’s counsel stated the deposition cannot go forward because Plaintiff had a “family issue . . . regarding Thanksgiving.”  (Nachiappan Decl., 8, Exh. D.)  Plaintiff offered to be deposed on November 27, 2019, December 2, 2019, December 3, 2019, December 9, 2019, or December 11, 2019.  (Nachiappan Decl., ¶ 8, Exh. E.)  Plaintiff declares this issue was regarding her family members’ flight and work schedules, which necessitated Thanksgiving to be celebrated early.  (Yeates Decl., ¶¶ 4-8.) Nachiappan Deco., 10, Exh. F.)

The Court finds terminating sanctions are properly imposed.  This history of this dispute goes back to November 29, 2018 when the deposition notice was served on Plaintiff.  (Nachiappan Decl., 5.)  The deposition had to be continued multiple times due to Plaintiff’s failure to comply with her discovery obligations.  (Ibid.)  Importantly, Plaintiff agreed to the November 25, 2019 deposition date, but then later reneged on that agreement.  Moving Party was fully justified at this point in not allowing the deposition date to be continued for a sixth time since 2018.  Plaintiff had a demonstrated  pattern of simply refusing to comply with properly noticed depositions.  Given her history, Plaintiff’s family’s late communications regarding their Thanksgiving logistics did not justify Plaintiff’s refusal to participate in a deposition that she agreed to, and which had been ordered by the court  As such, terminating sanctions are proper.

CONCLUSION

The motion is GRANTED.

The complaint is STRICKEN.

Moving Party’s request for monetary sanctions is DENIED.

Moving Party is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC705251    Hearing Date: November 06, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Compel Deposition

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

BACKGROUND

On May 7, 2018, Plaintiff Karen Yeates (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants South Lake Avenue Investors LLC and South Lake Avenue, LLC alleging negligence and premises liability for a trip-and-fall that occurred on¿March 17, 2018.

On August 8, 2018, Defendant/Cross-Complainant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC filed a cross-complaint against Roes 1 to 20 seeking indemnification, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief.

On October 9, 2019, Defendant/Cross-Complainant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC filed a motion to compel a deposition pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450.

Trial is set for May 7, 2020.

PARTYS REQUESTS

Defendant/Cross-Complainant South Lake Avenue Investors, LLC (“Moving Party”) ask the Court to compel Plaintiff to appear and testify at a deposition on November 15, 2019.

Moving Party also asks the Court to order Plaintiff to pay: (1) $1,826.73 for her abuse of the discovery process and (2) $180 for sanctions not paid pursuant to the April 11, 2019 and April 26, 2019 Court orders.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (a) provides: “If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or . . . managing agent . . . , without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document . . . described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document . . . described in the deposition notice.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (b) provides: “A motion under subdivision (a) shall comply with both of the following:

  1. The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

  1. The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents, electronically stored information, or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (c) provides, “(1) If a motion under subdivision (a) is granted, the court shall impose a monetary sanction . . . 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.”

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction 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.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery and disobeying a court order to provide discovery are misuses of the discovery process.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010, subd. (d), (g).)

DISCUSSION

On August 8, 2018, Moving Party noticed Plaintiff’s deposition to take place on November 29, 2018.  (Nachiappan Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. C.)  Moving Party continued the deposition three times due to Plaintiff’s failure to provide outstanding discovery responses prior to the scheduled deposition dates.  (Nachiappan Decl., ¶¶ 6-8, Exh. D-F.)  Moving Party continued the deposition another five times due to either Plaintiff’s or Plaintiff’s counsel’s unavailability.  (Nachiappan Decl., ¶¶ 10-15, Exh. H-I.)  Moving Party continued the deposition one last time to September 27, 2019 upon agreement with Plaintiff’s counsel.  (Nachiappan Decl., ¶¶ 16-18, Exh. K-L.)  On September 26, 2019, Plaintiff’s counsel stated the deposition could not proceed because one associate had been involved in an accident and could not travel and another associate was celebrating a Jewish holiday on September 27, 2019.  (Nachiappan Decl., 20, Exh. M.)  September 27, 2019 is not a Jewish holiday.  (Nachiappan Decl., 23, Exh. N.)  On September 27, 2019, Plaintiff did not appear for her deposition and a Certificate of No Appearance was taken.  (Nachiappan Decl., 24, Exh. O.)

The Court finds the motion to compel Plaintiff’s attendance at a deposition is necessary.  Plaintiff and her counsel have delayed her deposition in a variety of ways.  First, Plaintiff and her counsel delayed her deposition because they failed to provide timely responses to written discovery.  Second, Plaintiff’s counsel delayed her deposition because Raymond Ghermezian insisted on being present for the deposition despite his mother being sick.  Third, once an associate was given the reigns to be present at the deposition, an accident occurred rendering this associate unable to attend the deposition.  Importantly, Mr. Ghermenzian does not explain why he could not have attended the deposition after his associate was in an accident on September 26, 2019. There being no substantial justification for Plaintiff’s repeated failure to appear for deposition, sanctions are appropriate here.

Moving Party’s request for $1,826.73 consists of 3 hours in drafting the moving papers and 4 hours in reviewing the opposition, preparing a reply, and arguing the motion at a rate of $225 an hour, plus one $60 filing fee and one $191.73 court reporter fee.  (Nachiappan Decl., 26.)  The Court finds this amount of sanction to be unreasonable.  This is a straight-forward motion and no reply was filed.  Rather, the Court finds $926.73 ($225/hr. x 3 hrs. plus one $60 filing fee plus one $191.73 court reporter fee) to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against Plaintiff and her counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

Moving Party also requested the Court order Plaintiff to pay $180 for sanctions that were not paid pursuant to the April 11, 2019 and April 26, 2019 Court ordersBut Plaintiff has paid this outstanding balance as shown in Exhibit 1 to the opposition.

The motion is GRANTED.

Plaintiff is ordered to appear for and testify at a deposition pursuant to the terms in the August 8, 2019 deposition notice at 10:00 a.m. on November 15, 2019 at 555 S. Flower Street, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90071, or on a date mutually agreeable between the parties within 30 days of this ruling.

Plaintiff and her counsel of record are ordered, jointly and severally, to pay Moving Party $926.73 within 30 days of this ruling.

Moving Party is ordered to give notice of this ruling.