This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 10:23:33 (UTC).

KATHY BANCROFT ET AL VS CALIFORNIA VILLAGE ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/02/2018 a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury case was filed by KATHY BANCROFT against CALIFORNIA VILLAGE 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:

    ****4932

  • Filing Date:

    05/02/2018

  • 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

 

Party Details

Petitioners and Plaintiffs

BANCROFT PAUL

BANCROFT KATHY

Defendants and Respondents

CALIFORNAI VILLAGE TARZANA

CALIFORNIA VILLAGE

TARZANA INC.

CALIFORNIA VILLAGE HOA

ICON REALTY SERVICES INC.

 

Court Documents

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

2/27/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Answer

6/5/2019: Answer

Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

6/6/2019: Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

Stipulation - No Order

1/15/2019: Stipulation - No Order

Request for Dismissal

1/15/2019: Request for Dismissal

Answer

2/20/2019: Answer

Notice of Deposit - Jury

2/20/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury

CIVIL DEPOSIT

6/21/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/30/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/30/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

ANSWER OF DEFENDANTS, CALIFORNIA VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA VILLAGE HOA, TARZANA INC DBA CALIFORNIA VILLAGE TARZANA AND ICON REALTY SERVICES TO THE COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFFS, KATHY BANCROFT AND PAUL BANCROF

6/21/2018: ANSWER OF DEFENDANTS, CALIFORNIA VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA VILLAGE HOA, TARZANA INC DBA CALIFORNIA VILLAGE TARZANA AND ICON REALTY SERVICES TO THE COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFFS, KATHY BANCROFT AND PAUL BANCROF

DECLARATION OF NON SERVICE

5/15/2018: DECLARATION OF NON SERVICE

DECLARATION OF NON SERVICE

5/15/2018: DECLARATION OF NON SERVICE

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

SUMMONS

5/2/2018: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. LOSS OF CONSORTIUM

5/2/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. LOSS OF CONSORTIUM

5 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/03/2021
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 5 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 11/04/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 5 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 10/16/2019
  • Hearingat 10:00 AM in Department 5 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 06/06/2019
  • DocketProof of Mailing (Substituted Service); Filed by Kathy Bancroft (Plaintiff); Paul Bancroft (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/05/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by All City Handyman Services (Defendant)

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  • 02/27/2019
  • DocketAmendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by Kathy Bancroft (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/20/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by California Village Homeowners Association of Tarzana, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 02/20/2019
  • DocketNotice of Deposit - Jury; Filed by California Village Homeowners Association of Tarzana, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Kathy Bancroft (Plaintiff); Paul Bancroft (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketStipulation - No Order (STIPULATION FOR DISMISSAL OF DEFENDANTS); Filed by California Village (Defendant); California Village HOA (Defendant)

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9 More Docket Entries
  • 05/21/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 05/21/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Kathy Bancroft (Plaintiff); Paul Bancroft (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/21/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 05/15/2018
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by Kathy Bancroft (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/15/2018
  • DocketDECLARATION OF NON SERVICE

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  • 05/15/2018
  • DocketDECLARATION OF NON SERVICE

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  • 05/15/2018
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by Kathy Bancroft (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. LOSS OF CONSORTIUM

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Kathy Bancroft (Plaintiff); Paul Bancroft (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC704932    Hearing Date: January 29, 2020    Dept: 32

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Spring Street Courthouse, Department 32

kathy bancroft, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

v.

california village, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: BC704932

Hearing Date: January 29, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Background

Plaintiff Kathy Bancroft (“Plaintiff”) and her husband, Paul Bancroft, filed this action after she tripped and fell in a parking lot of a condominium complex owned and operated by Defendants California Village Homeowners Association of Tarzana, Inc. and Icon Realty Services (“Defendants”). Plaintiff asserts a cause of action for negligence, and Paul Bancroft asserts a cause of action for loss of consortium. Now, Defendants move for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s complaint, arguing that the allegedly dangerous condition was a trivial defect. Plaintiff opposes the motion, which is denied.

LEGAL STANDARD

“[T]he party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of persuasion that there is no triable issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law[.]  There is a triable issue of material fact if, and only if, the evidence would allow a reasonable trier of fact to find the underlying fact in favor of the party opposing the motion in accordance with the applicable standard of proof.”  (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850.)  “[T]he party moving for summary judgment bears an initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any triable issue of material fact; if he carries his burden of production, he causes a shift, and the opposing party is then subjected to a burden of production of his own to make a prima facie showing of the existence of a triable issue of material fact.”  (Ibid.)  In ruling on the motion, “the court may not weigh the plaintiff's evidence or inferences against the defendant[’s] as though it were sitting as the trier of fact.”  (Id. at 856.)  However, the court “must . . . determine what any evidence or inference could show or imply to a reasonable trier of fact.”  (Ibid., emphasis original.)  

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

Plaintiff objects to a report by Enrique Rivera because it does not have the required certification, as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 2015.5. The Court need not rule on this, or any other, objection because they are not material the Court’s decision. (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(q).)

DISCUSSION

Those who own, possess, or control property generally have a duty to exercise ordinary care in managing the property to avoid exposing others to an unreasonable risk of harm. (Annocki v. Peterson Enterprises, LLC (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 32, 37.) The existence and scope of duty are legal questions for the court. (Id. at 36.) A property owner is liable only if the condition of the property creates a substantial risk of injury, rather than a trivial or insignificant risk of injury. (See Ursino v. Big Boy Restaurants (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 394, 396-397.)

Plaintiff does not dispute the height of the elevation was one-and-one-eighth of an inch; it was a sunny day; and there was no water or oil on the ground when Plaintiff fell. (Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, ¶¶ __.) However, the Court cannot conclude that the elevation is a trivial defect as a matter of law. In general, uplifts and elevations less than one-half inch are trivial as a matter of law. (Caloroso v. Hathaway (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 922, 929.) Courts have also found that uplifts greater than one-half inch in height may be trivial as a matter of law absent any aggravating conditions. (Whiting v. City of National City (1937) 9 Cal.2d 163; Nicholson v. City of Los Angeles (1936) 5 Cal.2d 361; Balmer v. City of Beverly Hills (1937) 22 Cal.App.2d 529; Meyer v. City of San Rafael (1937) 22 Cal.App.2d 46, 50). Although courts have found elevations of one to one-and-one-half to be trivial, as “the size of the depression begins to stretch beyond one inch the courts have been reluctant to find that the defect is not dangerous as a matter of law.” (Stathoulis v. City of Montebello (2008) 164 Cal.App.559, 568, quoting Fielder v. City of Glendale (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 719, 726.)

In addition, there are aggravating factors in this case which give rise to a triable issue. Although it was a sunny day with no water or oil on the ground, both experts agree that the uplift was difficult to perceive. Defendants’ own expert, Enrique Rivera, opines: “From a human factors standpoint, it is my opinion that the subject height differential would have been difficult to perceive at the time of the incident.” (Declaration of Gary Klein, Exh. C.) He explains that “there were no visual cues of color contrast between the asphalt or the parking lot and the adjacent asphalt forming the height differential, causing the asphalt to blend together.” (Ibid.) Plaintiff’s expert, Brad Avrit, concurs, opining that the uplift was difficult to perceive because it was the same color as the rest of the asphalt. (Declaration of Brad Avrit, ¶ 8.) This is confirmed by the photographs proffered by Defendants.

Defendants rely on Huckey v. City of Temecula, in which the Fourth District stated, “In determining whether a given walkway defect is trivial as a matter of law, the court should not rely solely upon the size of the defect . . . .” (Huckey v. City of Temecula (2019) 37 Cal.App.5th 1092, 1105.) Likewise, Defendants also rely on Caloroso v. Hathaway, in which the Second District stated, “a tape measure alone cannot be used to determine whether the defect was trivial.” (Caloroso v. Hathaway (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 922, 927.) These cases do not support Defendants’ argument because they instruct this court to look beyond the measurement in determining whether a defect is trivial. In this case, both sides agree that the nature of the parking lot made it difficult to perceive the elevation, militating against summary judgment.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied. Defendants shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: January 29, 2020 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court