This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/27/2019 at 01:23:10 (UTC).

KELTZEY PIERRE ET AL VS UNITED CONTRACTORS ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/25/2018 a Other case was filed by KELTZEY PIERRE against UNITED CONTRACTORS 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:

    ****3575

  • Filing Date:

    04/25/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

YOLANDA OROZCO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

ENOCK JEAN

PIERRE KELTZEY

Defendants and Respondents

UNITED CONTRACTORS

GRIFFIN JOHN

MANALO EDGAR

DOES 1-50

 

Court Documents

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

5/1/2018: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

SUMMONS

5/30/2018: SUMMONS

AFFIDAVIT OF UNSUCCESSFUL SERVICE

6/20/2018: AFFIDAVIT OF UNSUCCESSFUL SERVICE

AFFIDAVIT OF UNSUCCESSFUL SERVICE

6/20/2018: AFFIDAVIT OF UNSUCCESSFUL SERVICE

Minute Order

8/21/2018: Minute Order

DECLARATION OF LEO FASEN RE: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR AT THE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE HEARING

9/10/2018: DECLARATION OF LEO FASEN RE: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR AT THE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE HEARING

Minute Order

9/14/2018: Minute Order

Notice of Rejection - Ex Parte Application Without Hearing

11/13/2018: Notice of Rejection - Ex Parte Application Without Hearing

Minute Order

11/29/2018: Minute Order

Certificate of Mailing for

11/29/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Certificate of Mailing for

12/21/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Notice

1/7/2019: Notice

Minute Order

1/23/2019: Minute Order

Certificate of Mailing for

2/28/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

Notice of Rejection - Ex Parte Application Without Hearing

4/18/2019: Notice of Rejection - Ex Parte Application Without Hearing

ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

4/25/2018: ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. PROPERTY DAMAGE; AND ETC

4/25/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. PROPERTY DAMAGE; AND ETC

ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

4/25/2018: ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/06/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Status Conference (Re Service by Publication as to all Defendants) - Held - Continued

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  • 06/06/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference Re Service by Publication as to all Defendants)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/18/2019
  • Notice of Rejection - Ex Parte Application Without Hearing (for Edgar & John)

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  • 04/08/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Status Conference (Re Service by Publication as to all Defendants) - Held - Continued

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  • 04/08/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference Re Service by Publication as to all Defendants)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/22/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Status Conference (Re Service by Publication as to all Defendants) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 02/28/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 02/28/2019
  • Minute Order ((Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/28/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order) of 02/28/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/23/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Why Sanctions in the Amount of $500.00 Should Not Be Imposed) - Held

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27 More Docket Entries
  • 04/25/2018
  • Request to Waive Court Fees

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  • 04/25/2018
  • Request-Waive Court Fees

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  • 04/25/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Keltzey Pierre (Plaintiff); Jean Enock (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/25/2018
  • Request to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/25/2018
  • Request to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/25/2018
  • Request-Waive Court Fees

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  • 04/25/2018
  • ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 04/25/2018
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. PROPERTY DAMAGE; AND ETC

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  • 04/25/2018
  • Request to Waive Court Fees

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  • 04/25/2018
  • ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC703575    Hearing Date: January 06, 2020    Dept: 31

Background

On April 25, 2018, Plaintiffs Keltzey Pierre and Jean Enock filed the instant action against United Contractors; John Griffin; Edgar Manalo; and Does 1-50. The Complaint asserts causes of action for:

  1. Property Damages;

  2. Negligence – Violation of Section 3307 of the California Building Code; and

  3. Loss of Prospective Economic Advantage.

Legal Standard

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”].)

Punitive damages may be imposed where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. (Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (a).) “Malice” is conduct intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others. (Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (c)(1).) Despicable conduct is “conduct which is so vile, base, contemptible, miserable, wretched or loathsome that it would be looked down upon and despised by ordinary decent people. Such conduct has been described as ‘having the character of outrage frequently associated with crime.’” (Tomaselli v. Transamerica Ins. Co. (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1269, 1287.) “Fraud” means an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury. (Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (c).) “‘Punitive damages are proper only when the tortious conduct rises to levels of extreme indifference to the plaintiff’s rights, a level which decent citizens should not have to tolerate.’ [Citation.]” (Lackner v. North (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 1188, 1210.) 

A motion to strike punitive damages is properly granted where a plaintiff does not state a prima facie claim for punitive damages, including allegations that defendant is guilty of oppression, fraud or malice. (Turman v. Turning Point of Cent. California, Inc. (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 53, 63.) “Mere negligence, even gross negligence, is not sufficient to justify such an award” for punitive damages. (Kendall Yacht Corp. v. United California Bank (1975) 50 Cal.App.3d 949, 958.)

Civil Code section 3294 provides in relevant part: 

An employer shall not be liable for damages pursuant to subdivision (a), based upon acts of an employee of the employer, unless the employer had advance knowledge of the unfitness of the employee and employed him or her with a conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others or authorized or ratified the wrongful conduct for which the damages are awarded or was personally guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. With respect to a corporate employer, the advance knowledge and conscious disregard, authorization, ratification or act of oppression, fraud, or malice must be on the part of an officer, director, or managing agent of the corporation.

(Civil Code § 3294(b).)

An individual must be in a corporate policymaking position in order to be considered a managing agent for the purposes of imposing punitive damages liability on the corporation. (Myers v. Trendwest Resorts, Inc. (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 1403, 1437.) A “managing agent” includes “only those corporate employees who exercise substantial independent authority and judgment in their corporate decision-making so that their decisions ultimately determine corporate policy.” (White, supra, 21 Cal. 4th at p. 566.) While “supervisors who have broad discretionary powers and exercise substantial discretionary authority in the corporation could be managing agents,” those “supervisors who have no discretionary authority over decisions that ultimately determine corporate policy would not be considered managing agents even though they may have the ability to hire or fire other employees.” (Id.)

Discussion

Defendant United Contractors (hereinafter “Defendant”) moves to strike the words “intentionally and maliciously” from the Complaint as well as the claim for punitive damages in the prayer for relief.

Defendant argues that Plaintiffs have clearly alleged sufficient facts to support causes of action for negligence, however, Plaintiffs have improperly included the words “intentionally and maliciously” in an effort to justify a prayer for “exemplary damages.” Defendant contends that Plaintiffs do not plead a single fact to support such a prayer for exemplary or punitive damages as Plaintiffs have not alleged an act or omission by anyone which would rise to the level of malice, fraud, or oppression. Defendant argues that Plaintiffs fail to allege an act or omission by any corporate officer, director, or managing agent related to advanced knowledge, direction, or ratification of any act which contributed to Plaintiffs’ alleged injury. 

The Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to allege facts sufficient to support a prima facie claim for punitive damages. The Complaint fails to allege any act or omission that would rise to the level of oppression, fraud, or malice. Moreover, Plaintiffs have failed to allege that an officer, director, or managing agent were themselves guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice or directed or ratified such oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious conduct. As noted above, mere negligence, even gross negligence, is not sufficient to justify an award for punitive damages. Plaintiffs have not filed an opposition and therefore have failed to describe how their complaint can be amended to meet the heightened pleading standard for a punitive damages claim.

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s motion to strike is GRANTED without leave to amend.

Moving party to give notice.