This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/17/2022 at 09:31:38 (UTC).

LETIAH STONE ET AL VS RUBEN PEREZ MELENA ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/11/2017 LETIAH STONE filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against RUBEN PEREZ MELENA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH, MICHAEL E. WHITAKER and FREDERICK C. SHALLER. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1974

  • Filing Date:

    08/11/2017

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

MICHAEL E. WHITAKER

FREDERICK C. SHALLER

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

JIMMERSON MARLENE

STONE LETIAH

Defendants

COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION

MELENA RUBEN PEREZ

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

DIDONATO PETER R. ESQ.

DIDONATO PETER RUSSELL ESQ.

Respondent and Defendant Attorneys

GATES O'DOHERTY GONTER & GUY LLP

MUENCH RICHARD ARTHUR

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

12/28/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT) OF 12/29/2021

12/29/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT) OF 12/29/2021

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE: NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT)

12/29/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE: NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT)

Notice of Settlement

12/29/2021: Notice of Settlement

Notice of Settlement

1/7/2022: Notice of Settlement

Request for Dismissal

2/1/2022: Request for Dismissal

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

2/18/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT))

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3 - TO PRECLUDE DEFENDANT'S FROM COMMENTING UPON OR LIMITING THE INTRODUCTION INTO EVIDENCE OF PLAINTIFF'S MEDICAL BILLS TO THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID

12/22/2021: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3 - TO PRECLUDE DEFENDANT'S FROM COMMENTING UPON OR LIMITING THE INTRODUCTION INTO EVIDENCE OF PLAINTIFF'S MEDICAL BILLS TO THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #2

12/22/2021: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #2

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #1

12/22/2021: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #1

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #6

12/22/2021: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #6

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #8

12/22/2021: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #8

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #7

12/22/2021: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #7

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #4

12/22/2021: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #4

Jury Instructions

12/27/2021: Jury Instructions

Jury Instructions

12/27/2021: Jury Instructions

Witness List

12/27/2021: Witness List

Exhibit List

12/27/2021: Exhibit List

39 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/18/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 32, Michael E. Whitaker, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 02/18/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement))); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/01/2022
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal ((NOT ENTERED)); Filed by Letiah Stone (Plaintiff); Marlene Jimmerson (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/12/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 32, Michael E. Whitaker, Presiding; Jury Trial (- NFC) - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 01/07/2022
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by Letiah Stone (Plaintiff); Marlene Jimmerson (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/03/2022
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 32, Michael E. Whitaker, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 12/29/2021
  • Docketat 11:30 AM in Department 32, Michael E. Whitaker, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 12/29/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order re: notice of settlement) of 12/29/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/29/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order re: notice of settlement)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/29/2021
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by Letiah Stone (Plaintiff)

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65 More Docket Entries
  • 12/19/2017
  • DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by Ruben Perez Melena (Defendant); Costco Wholesale Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 12/19/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Ruben Perez Melena (Defendant); Costco Wholesale Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 12/19/2017
  • DocketMiscellaneous-Other; Filed by Ruben Perez Melena (Defendant); Costco Wholesale Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 12/11/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Letiah Stone (Plaintiff); Marlene Jimmerson (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/11/2017
  • DocketProof of Service of Summons and Complaint Informal Discovery Conference

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  • 09/06/2017
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Letiah Stone (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/06/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS; NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL; AND NOTICE OF TEMPORARY OFFICE CLOSURE

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  • 08/11/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Letiah Stone (Plaintiff); Marlene Jimmerson (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/11/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Letiah Stone (Plaintiff); Marlene Jimmerson (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/11/2017
  • DocketComplaint

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****1974    Hearing Date: December 30, 2020    Dept: 32

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 32

letiah stone, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

v.

ruben perez melena, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: ****1974

Hearing Date: December 16, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to bifurcate

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Letiah Stone and Marlene Jimmerson (“Plaintiffs”) filed this action following a motor vehicle collision with Ruben Perez Melena, who allegedly was driving in the course and scope of his employment with Costco Wholesale Corporation. Plaintiffs allege that Melena rear-ended Stone, who was driving. Jimmerson was a passenger in Stone’s vehicle. Now, Plaintiffs move to bifurcate the trial of this case into two phases—liability and damages—and to delay depositions of experts until after the liability phase. Defendants oppose the motion. The motion is denied.

LEGAL STANDARD

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 598, “The court may, when the convenience of witnesses, the ends of justice, or the economy and efficiency of handling the litigation would be promoted thereby . . . make an order . . . that the trial of any issue or any part thereof shall precede the trial of any other issue or any part thereof in the case[.]”  (Code Civ. Proc., ; 598.) The Court has discretion in such matters.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiffs argue that bifurcation is necessary because Defendants Ruben Perez Melena and Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Defendants”) designated 193 non-retained experts in this action. The Court lacked sufficient information to rule on this motion, so it continued the hearing and ordered Defendants to provide an offer of proof on each of its non-retained experts. In response, Defendants filed an offer of proof stating that they intend to call only four non-retained experts. In light of Defendants’ representation, there is no basis to bifurcate this case or re-classify the trial as a long-cause case.

Plaintiffs intend to call 20 non-retained experts. This does not constitute good cause to grant the motion. To the extent there is a burden, Plaintiffs can solve the problem by reducing their number of non-retained experts. Even reaching the merits of Plaintiffs’ motion, there is no good cause. Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that trial of liability separately from damages would result in efficiencies. Instead, it is likely that it would result in duplication of effort.   It is logical and efficient for Plaintiffs to present evidence on how and why Defendants are liable for the underlying accident at the same time as Plaintiffs present evidence on the injuries that resulted from the underlying accident. Indeed, the liability phase should be relatively short and straightforward. Therefore, Plaintiffs have not shown good cause for the Court to grant this motion.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs’ motion for bifurcation is denied. Plaintiffs shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: December 30, 2020 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court



Case Number: ****1974    Hearing Date: December 16, 2020    Dept: 32

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 32

letiah stone, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

v.

ruben perez melena, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: ****1974

Hearing Date: December 16, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to bifurcate

The parties should be prepared to address the following issues:

1. Laintiffs Letiah Stone and Marlene Jimmerson (“Plaintiffs”) allege that Ruben Perez Melena rear-ended Stone’s vehicle. Are Defendants stipulating to liability?

2. Plaintiffs’ counsel represents that this case will take approximately 23 days to try. Should this case be re-classified as a long-cause case?

DATED: December 16, 2020 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court



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