This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/06/2021 at 19:59:06 (UTC).

LIANA HARMANDJIAN VS STATE FARM GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION, FORM UNKNOWN

Case Summary

On 02/05/2021 LIANA HARMANDJIAN filed a Contract - Insurance lawsuit against STATE FARM GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION, FORM UNKNOWN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are RUTH ANN KWAN and CURTIS A. KIN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******4713

  • Filing Date:

    02/05/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Insurance

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

RUTH ANN KWAN

CURTIS A. KIN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HARMANDJIAN LIANA

Defendants

STATE FARM GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION FORM UNKNOWN

STATE FARM GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

MANOUKIAN NIGOL

Defendant Attorneys

FLORES MARLENE

NEJAT SADAF A.

 

Court Documents

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

9/23/2021: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Declaration - DECLARATION OF SEAN MOORE IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

9/23/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION OF SEAN MOORE IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

Declaration - DECLARATION OF MARLENE K. FLORES IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

9/23/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION OF MARLENE K. FLORES IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER

Case Management Statement

9/30/2021: Case Management Statement

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

8/11/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF MARLENE FLORES RE STATE FARM'S REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE RESPONSIVE PLEADING

8/23/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION OF MARLENE FLORES RE STATE FARM'S REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE RESPONSIVE PLEADING

Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

7/20/2021: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

Case Management Statement

7/27/2021: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

5/24/2021: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

6/1/2021: Case Management Statement

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

6/7/2021: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

6/8/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Proof of Personal Service

4/16/2021: Proof of Personal Service

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: FAILURE TO FILE PROOF OF SERVICE AS T...)

4/19/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: FAILURE TO FILE PROOF OF SERVICE AS T...)

Order to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service

2/24/2021: Order to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service

Notice of Case Management Conference

2/24/2021: Notice of Case Management Conference

Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

2/5/2021: Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/5/2021: Civil Case Cover Sheet

10 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/26/2021
  • Hearing10/26/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 72 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

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  • 10/15/2021
  • Hearing10/15/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 72 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Case Management Conference

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  • 09/30/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by State Farm General Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 09/23/2021
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by State Farm General Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 09/23/2021
  • DocketDeclaration (of Marlene K. Flores in Support of Demurrer); Filed by State Farm General Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 09/23/2021
  • DocketDeclaration (of Sean Moore In Support of Demurrer); Filed by State Farm General Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 08/23/2021
  • DocketDeclaration (of Marlene Flores re State Farm's Request for Extension of Time to File Responsive Pleading); Filed by State Farm General Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 08/11/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 72, Curtis A. Kin, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 08/11/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/27/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by State Farm General Insurance Company (Defendant)

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7 More Docket Entries
  • 04/19/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service as t...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/16/2021
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Liana Harmandjian (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/24/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/24/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/05/2021
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/05/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/05/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Liana Harmandjian (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/05/2021
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Liana Harmandjian (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/05/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Liana Harmandjian (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/05/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Liana Harmandjian (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: 21STCV04713 Hearing Date: October 26, 2021 Dept: 72

DEMURRER

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Date: 10/26/21\r\n(8:30 AM)

\r\n\r\n

Case: Liana Harmandjian v. State\r\nFarm General Ins. Co. (21STCV04713)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE\r\nRULING:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant State Farm General Insurance Company’s Demurrer to\r\nFirst Amended Complaint is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant State Farm General Insurance Company’s request to\r\ntake judicial notice of plaintiff’s insurance policy at issue in this action is\r\nGRANTED. (Moore Decl. ¶ 3 & Ex. A.) Plaintiff Liana Harmandjian does not\r\ndispute that the entire policy was not attached to the First Amended Complaint\r\n(“FAC”). A “pleader should not be allowed to bypass a demurrer by suppressing\r\nfacts which the court will judicially notice.” (Legg v. Mutual Ben. Health\r\nand Acc. Ass'n (1960) 184 Cal.App.2d 482, 488; see also Scott v.\r\nJPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 743, 753-54 [judicial\r\nnotice of Purchase and Assumption Agreement in sustaining demurrer proper when\r\nfacts within the agreement are “not reasonably subject to dispute and are\r\ncapable of ready determination” and when plaintiff did not question the\r\n“authenticity, completeness, or legal effect” of agreement].)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant’s request to take judicial notice of the small\r\nclaims judgment in Liana Harmandjian v. State Farm Insurance General\r\nInsurance Company, LASC Case No. 19PDSC03374 is GRANTED, pursuant to\r\nEvidence Code § 452(d). (See also FAC Ex. B, pursuant to 10/15/21 stipulation.)\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant demurs to the sole cause of action for Breach of\r\nDuty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing on two grounds: (1) res judicata bars\r\nplaintiff from seeking tort damages arising out of denial of her insurance\r\nclaim and (2) plaintiff is contractually time-barred from asserting a bad faith\r\ncause of action.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

With respect to the first ground, defendant contends that\r\nthis action is barred by the resolution of the small claims lawsuit, Liana\r\nHarmandjian v. State Farm Insurance General Insurance Company, LASC Case\r\nNo. 19PDSC03374. (FAC Ex. B.) Plaintiff admits she filed this lawsuit based on\r\ndefendant’s denial of her claim for damages arising from the September 7, 2017\r\nwater damage. (FAC ¶¶ 7-10.) Plaintiff also admits that the small claims court\r\nentered a judgment against State Farm for this same loss. (FAC ¶ 10 & Ex.\r\nB.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Claims for breach of an insurance policy and breach of the\r\nimplied covenant of good faith and fair dealing arise from the same primary\r\nright. (Lincoln Property Co., N.C., Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Co.\r\n(2006) 137 Cal.App.4th 905, 915 [“The fact that damages for breach of the duty\r\nto defend are limited to contract damages while breach of the implied covenant\r\nof good faith and fair dealing may also entitle the insured to recover tort\r\ndamages . . . does not alter the fact that all such damages arise from breach\r\nof the same contract by the same conduct . . . . [T]he fact that the cause of\r\naction gives rise potentially to both tort and contract forms of relief does\r\nnot alter the fact that both claims arise out of the breach of the same primary\r\nright”].) Accordingly, plaintiff could and should have asserted allegations of\r\nbad faith in the small claims lawsuit. The primary right plaintiff asserted in\r\nthe small claims court is the right to receive insurance benefits from\r\ndefendant under a homeowners insurance policy, which plaintiff seeks to\r\nrelitigate in this action. Based on the doctrine of res judicata, plaintiff is\r\nprevented from litigating a cause of action for bad faith.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff cites to Sawyer v. First City Financial Corp.\r\n(1981) 124 Cal.App.3d 390 and Brenelli Amedeo, S.P.A. v. Bakara Furniture,\r\nInc. (1994) 29 Cal.App.4th 1828 for the assertion that a claim for contract\r\ndamages and a claim for tort damages, such as those sought in an insurance bad\r\nfaith claim, constitute two separate primary rights. However, neither of these\r\ncases concern a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing\r\nclaim concerning an insurance policy. (Cf. Sawyer, 124 Cal.App.3d\r\nat 402-03 [failure to fulfill contractual duty to pay promissory note concerns\r\ndifferent primary right than destroying value of note through conspiracy to\r\nconduct sham foreclosure sale]; Brenelli, 29 Cal.4th at 1837 [breach of\r\ncontract by corporation concerns different primary right than destroying value\r\nof judgment through fraudulent transfer of assets to alleged alter egos].)\r\nHere, regardless of defendant’s purported motives in denying plaintiff’s claim,\r\nplaintiff’s damages from alleged bad faith sought in this action arise from\r\nbreach of the same insurance policy addressed in the small claims lawsuit.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff is barred by res\r\njudicata from seeking damages for bad faith based on the same failure to pay\r\nbenefits under an insurance policy asserted in the small claims lawsuit.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

With respect to the second ground, defendant maintains that\r\nthe insurance policy required plaintiff to file this action within one year\r\nafter the date of loss or damage, excluding investigation time. According to\r\nthe judicially noticeable insurance policy, plaintiff has “one year after the\r\ndate of loss or damage,” excluding the time taken by defendant to determine\r\n“the obligation of the insured . . . by final judgment or agreement signed by\r\nus” (i.e., investigation time”). (RJN Ex. 1; Moore Decl. ¶ 3 & Ex. A at\r\nSection I – Conditions ¶ 6 and Section II – Conditions ¶ 6.) It is undisputed\r\nthat the one-year limitations period in the policy is enforceable under\r\nInsurance Code § 2071. (Prudential-LMI Com. Insurance v. Superior Court\r\n(1990) 51 Cal.3d 683-84.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In response to this argument, plaintiff cites Prudential-LMI\r\nCom. Insurance v. Superior Court (1990) 51 Cal.3d 674 for the assertion\r\nthat the one-year period for filing suit is equitably tolled until the time the\r\ninsurer gives notice of its denial of coverage. (Prudential-LMI, 51\r\nCal.3d at 693 [“We conclude that proper resolution of the foregoing anomaly is\r\nto allow the one-year suit provision of [Insurance Code] section 2071 to run\r\nfrom the date of ‘inception of the loss,’ as defined above, but to toll it from\r\nthe time an insured gives notice of the damage to his insurer, pursuant to\r\napplicable policy notice provisions, until coverage is denied”].) Here,\r\nplaintiff admits defendant notified her that it was denying coverage sometime\r\nbefore August 12, 2019, when plaintiff was “forced” to file the small claims\r\nlawsuit. (FAC ¶ 9 [“Defendant STATE FARM intentionally denied Plaintiff’s claim\r\nwith no basis.], ¶ 10 [“STATE FARM and/or their officers, directors and\r\nemployees have intentionally and in bad faith failed to timely compensate\r\nPlaintiff for the damages she sustained. Plaintiff was finally forced to file a\r\nSmall Claims lawsuit against said Defendant to obtain compensation for her\r\ndamages”].) Accordingly, plaintiff was required to assert her bad faith claim\r\nagainst defendant by August 12, 2020 at the latest. Plaintiff commenced this\r\naction afterward on February 5, 2021. Accordingly, this action is contractually\r\ntime-barred.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff does not indicate how she could amend the First\r\nAmended Complaint to remedy the defects discussed herein. The demurrer to the\r\nFirst Amended Complaint is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND. Defendant is\r\nordered to lodge a proposed judgment of dismissal within five (5) days hereof.

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