Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury
MICHAEL E. WHITAKER
CESAR'S WAY INC. DBA CESAR'S WORLD
QURESHI OMAR G.
BERMAN EVAN ANDREW
3/12/2021: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)
5/10/2021: Reply - REPLY REPLY BY DEFENDANTS, CESAR MILLAN AND CESAR'S WAY, INC. DBA CESAR'S TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFFS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
5/20/2021: Answer - ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
7/25/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE: NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT)
7/25/2022: Notice of Settlement
7/25/2022: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT) OF 07/25/2022
7/27/2022: Request for Dismissal
5/23/2022: [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person - [PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSO
2/28/2022: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information
5/2/2022: Substitution of Attorney
5/2/2022: Substitution of Attorney
5/18/2021: Notice of Ruling
5/20/2021: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees
5/20/2021: Demand for Jury Trial
5/21/2021: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - NOTICE OF POSTING OF JURY FEES AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
5/17/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO STRIKE (NOT ANTI-SLAPP) - WITHOUT DEMURRER)
5/4/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
4/1/2021: Proof of Service by Substituted Service
DocketOn the Amended Complaint (1st) filed by Lidia Matiss on 03/12/2021, entered Request for Dismissal with prejudice filed by Lidia Matiss as to the entire action[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) scheduled for 09/27/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 32 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/05/2022[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by: Lidia Matiss (Plaintiff)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) scheduled for 09/27/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 32[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by: Lidia Matiss (Plaintiff); Vacate Future Dates: No; Settlement Type: Unconditional; Set Hearing and Generate Notice?: No[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketMinute Order (Court Order re: notice of settlement)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Court Order re: notice of settlement) of 07/25/2022; Filed by: Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketUpdated -- Omar G. Qureshi (Attorney): Organization Name changed from Qureshi Law to Qureshi Law, PC; Middle Name: G.[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketAddress for Omar G. Qureshi (Attorney) updated[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketOn the Court's own motion, Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal scheduled for 01/02/2024 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 32 Not Held - Advanced and Vacated on 07/25/2022[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for [PI General Order]; Filed by: Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketPI General Order; Filed by: Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketFinal Status Conference scheduled for 06/21/2022 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 32[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/05/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 32[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal scheduled for 01/02/2024 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 32[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by: Lidia Matiss (Plaintiff); As to: Cesar Milan (Defendant); Cesar's Way (Defendant)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Lidia Matiss (Plaintiff); As to: Cesar Milan (Defendant); Cesar's Way (Defendant)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Lidia Matiss (Plaintiff); As to: Cesar Milan (Defendant); Cesar's Way (Defendant)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketCase assigned to Hon. Stephen I. Goorvitch in Department 32 Spring Street Courthouse[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Case Number: *******0285 Hearing Date: May 17, 2021 Dept: 32
PLEASE NOTE: Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If the parties do not submit on the tentative, they should arrange to appear in-person or remotely.
May 17, 2021
Motion to Strike Portions of First Amended Complaint
Defendants Cesar Millan and Cesar’s Way, Inc.
Plaintiff Lidia Matiss
Plaintiff Lidia Matiss (“Plaintiff”) sued Defendants Cesar Millan and Cesar’s Way, Inc. (“Defendant”) based on a dog attack. Plaintiff contends Defendants owned a dog that attacked Plaintiff. Defendants move to strike the prayer for punitive damages in the first amended complaint. Plaintiff opposes the motion.
Any party, within the time allowed to respond to a pleading, may serve and file a motion to strike the whole pleading or any part thereof. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 435, subd. (b)(1); Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1322(b).) On a motion to strike, the court may: (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 Civ. Proc., ; 436, subds. (a)-(b); Stafford v. Shultz (1954) 42 Cal.2d 767, 782.)
In ruling on a motion to strike punitive damages, “judges read allegations of a pleading subject to a motion to strike as a whole, all parts in their context, and assume their truth.” (Clauson v. Superior Court (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 1253, 1255.) To state a prima facie claim for punitive damages, a plaintiff must allege the elements set forth in the punitive damages statute, Civil Code section 3294. (College Hosp., Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal.4th 704, 721.) Per Civil Code section 3294, a plaintiff must allege that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud or malice. (Civ. Code, ; 3294, subd. (a).) “Malice is defined in the statute as conduct intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.” (College Hosp., supra, 8 Cal.4th at p. 725.) “The mere allegation an intentional tort was committed is not sufficient to warrant an award of punitive damages. Not only must there be circumstances of oppression, fraud or malice, but facts must be alleged in the pleading to support such a claim.” (Grieves v. Superior Court (1984) 157 Cal.App.3d 159, 166, internal citations & footnotes omitted.)
In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges:
Mr. Millan knew that Junior was violent.
Junior had bitten several people and mauled several dogs prior to biting Ms. Matiss.
On one occasion, Dana Owens, who is popularly known as singer Queen Latifah, brought two of her dogs to Mr. Millan’s Dog Psychology Center (“DPC”) in Santa Clarita, California. At that facility, celebrities, like Ms. Owens, and other notable people bring their dogs to be trained by Mr. Millan and his staff. 13. At DPC, Junior mauled one of Ms. Owens’ dogs to death. Mr. Millan covered up Junior’s violence by instructing his staff to tell Ms. Owens and others that a car killed her dog.
On information and belief, Mr. Millan knew that Junior had hurt many people and many dogs in the past.
(See First Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 10-14.) Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants knew their dog was dangerous, and nonetheless left their dog unsupervised around Plaintiff. (See First Amended Complaint, ¶ 18.) For pleading purposes, Plaintiff’s allegations are sufficient to show that Defendants acted with a willful and conscious disregard of Plaintiff’s rights and safety.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
Accordingly, the Court denies Defendants’ motion to strike Plaintiff’s claims and prayer for punitive damages, and orders Defendants are to answer the first amended complaint within 10 days of the hearing.
Defendants are ordered to provide notice of this order and file a proof of service of such.