This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 02/21/2020 at 02:06:02 (UTC).

MARIA DUENAS VS LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER

Case Summary

On 02/21/2018 MARIA DUENAS filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4884

  • Filing Date:

    02/21/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

DUENAS MARIA

Defendants and Respondents

LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER

DOES 1 TO 50

LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER - SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

SP LAW GROUP APC

GHENCIU VLAD RAUL

Defendant Attorney

MCFARLANE PAMELA LORRAINE

 

Court Documents

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (JURY TRIAL) OF 02/19/2020

2/19/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (JURY TRIAL) OF 02/19/2020

Order - Dismissal

2/19/2020: Order - Dismissal

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

2/5/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

1/6/2020: Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF MARIA DUENASS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND/OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

11/6/2019: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF MARIA DUENASS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND/OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Objection - OBJECTION PLAINTIFF MARIA DUENASS OBJECTIONS TO EVIDENCE OF DEFENDANT LADWP OFFERED IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND/OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

11/6/2019: Objection - OBJECTION PLAINTIFF MARIA DUENASS OBJECTIONS TO EVIDENCE OF DEFENDANT LADWP OFFERED IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND/OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF VLAD R. GHENCIU IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF MARIA DUENASS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND/OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

11/6/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF VLAD R. GHENCIU IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF MARIA DUENASS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND/OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Separate Statement

11/6/2019: Separate Statement

Reply - REPLY DEFENDANT, CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

11/14/2019: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANT, CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Objection - OBJECTION DEFENDANT, CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER'S OBJECTION TO EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

11/14/2019: Objection - OBJECTION DEFENDANT, CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER'S OBJECTION TO EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Notice of Ruling

12/5/2019: Notice of Ruling

Declaration - DECLARATION NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

9/3/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Declaration - DECLARATION NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

9/3/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Motion for Summary Judgment

9/3/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Separate Statement

9/3/2019: Separate Statement

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

9/3/2019: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES ACTING BY AND THROUGH THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT

7/12/2018: DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES ACTING BY AND THROUGH THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES ACTING BY AND THROUGH THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER

7/12/2018: DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES ACTING BY AND THROUGH THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER

18 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/19/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 32, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Jury Trial) of 02/19/2020); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketOrder - Dismissal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Jury Trial)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/05/2020
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 32, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 02/05/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/06/2020
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Defendant)

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  • 01/03/2020
  • DocketOrder ([PROPOSED] JUDGMENT); Filed by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Defendant)

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Defendant)

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  • 11/21/2019
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 5; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held - Motion Granted

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23 More Docket Entries
  • 07/12/2018
  • DocketAnswer (to Unverified Complaint); Filed by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Defendant)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketRequest-Waive Court Fees

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Maria Duenas (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC694884    Hearing Date: November 21, 2019    Dept: 5

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Spring Street Courthouse, Department 5

maria duenas ,

Plaintiff,

v.

los angeles department of water and power,

Defendant.

Case No.: BC694884

Hearing Date: November 21, 2019

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

defendant’s MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

NOTICE

Judge Goorvitch was sworn-in as a Superior Court Judge on December 15, 2015.  Prior to that time, Judge Goorvitch made the following campaign contributions to Michael N. Feuer: (1) $100 to Mr. Feuer’s 2008 campaign for the 42nd Assembly District on or about November 9, 2007; (2) $100 to Mr. Feuer’s 2010 campaign for the 42nd Assembly District on or about October 19, 2010; and (3) $100 to Mr. Feuer’s 2013 campaign for Los Angeles City Attorney on or about May 30, 2012.  Judge Goorvitch has no personal relationship with Mr. Feuer and has had no communications with Mr. Feuer since he became the City Attorney.  The Court can be fair and impartial in this matter. 

Background

Plaintiff Maria Duenas (“Plaintiff”) alleges she sustained injuries when she stepped on the lid of a water meter vault on the sidewalk, which collapsed. Plaintiff contends Defendant Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (“Defendant”) owned and maintained the lid of the vault. Defendant moves for summary judgment. Plaintiff opposes the motion. The motion is granted.

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.)

EVIDENCE

Plaintiff’s objections to Defendant’s evidence are overruled. The Court need not rule on Defendant’s objections. (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c, subd. (q).)

DISCUSSION

Defendant moves for summary judgment based upon Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the Government Claims Act, which requires a party to file a claim with the agency. The party may file a lawsuit only if the public entity denies or rejects the claim. (Gov. Code §§ 905, 945.4; City of Ontario v. Superior Court (1993) 12 Cal.App.4th 894.) A party must file a claim based on “a cause of action for death or for injury to person . . .”  within six months, but may apply for an extension of another six months. (Gov. Code, §§ 911.4, 911.2, subd. (a).) If the Government Claims Program denies the requested extension, the Court must grant a petition for relief from the claims filing requirements of the Tort Claims Act if the Court finds that the petitioner made a late claim within a reasonable time after the cause of action accrued, which may not exceed one year, and that the petitioner’s failure to present a timely claim was due to minority, incapacity or death, or “mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect . . . .”  (Gov. Code, § 946.6, subd. (c).)

Defendant has proffered evidence that Plaintiff filed a claim with the City of Los Angeles. (Declaration of Eskel H. Solomon, Exh. A.) In that claim, Plaintiff claimed her accident occurred on December 18, 2016, and the claim itself was filed on July 18, 2017. (Ibid.) Accordingly, Plaintiff did not file the claim within six months of the accident. On August 17, 2017, Plaintiff submitted an application for leave to present a late claim to Defendant. (Id., Exh. C.) Defendant denied the request for leave to present a late claim on October 3, 2017. (Id., Exh. D.) However, Plaintiff never submitted a petition to the Court seeking relief from the claims filing requirement, but instead filed this action on February 21, 2018.

Defendant’s evidence is sufficient to establish that this claim is time-barred. Plaintiff proffers no evidence rebutting this showing. Instead, Plaintiff proffers a declaration from her counsel, Vladimir Shagramanov (“Shagramanov”), stating that Plaintiff previously sued Defendant in Maria Duenas v. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (Super. Ct. L.A. County, 2017, No. BC663461), which was filed on May 31, 2017. (Declaration of Vladimir Shagramanov, ¶¶ 1-3.) Shagramanov states that he attempted to cure the issue of Plaintiff’s untimely claim by dismissing the complaint in Maria Duenas v. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (Super. Ct. L.A. County, 2017, No. BC663461). (Declaration of Vladimir Shagramanov, ¶ 9.) This evidence is immaterial. The accident allegedly occurred on December 18, 2016; the claim was filed on July 18, 2017; and Plaintiff had until December 18, 2017, to seek relief from the claims requirement. Plaintiff did not do so. Therefore, the fact that Plaintiff filed a previous action (without complying with the claims requirement) is of no import.

Shagramanov further states in his opposition that Plaintiff seeks relief for Shagramanov’s mistake in failing to seek relief from the claims filing requirements. (Declaration of Vladimir Shagramanov, ¶ 20.) Plaintiff cannot seek relief under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b) in opposition to a motion, as Defendant has not had adequate notice. Further, the Court notes that any request for relief is untimely, as Shagramanov’s failure to seek relief from the claims filing requirements occurred more than six months ago. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).)

Plaintiff argues that Defendant is estopped from asserting the claims filing requirements as a bar. “It is well settled that a public entity may be estopped from asserting the limitations of the claims statute where its agents or employees have prevented or deterred the filing of a timely claim by some affirmative act. Estoppel most commonly results from misleading statements about the need for or advisability of a claim; actual fraud or the intent to mislead is not essential.” (John R. v. Oakland Unified School Dist. (1989) 48 Cal.3d 438, 445, internal citations omitted.) “Whether equitable estoppel applies is normally a question of fact for the court to determine.” (Santos v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist. (2017) 17 Cal.App.5th 1065, 1076.) Plaintiff argues that Defendant is estopped because it has been “[actively] litigating the lawsuit since July 2018, by Answering the lawsuit, posting Jury Fees, propounding and responding to written discovery, deposing Ms. Duenas and conducting a physical examination pursuant to the California Code of Civil Procedure . . . .” (Opposition, at p. 7.) Plaintiff cites no authority for the proposition that Defendant could be estopped from asserting Plaintiff’s noncompliance with the claims filing requirements by defending this action. Plaintiff has not demonstrated that Defendant prevented or deterred Plaintiff from comply with the claims presentation requirement. Further, all the acts Plaintiff complains of occurred after the expiration of the deadline for Plaintiff to seek relief from the claims filing requirement. Therefore, this conduct did not deter Plaintiff from seeking relief from the claims filing requirement, as the deadline for her to do so had elapsed.

Finally, Plaintiff also argues that her initial claim to Defendant was invalid, because Plaintiff’s original claim stated that the dollar amount of her claim for damages was $0. Plaintiff fails to explain how her submission of a defective claim would preclude Defendant from rejecting that claim. Regardless, if true, Plaintiff is not entitled to relief under the unclean hands doctrine since Plaintiff is responsible for this issue. “Under the ‘unclean hands’ doctrine, a party is barred from relief if he has engaged in any unconscientious conduct directly related to the transaction or matter before the court.”  (Derosa v. Transamerica Title Ins. Co. (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 1390, 1395.)

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: November 21, 2019 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court