This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/30/2019 at 01:46:38 (UTC).

MARIA VICTORIA WHITFIELD VS MARC SEAN LAPSLEY SR ET AL

Case Summary

On 01/02/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by MARIA VICTORIA WHITFIELD against MARC SEAN LAPSLEY SR 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:

    ****8913

  • Filing Date:

    01/02/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

MARC D. GROSS

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

WHITFIELD MARIA VICTORIA

Defendants and Respondents

LAPSLEY MARC SEAN SR.

PERRIS VALLEY KIA INC.

DOES 1 TO 25

 

Court Documents

PERRIS VALLEY'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO PERRIS VALLEY'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

6/18/2018: PERRIS VALLEY'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO PERRIS VALLEY'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Minute Order

6/22/2018: Minute Order

CIVIL DEPOSIT

7/3/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

Motion to Reclassify

3/5/2019: Motion to Reclassify

Declaration

3/21/2019: Declaration

Opposition

3/21/2019: Opposition

Reply

3/27/2019: Reply

Minute Order

4/4/2019: Minute Order

Order

4/4/2019: Order

Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

5/22/2019: Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

Minute Order

6/3/2019: Minute Order

Notice of Ruling

6/6/2019: Notice of Ruling

PERRIS VALLEY AUTO CENTER, INC.'S, REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

3/26/2018: PERRIS VALLEY AUTO CENTER, INC.'S, REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

ORDER SUSTAINING THE DEMURRER IN ENTIRETY AND GRANTING THE MOTION TO STRIKE

4/3/2018: ORDER SUSTAINING THE DEMURRER IN ENTIRETY AND GRANTING THE MOTION TO STRIKE

Minute Order

4/3/2018: Minute Order

PERRIS VALLEY AUTO CENTER, INC'S. NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF MICHELLE M. LAMBRE

2/28/2018: PERRIS VALLEY AUTO CENTER, INC'S. NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF MICHELLE M. LAMBRE

PROOF OF SERVICE BY MAIL

1/19/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE BY MAIL

SUMMONS

1/2/2018: SUMMONS

24 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/18/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 06/06/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/03/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Leave to Amend (First Amended Complaint to Include Punitive Damages) - Held

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  • 06/03/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Leave to Amend First Amended Complaint ...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/24/2019
  • Response (Reply to opposition of defendant Perris Valley Auto Inc., to Plaintiff's Motion for leave to amend first amended Complaint to include a prayer for punitive damages); Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/22/2019
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Opposition (TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE); Filed by Perris Valley Kia, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Motion for Leave to Amend (The First Amended Complaint to Include a Prayer for Punitive Damages Against Defendant Perris Valley Kia Inc.; Memorandum of Points and Authorities; Declaration of James Wright); Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/04/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Reclassify (Walker Motion) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 04/04/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Reclassify (Walker Motion))); Filed by Clerk

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43 More Docket Entries
  • 01/19/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/19/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/12/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE BY MAIL

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  • 01/12/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 01/12/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/12/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/02/2018
  • SUMMONS

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  • 01/02/2018
  • PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT AGAINST DEFENDANTH MARC SEAN LAPSLEY SR. AND PERRIS VALLEY ICIA INC., A CORPORATION FOR: (1) NEGLIGENCE;ETC

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  • 01/02/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Maria Victoria Whitfield (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/14/2010
  • Request for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC688913    Hearing Date: December 12, 2019    Dept: 3

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

MARIA VICTORIA WHITFIELD,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

MARC SEAN LAPSLEY, SR., et al.

Defendant(s).

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Case No.: BC688913

[TENTATIVE] ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/ADJUDICATION

Dept. 3

1:30 p.m.

December 12, 2019

1. Background Facts

Plaintiff, Maria Victoria Whitfield filed this action against Defendants, Marc Sean Lapsley, Sr. and Perris Valley Auto Center, Inc. for damages arising out of an automobile accident.

Plaintiff’s operative First Amended Complaint includes causes of action for gross negligence (first), motor vehicle owner liability – permissive use of vehicle (third), and negligent entrustment (sixth) against Moving Defendant, Perris.

Plaintiff’s first cause of action for gross negligence alleges Perris was grossly negligence because, at the time it sold the car involved in the automobile accident that forms the basis of this action to Lapsley, it knew (a) Lapsley did not have a valid CA driver’s license, (b) Lapsley had a history of drinking and driving and other driving offenses, and (c) Lapsley did not have insurance, and provided its own insurance, which covered the vehicle only and not damage to other persons injured by Lapsley.

Plaintiff’s third cause of action for permissive use and seventh cause of action for negligent entrustment allege Perris owned the vehicle and wrongfully entrusted it to Lapsley.

2. Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication

Perris moves for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s complaint. In the alternative, it moves for summary adjudication of each cause of action in the complaint.

a. Motion for Summary Adjudication

Defendant’s motion for summary adjudication fails to comply with CRC 3.1350(b), which requires the notice of motion and the separate statement to repeat, verbatim, the issues to be adjudicated. The separate statement also fails to comply with Rule 3.1350(d)(2), which makes clear that the separate statement must include “only material facts and not any facts that are not pertinent to the disposition of the motion.” Defendant’s separate statement repeats the same 21 facts in connection with the motion and then each issue to be adjudicated; it is clear that these same 21 facts do not relate to both the gross negligence cause of action and also to the two entrustment-based causes of action. Due to the violations, the Court will treat this as a motion for summary judgment only, and will not consider the alternative motion for summary adjudication.

b. Courtesy Copies

The Court’s First Amended General Order Re: Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil, dated 5/03/19, ¶9(b)(vi, requires parties to lodge tabbed courtesy copies of all papers in support of or opposition to a summary judgment motion. Defendant did not submit courtesy copies of its moving papers. Plaintiff submitted courtesy copies of her opposition papers, but failed to tab the courtesy copies. Defendant did not submit courtesy copies of its reply papers. The Court has read and considered the papers despite this failure, but asks Counsel to provide tabbed courtesy copies of all summary judgment papers in the future in connection with this and other actions.

 

c. Gross Negligence

Defendant argues Plaintiff cannot show gross negligence because the evidence shows Defendant has a long-standing policy of not selling vehicles to drivers without a valid driver’s license and with a driving history similar to Lapsley’s. Defendant contends this undisputed evidence establishes the sale to Lapsley was a one-time mistake, and therefore cannot constitute gross negligence as a matter of law.

Plaintiff first argues this is an improper motion for reconsideration of the order overruling the demurrer to the gross negligence cause of action. This is an evidence-based motion, and is therefore considered under a different standard than the demurrer. The Court will therefore consider the argument on its merits.

Defendant supports the motion with fact 5, which states that Defendant’s PMK, Jesus Ochoa, establishes that Defendant had a long-standing policy of not selling vehicles to persons without a driver’s license and with Lapsley’s driving history. Plaintiff contends the cited portion of Ochoa’s testimony does not say what Defendant purports it to say. Ochoa’s testimony is attached as Exhibit B to the moving papers. Notably, the deposition exhibit fails to comply with CRC 3.1116(a), which requires the first page of the deposition testimony to state the name of the deponent and date of deposition. Additionally, 3.1116(b) requires the transcript to clearly show the page number of any testimony; there are no page numbers on the transcript provided.

In any event, the Court agrees with Plaintiff. The exact testimony is as follows:

Q: So if, as in this case, there was no driver’s license – as such, there’s no driver’s license or insurance, then what typically would be the outcome for a sales manager, keeping in line with Ka Perris’ policy?

A: No sale. Can I take a break?

There is no testimony about a “long-standing policy.” There is no testimony about what happens when a driver has a driving history similar to Lapsley’s. The testimony does not state what Defendant says it states, and therefore Defendant failed to meet its moving burden to show it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the gross negligence cause of action.

The Court notes that Defendant also argues Plaintiff cannot establish the cause of action because the Court previously denied Plaintiff’s motion for leave to state a claim for punitive damages against Defendant. Defendant argues the standard for punitive damages and the standard for gross negligence are similar, such that the Court’s ruling on the motion for leave to amend bars the cause of action for gross negligence. Defendant is incorrect. The standard for gross negligence is want of scant care. The standard for punitive damages is malice, fraud, or oppression. Notably, the Court OVERRULED Defendant’s demurrer to the cause of action for gross negligence, and that ruling is more probative to this motion than the ruling denying Plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend.

d. Additional Issues

Because Defendant failed to meet its moving burden to show it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the gross negligence cause of action, the motion is denied in its entirety. Because Defendant failed to comply with the Rules of Court governing alternative motions for summary adjudication, the Court declines to consider the other issues presented by the parties. The motion is denied in full.

Defendant is ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at sscdept3@lacourt.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.