This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/20/2019 at 02:14:16 (UTC).

MARK KARAGIANIS VS WILLIAM R FRYE ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/18/2017 MARK KARAGIANIS filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against WILLIAM R FRYE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2961

  • Filing Date:

    08/18/2017

  • 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

Presiding Judge

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

KARAGIANIS MARK

Defendants and Respondents

FRYE WILLIAM R.

THE HERTZ CORPORATION

HERTZ VEHICLES LLC

DOES 1 TO 25

MMWK MANAGEMENT INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

SHELDON DANIEL G. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

TIONG SOPHIA KUO ESQ.

MACDONALD SCOTT L

 

Court Documents

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

11/30/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Unknown

12/21/2018: Unknown

Request

12/27/2018: Request

Stipulation and Order

1/28/2019: Stipulation and Order

Notice of Change of Firm Name

4/29/2019: Notice of Change of Firm Name

Proof of Personal Service

5/30/2019: Proof of Personal Service

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

6/6/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Answer

6/6/2019: Answer

Demand for Jury Trial

6/7/2019: Demand for Jury Trial

Declaration

6/17/2019: Declaration

Unknown

10/16/2017: Unknown

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

10/16/2017: DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

10/16/2017: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

10/16/2017: NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

9/7/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

8/31/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

8/29/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

SUMMONS

8/18/2017: SUMMONS

6 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/17/2019
  • Declaration (Declaration of Demurring); Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/07/2019
  • Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by MMWK Management, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/06/2019
  • Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by MMWK Management, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/06/2019
  • Answer; Filed by MMWK Management, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 05/30/2019
  • Proof of Personal Service; Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/29/2019
  • Notice of Change of Firm Name; Filed by William R. Frye (Defendant)

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  • 02/19/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 02/01/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 01/28/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (Proposed Order and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC and Related Motion/Discovery Dates Personal Injury Court Only); Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/27/2018
  • Request (Request for Dismissal); Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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10 More Docket Entries
  • 10/16/2017
  • Receipt; Filed by William R. Frye (Defendant)

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  • 09/07/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/07/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 08/31/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 08/31/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/29/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/29/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 08/18/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR NEGLIGENCE

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  • 08/18/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Mark Karagianis (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/18/2017
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC672961    Hearing Date: November 18, 2019    Dept: 2

Defendant MMWK Management Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, filed on 8/30/2019, is DENIED.

This case arises out of a car accident allegedly caused by the negligence of Defendant William Frye, the driver of the car. At the time of the accident Mr. Frye was employed by MMWK Management, Inc. (“MMWK”) as the Chief Compliance Officer. MMWK’s primary business location is in Plano, Texas and Mr. Frye’s office is located there. Mr. Frye’s job as Chief Compliance Officer requires him to travel to other MMWK worksites quarterly, but Frye spends the majority of his time working out of the home office in Plano, Texas. MMWK’s Director of Human Resources estimates that Mr. Frye spends 98 to 99 percent of his employment time working out of the Plano office.

Plaintiff was injured when Mr. Frye hit Plaintiff on his bicycle with the rented vehicle Mr. Frye was driving in Woodland Hills, California. Mr. Frye was in California on a four-day business trip. The only reason that he was in California was for MMWK’s business. MMWK covered Mr. Frye’s expenses on the trip, including food, lodging and transportation. At the time of the accident, Mr. Frye was driving in a rented car from the hotel to MMWK’s Woodland Hills’ office. Frye had never been to that location before.

Plaintiff alleges that MMWK is vicariously liable for Mr. Frye’s negligence. MMWK moves for summary judgment on this claim on the grounds that Mr. Frye was not acting in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident.

MMWK bases this argument on the “coming and going rule,” which provides that an employee generally is generally not acting within the course and scope of his or her employment when commuting to an from home. Jorge v. Culinary Institute of America (2016) 207 Cal. Rptr. 3d 586, 507. This rule “is grounded in the notion that the employment relationship is suspended from the time the employee leaves until he returns or that in commuting he is not rendering service to his employee.” Id. MMWK argues that the travel to and from the hotel was Mr. Frye’s “commute” for purposes of the coming and going rule.

Plaintiff argues that the coming and going rule does not apply because the business trip was a “special errand.” “When an employee is engaged in a ‘special errand’ or a ‘special mission’ for the employer it will negate the ‘going and coming rule’.” Jeewarat v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (2009) 177 Cal. App. 4th 427.

Jeewarat is closely on point and controls the result here. In that case, an employee was returning to his home after a three-day business conference when he was involved in a car accident that injured several pedestrians. The plaintiffs sued the employer on a vicarious liability theory. The employer filed a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the going and coming rule barred the claim.

The Court held that summary judgment was properly denied. The Court reasoned that a business trip could be a special errand, and the Court could not determine as a matter of law that the business errand had concluded at the time of the accident while the employee was driving home.

The evidence in Jeewarat was much stronger in favor of the employer than the evidence in this case, yet the Court still concluded that summary judgment could not be granted. In Jeewarat, the employee had traveled for an industry conference, not to engage in business activities directly for the company. The Court ultimately concluded that the travel to the conference provided benefit to the employer. Here, there is no question that the trip was for the direct benefit of MMWK; taking the compliance trip was part of Mr. Frye’s job duties.

Further, in Jeewarat, the employee was driving to his actual home and the drive home overlapped with his regular commuter route. Here, the accident occurred on the route between a hotel that Mr. Frye was staying at for purposes of the trip and the company’s facility. Mr. Frye was not traveling from his home and the route had no relationship at all to his regular commuter route. Given that summary judgment was denied in Jeewarat, it is clear that it must be denied here.

MMWK argues that the holding in Sutherland v. Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Support Co. (2005) 130 Cal. App. 4th 1, 10-11, 29 stands for the proposition that travel time on a business trip cannot be considered part of a special errand. The Jeewarat Court considered and expressly rejected that precise argument. In Sutherland, the Court held that “[i]f the main purpose of the injury-producing activity was the pursuit of the employee’s personal ends, the employer is not liable.” Id. at 11-12. There has been no showing that the drive from the hotel to the workplace was somehow for Mr. Frye’s personal ends.

None of the other cases that MMWK cites are as closely on point as Jeewarat is. Jeewarat is binding authority on this Court, and the Court follows it here.

Summary judgment is thus denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

RULINGS ON OBJECTIONS:

With its reply papers, MMWK filed a document entitled “Reply and Objections to Plaintiff’s Separate Statement.” To the extent that the document purports to assert evidentiary objections, the objections are not properly stated and the Court declines to rule on them. To the extent that the document sets forth MMWK’s position regarding Plaintiff’s characterization of the evidence, the Court has reviewed and considered the arguments contained in the document. No ruling is required.

The Moving Party is ordered to give notice.