This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/30/2019 at 00:29:23 (UTC).

MEENA DHAWAN VS UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

Case Summary

On 01/18/2018 a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury case was filed by MEENA DHAWAN against UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES 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:

    ****0911

  • Filing Date:

    01/18/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

DHAWAN MEENA

Defendants and Respondents

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

DOES 1 TO 50

REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

 

Court Documents

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER [PROPOSED] TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY (CENTRAL DISTRICT)

8/26/2019: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER [PROPOSED] TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY (CENTRAL DISTRICT)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF AMY KRAFT

9/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF AMY KRAFT

Declaration - DECLARATION OF JOHN BRAULT

9/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF JOHN BRAULT

Declaration - DECLARATION OF VALDEMAR PADILLA

9/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF VALDEMAR PADILLA

Declaration - DECLARATION OF VICTORIA GROH

9/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF VICTORIA GROH

Separate Statement

9/12/2019: Separate Statement

Motion for Summary Judgment

9/12/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Request for Judicial Notice

9/12/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Declaration - DECLARATION OF STEPHEN M. HARBER

9/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF STEPHEN M. HARBER

DEFENDANT, THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

10/1/2018: DEFENDANT, THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) - Doe 1

8/21/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) - Doe 1

Civil Case Cover Sheet - /Coversheet Addendum

1/18/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet - /Coversheet Addendum

Summons -

1/18/2018: Summons -

Complaint -

1/18/2018: Complaint -

4 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/19/2021
  • Hearing01/19/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 02/18/2020
  • Hearing02/18/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 02/07/2020
  • Hearing02/07/2020 at 10:00 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 11/26/2019
  • Hearing11/26/2019 at 13:30 PM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 10/28/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 10/18/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 09/12/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (of John Brault); Filed by UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES Erroneously Sued As Regents of the University of California (Defendant)

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  • 09/12/2019
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES Erroneously Sued As Regents of the University of California (Defendant)

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  • 09/12/2019
  • DocketMotion for Summary Judgment; Filed by UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES Erroneously Sued As Regents of the University of California (Defendant)

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  • 09/12/2019
  • DocketSeparate Statement; Filed by UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES Erroneously Sued As Regents of the University of California (Defendant)

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9 More Docket Entries
  • 01/10/2019
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 12/06/2018
  • DocketMotion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion; Filed by UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES Erroneously Sued As Regents of the University of California (Defendant)

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  • 12/06/2018
  • DocketMotion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion; Filed by UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES Erroneously Sued As Regents of the University of California (Defendant)

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketDEFENDANT, THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

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  • 08/21/2018
  • DocketAmendment to Complaint (Fictitious Name) Doe 1

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  • 08/21/2018
  • DocketAmendment to Complaint; Filed by Meena Dhawan (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Meena Dhawan (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Meena Dhawan (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketComplaint

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  • 01/18/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet /Coversheet Addendum

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC690911    Hearing Date: February 20, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion for Summary Judgment

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows. opposing papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On January 18, 2018, Plaintiff Meena Dhawan (“Plaintiff”) filed a compliant against Defendant the Regents of the University of California (erroneously sued and served as University of California Los Angeles).  The complaint alleges premises liability for a trip-and-fall that occurred on January 29, 2016.

On August 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed an amendment to the complaint renaming Doe 1 as Defendant the Regents of the University of California.

On September 12, 2019, Defendant the Regents of the University of California filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 473c.

Trial is set for April 28, 2020.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant the Regents of the University of California (“Moving Defendant”) asks the Court to enter summary judgment against Plaintiff and in Defendant’s favor for two reasons.  First, Moving Defendant cannot be liable for a common law cause of action.  Second, the condition Plaintiff tripped over is trivial.

LEGAL STANDARD

The purpose of a motion for summary judgment “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.”  (Aguilar v. Atl. Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.)  “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”  (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.)

“On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.”  (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.)  A defendant moving for summary judgment “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established.”  (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).)  “Once the defendant . . . has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.”  (Id.)  “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Med. Ctr. (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467.)

“When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.”  (Avivi, supra, 159 Cal.App.4th at p. 467; see also Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

Common Law Cause of Action

“Except as otherwise provided by statute, a public entity is not liable for an injury, whether such injury arises out of an act or omission of the public entity or public employee or any other person.” (Gov. Code § 815.)

Plaintiff’s form complaint merely alleges Moving Defendant is liable for a common law cause of action for premises liability.  Plaintiff’s complaint does not allege a dangerous condition of public property.  The Court takes judicial notice that Moving Defendant is a public entity as it is a fact not reasonable subject to dispute and is capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy.

The Court finds Moving Defendant is entitled to summary judgment because Plaintiff does not allege a statutory violation against Moving Defendant.  Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a common law cause of action against Moving Defendant.  Accordingly, Moving Defendant is entitled to summary judgment.

Dangerous Condition of Public Property

Government Code section 835 states:¿“Except as provided by statute, a public entity is liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition of its property if the plaintiff establishes that the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury, that the injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition, that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred, and either:

(a) A negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment created the dangerous condition; or¿

(b) The public entity had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition under Section 835.2 a sufficient time prior to the injury to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.”¿

The term “dangerous condition” means a “condition of property that creates a substantial (as distinguished from a minor,¿trivial¿or insignificant) risk of injury when such property or adjacent property is used with due care in a manner in which it is reasonably foreseeable that it¿will be used.”¿ (Gov. Code § 830, subd. (a).) “A condition is not dangerous within the meaning of the statute ‘unless it creates a hazard to those who foreseeably will use the property . . . with due care.  Thus, even though it is foreseeable that persons may use public property without due care, a public entity may not be held liable for failing to take precautions to protect such persons.” (Matthews v. City of Cerritos¿(1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1380, 1384.)  “The condition of the property involved should create a ‘substantial risk’ of injury, for an undue burden would be placed upon public entities if they were responsible for the repair of all conditions creating any possibility of injury however remote that possibility might be.” (Fredette¿v. City of Long Beach¿(1986) 187 Cal.App.3d 122, 130, fn.5.) “The existence of a dangerous condition ordinarily is a question of fact, but the issue may be resolved as a matter of law if reasonable minds can come to only one conclusion.”¿¿(Peterson v. San Francisco Comm. College Dist.¿(1984) 36 Cal.3d 799, 810.)

As to whether a condition is¿trivial¿as a matter of law, “[t]he legal analysis involves several steps. First, the court reviews evidence regarding the type and size of the defect. If that preliminary analysis reveals a¿trivial¿defect, the court considers evidence of any additional factors such as the weather, lighting and visibility conditions at the time of the accident, the existence of debris or obstructions, and plaintiff’s knowledge of the area. If these additional factors do not indicate the defect was sufficiently dangerous to a reasonably careful person, the court should deem the defect trivial as a matter of law. . . . (Stathoulis¿v. City of Montebello¿(2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 559, 567-568.

Moving Defendant’s undisputed material facts establish the largest height differential where Plaintiff tripped is one quarter of an inch.  (UMF Nos. 4, 23.)

The Court finds Moving Defendant met its burden.  The largest height differential in a sidewalk trip-and-fall case the Court knows of where it was affirmed to be a trivial condition was seven-eighths of an inch. Cadam v. Somerset Gardens Townhouse HOA (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 383, 389.)  Thus, the height differential here shows the condition was trivial.  Plaintiff does not submit contrary evidence.  As such, summary judgment is properly granted.

CONCLUSION

The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

Moving Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC690911    Hearing Date: January 13, 2020    Dept: 4A

Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint

Having considered the moving and opposing papers, the Court rules as follows. reply papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On January 18, 2018, Plaintiff Meena Dhawan (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant University of California Los Angeles (“Defendant”) alleging premises liability for a trip-and-fall that occurred on January 29, 2016.

On August 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed an amended to the complaint renaming Doe 1 as Defendant The Regents of the University of California (erroneously sued and served as University of California Los Angeles).

On November 20, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a)(1).

Trial is set for April 28, 2020.

PARTYS REQUEST

Plaintiff asks the Court to grant leave for Plaintiff to file a first amended complaint (“FAC”) to delete to delete the first count of premises liability based on negligence and to allege a premises liability based on a dangerous condition of public property.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a)(1) provides, in relevant part: “The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading or proceeding by adding or striking out the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party, or a mistake in any other respect; and may, upon like terms, enlarge the time for answer or demurrer.  The court may likewise, in its discretion, after notice to the adverse party, allow, upon any terms as may be just, an amendment to any pleading or proceeding in other particulars; and may upon like terms allow an answer to be made after the time limited by this code.”

“This discretion should be exercised liberally in favor of amendments, for judicial policy favors resolution of all disputed matters in the same lawsuit.”  (Kittredge Sports Co. v. Superior Court (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 1045, 1047.)  Ordinarily, the court will not consider the validity of the proposed amended pleading in ruling on a motion for leave since grounds for a demurrer or motion to strike are premature.  The court, however, does have discretion to deny leave to amend where a proposed amendment fails to state a valid cause of action as a matter of law and the defect cannot be cured by further amendment.  (See California Casualty General Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 274, 281 (overruled on other grounds by Kransco v. American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. (2000) 23 Cal.4th 390).)

Under California Rules of Court Rule, rule 3.1324, subdivision (a), a motion to amend a pleading shall (1) include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered to differentiate it from previous pleadings or amendments; (2) state what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted, if any, and where, by page, paragraph and line number, the deleted allegations are located; and (3) state what allegations are proposed to be added to the previous pleading, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number, the additional allegations are located. 

Under California Rule of Court, rule 3.1324, subdivision (b), a separate declaration must accompany the motion and must specify (1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff argues there is good cause for leave to file the FAC because Plaintiff discovered Plaintiff failed to allege a dangerous condition of public property until Defendant The Regents of the University of California filed a motion for summary judgment.  (Cutting Decl., ¶ 4.)  Defendant The Regents of the University of California argues the motion should be denied because granting the motion would prejudice Defendant The Regents of the University of California because it would prevent it from obtaining summary judgment.

The Court finds the motion is properly granted.  Plaintiff made a pleading mistake that Defendant The Regents of the University of California could have objected to on a demurrer.  Further, Defendant The Regents of the University of California’s motion for summary judgment is also based on a separate ground if Plaintiff pled liability based on a dangerous condition of public property.  As such, no prejudice would be presented in granting this motion.

The motion is GRANTED.

Plaintiff shall file and serve the proposed FAC attached as Exhibit 1 to Stacey R. Cutting’s declaration within 30 days of this ruling.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.