This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/28/2019 at 11:27:38 (UTC).

MELANIE L BAYLON VS LOS ANGELES METRO TRANS AUTHORITY ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/28/2017 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by MELANIE L BAYLON against LOS ANGELES METRO TRANS AUTHORITY in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Norwalk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8215

  • Filing Date:

    12/28/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Norwalk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

AMY D. HOGUE

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

BAYLON MELANIE L.

Defendants and Respondents

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION

EDWARDS KIMBERLY N.

DOES 1 TO 50

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND MEET AND CONFER DECLARATION OF NAZILA Y. LEVY PURSUANT TO CCP 430.41(A)(3) IN SUPPORT THEREOF

3/19/2018: NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND MEET AND CONFER DECLARATION OF NAZILA Y. LEVY PURSUANT TO CCP 430.41(A)(3) IN SUPPORT THEREOF

DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE DECLARATION OF MICHAEL HEATH IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER IFILED CONCURRENTLY HEKEWITHI

3/19/2018: DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE DECLARATION OF MICHAEL HEATH IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER IFILED CONCURRENTLY HEKEWITHI

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

4/9/2018: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

PLAINTIFF'S SUR-REPLY TO DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

4/17/2018: PLAINTIFF'S SUR-REPLY TO DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

ORDER RE: DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; DEMURRER OVERRULED

4/23/2018: ORDER RE: DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; DEMURRER OVERRULED

REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL

5/14/2018: REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL

Request for Judicial Notice

10/9/2018: Request for Judicial Notice

Request for Judicial Notice

10/9/2018: Request for Judicial Notice

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

10/9/2018: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

11/13/2018: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

11/13/2018: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Minute Order

12/4/2018: Minute Order

Order

12/4/2018: Order

Certificate of Mailing for

12/31/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Notice

1/25/2019: Notice

Minute Order

5/3/2019: Minute Order

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

1/22/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENCE PERSE

12/28/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENCE PERSE

50 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/13/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 7, Amy D. Hogue, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 05/29/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 7, Amy D. Hogue, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 05/28/2019
  • Declaration ( of Uchenna "Hope" Ikobi in Support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation (Defendant); Kimberly N. Edwards (Defendant)

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  • 05/28/2019
  • Declaration ( of Michael Heath in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation (Defendant); Kimberly N. Edwards (Defendant)

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  • 05/28/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation (Defendant); Kimberly N. Edwards (Defendant)

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  • 05/28/2019
  • Declaration ( of Nazila Y. Levy in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation (Defendant); Kimberly N. Edwards (Defendant)

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  • 05/28/2019
  • Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation (Defendant); Kimberly N. Edwards (Defendant)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation (Defendant)

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  • 05/03/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department C; Ruling on Submitted Matter

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Ruling on Submitted Matter: HEARING DATE OF 4/9/19;)); Filed by Clerk

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87 More Docket Entries
  • 01/22/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Melanie L. Baylon (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/22/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Melanie L. Baylon (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/22/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

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  • 01/22/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

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  • 01/22/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

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  • 01/19/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Melanie L. Baylon (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/19/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS & COMPLAINT

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  • 12/28/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Melanie L. Baylon (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/28/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 12/28/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENCE PERSE

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC688215    Hearing Date: November 07, 2019    Dept: SEC

BAYLON v. LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

CASE NO.:  BC688215

HEARING 11/07/19

JUDGE: RAUL A. SAHAGUN

#5

TENTATIVE ORDER

Defendants’ LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY and KIMBERLY N. EDWARDS’s Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

Opposing Party to give Notice.

Defendants LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (“Metro”) and KIMBERLY N. EDWARDS (“Edwards”) (collectively “Defendants”) move for summary judgment pursuant to CCP 437c.

Plaintiff’s evidentiary objections are OVERRULED.

A defendant moving for summary judgment/adjudication has met its burden of showing a cause of action has no merit if the defendant can show one or more elements of the plaintiff’s cause of action cannot be established. (CCP 437c(p)(2).)

On 12/28/17, Plaintiff filed her complaint, alleging causes of action for Negligence and Negligence Per Se. The Complaint alleges that on 3/14/17, Plaintiff was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Kimberly Edwards, who is alleged to be an agent or employee of Metro.

Defendants contend that Plaintiff’s complaint is barred by the statute of limitations because Plaintiff failed to file her Complaint within 6 months of the Notice of Rejection in this matter.

No suit for money or damages may be brought against a public entity on a cause of action for which a claim is required to be presented until a written claim therefor has been presented to the public entity and has been acted upon. (Gov. Code 945.4.)

(a) Except as provided in Sections 946.4 and 946.6 and subject to subdivision (b), any suit brought against a public entity on a cause of action for which a claim is required to be presented… must be commenced: (1) If written notice is given in accordance with Section 913, not later than six months after the date such notice is personally delivered or deposited in the mail. (2) If written notice is not given in accordance with Section 913, within two years from the accrual of the cause of action.” (Gov. Code 945.6.)

“Under the Tort Claims Act, Cal. Gov't Code § 900 et seq., the legislature has prescribed the time and manner of filing claims against the state, and the conditions under which it may be sued. A valid condition of the act is that recovery will be denied where legal action is not brought against the state within the period prescribed by the statute. The prescribed statutes of limitations for commencement of actions against the state are mandatory and must be strictly complied with, and where an action against the state must be commenced within six months the requirement is mandatory.” (Chase v. State of California (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 808, 811-812.)

Defendants submit the following evidence:

· This case arises out of an accident which occurred on 3/14/17. (Defense Separate Statement (“DSS”) 1).

· On 4/10/17, Plaintiff filed a claim with Metro. (DSS 2.)

· On 4/13/17, Metro received an email which referenced a letter of representation from Wilshire Law Firm, stating that the firm represents Plaintiff in her claims for bodily injury and property damage. (DSS 4-5.)

· On 4/14/17, Metro issued a Notice of Rejection to Plaintiff’s counsel’s address. (DSS 6-8.)

· On 6/23/17, Metro received a second Claim for Damages from the 3/14/17 incident. (DSS 9.)

· On 12/28/17, over 8 months after the Notice of Rejection was served, Plaintiff filed her complaint. (DSS 10.)

The court finds Defendants have met their burden of production. Plaintiff was served with a written Notice of Rejection on 4/14/17, and Plaintiff did not file her action within the 6-month time frame pursuant to Gov. Code 945.6. Therefore, her claim is barred by the statute of limitations.

The burden now shifts to Plaintiff to produce evidence that would create a triable issue of material fact.

In opposition, Plaintiff contends Metro failed to comply with Gov. Code 913 and 915.4(a)(2) because it mailed the rejection notice to Plaintiff’s counsel’s address, and not to Plaintiff’s address as listed on the claim form.

Gov. Code 913 states that the written notice “shall be given in the manner prescribed by Section 915.4.” Gov. Code 915.4 provides that the notice shall be mailed to “the address, if any, stated in the claim or application as the address to which the person presenting the claim or making the application desires notices to be sent or, if no such address is stated in the claim or application, by mailing the notice to the address, if any, of the claimant as stated in the claim or application.”

Plaintiff submits the following evidence:

· Plaintiff listed her home address as 11236 Roxabel, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 under the section entitled, “Claimant Information.” (Plaintiff’s Separate Statement (PSS) 12.)

· Plaintiff again wrote her home address under the section entitled, “If you have an attorney please complete this section.” (PSS 13.)

· Metro sent a rejection notice to Plaintiff’s counsel. (DSS 7.)

Here, the claim for damages does not specify the address at which Plaintiff desired to receive notices. Gov. Code 915.4 provides that absent a designation in the claim as to where notice is to be sent, notice is to be sent to the claimant’s address as stated in the claim for damages. To comply with Gov. Codes 915.4 and 913, Metro would have had to send the rejection notice to Plaintiff’s home address. Because the rejection notice was sent to Plaintiff’s attorney’s address, notice was not given in accordance with Gov. Code 913. Therefore, the limitations period is “two years from the accrual of the cause of action.” (Gov. Code 945.6.)

The cause of action accrued on 3/14/17, and Plaintiff filed the action on 12/28/17, which is within two years of the limitations period.

In Reply, Defendants admit that there are no state law cases on point. Instead, Defendants rely on a non-binding Federal District Court case, Rasheed v. City of San Ramon, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25661, which held that mailing the notice to a claimant’s attorney constitutes proper notice under Gov. Code 913.

This court does not find Rasheed persuasive because Rasheed relied on Cameron v. City of Gilroy (1951) 104 Cal.App.2d 76, 80, for the proposition that sending the notice to a claimant’s attorney would be proper because the attorney prepared the claim on behalf of the claimant. However, unlike Cameron v. City of Gilroy, where the claim listed the “office address of her attorney,” Plaintiff’s claim did not list her attorney’s office on the clam form. Therefore, Rasheed’s reliance on Cameron v. City of Gilroy is misplaced.

Gov. Code 915.4 plainly provides that “if no such [desired] address is stated in the claim or application,” then notice shall be mailed “to the address… of the claimant as stated in the claim or application.” Defendants did not send the notice to the claimant’s address. Therefore, written notice was not made in accordance with Section 913 (and Gov. Code 915.40). If written notice is not given in accordance with Gov. Code 913, then the limitations period is two years. (Gov. Code 945.6(b)(2).)

Equitable Estoppel:

On August 13, 2019, this Court CONTINUED Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and ORDERED the parties to file Supplemental Briefs addressing the sole issue of Estoppel.

In their Supplemental Moving Papers, Defendants argue that Plaintiff should be estopped from arguing that the Notice of Rejection should have gone to anyone other than her counsel. To support this argument, Defendants proffer the letter of representation letter dated April 13, 2017, which states, “Please refrain from contacting our client, and refer all documents and correspondence[s] to the attention of the undersigned.” (Ikobi Decl., ¶5, Ex. E.) Defendants also proffer the preservation of evidence letter dated April 13, 2017, which states, “Please be advised that this office represents Melanie L. Baylon for the injuries she suffered at the hands of MTA. Please have all of your representatives direct all correspondence[s] regarding this incident to this office directly. Neither you nor anyone on your behalf has permission to speak to our client regarding this case….” (Id.)

In her Supplemental Opposition, Plaintiff argues that Defendants cannot establish a claim of equitable estoppel because they did not detrimentally rely on Plaintiff’s conduct, which include: (1) Plaintiff’s letters of representation and for preservation of evidence directing Defendants to send “all documents and correspondence” to Plaintiff’s counsel’s office; (2) the e-mail from Plaintiff’s counsel’s office to Mr. Ikobi; or (3) any telephone calls with Plaintiff’s counsel’s law firm in determining how to handle the rejection of Plaintiff’s claim. In support of her argument, Plaintiff proffers portions of the deposition testimony of Claims Examiner, Uchenna “Hope” Ikobi and argues that Mr. Ikobi expressly indicates that he did not rely on Plaintiff’s representation letter or preservation letter in deciding whether to send all communication and correspondence to Plaintiff’s counsel rather than to Plaintiff’s home address. Plaintiff argues that Mr. Ikobi’s testimony reveals that when Mr. Ikobi received Plaintiff’s claim in an envelope that had a Plaintiff’s counsel’s address as the return address, that Mr. Ikobi determined Plaintiff’s claim to be a represented claim. Once Mr. Ikobi determined that Plaintiff’s claim was a represented claim, Mr. Ikobi decided to direct all communication and correspondence, which included Plaintiff’s Notice of Rejection, to Plaintiff’s counsel’s office—regardless of what address was identified by Plaintiff on her claim form. (See Supp. Miller Decl., Ex. 1.)

“Four elements must ordinarily be proved to establish an equitable estoppel: (1) The party to be estopped must know the facts; (2) he must intend that his conduct shall be acted upon, or must so act that the party asserting the estoppel had the right to believe that it was so indented; (3) the party asserting the estoppel must be ignorant of the true state of the facts; and (4) he must rely upon the conduct to his injury.’ [Citations.]” (Hopkins v. Kerzierski (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 736, 756.)

Based on the evidence presented, Defendants have not established that they justifiably and detrimentally relied on Plaintiff’s “conduct” (i.e. letter of representation and preservation of evidence letter).

Accordingly, summary judgment is DENIED.

Case Number: BC688215    Hearing Date: October 24, 2019    Dept: SEC

BAYLON v. LOS ANGELES METRO TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

CASE NO.:  BC688215

HEARING: 10/24/19

JUDGE: RAUL A. SAHAGUN

#6

TENTATIVE ORDER

Defendant LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY’s Motion to Compel Further Responses of Plaintiff MELANIE BAYLON to Special Interrogatories (set one) is GRANTED.

Moving Party to give notice.

Plaintiff MELANIE BAYLON is ORDERED to Defendant LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY and its counsel of record sanctions in the amount of $720.00 ($180/hr. x 4 hrs.) no later than 30 days from the Court’s issuance of this Order. This date may be extended pursuant to agreement of the parties

“If the propounding party, on receipt of a response to interrogatories, deems that (1) an answer to a particular interrogatory is…incomplete…or (3) an objection to an interrogatory is without merit or too general, that party may move for an order compelling further response.” (CCP §2030.300(a).)

Defendant moves to compel Plaintiff’s further responses to SI Nos. 16, 17, 33, 35, 36, 46, 48, and 49. The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s Supplemental Responses, which were served on June 24, 2019.

The Court finds the interrogatories seek relevant information, or at a minimum are reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant, admissible evidence. The relevant and reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence standards are applied liberally. Any doubt is generally resolved in favor of permitting discovery. (See Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co. v. Sup. Ct. (1982) 31 Cal.3d 785, 790.) Plaintiff’s Supplemental Responses (after Court Order) to respond are evasive and incomplete.

Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to serve further verified responses to SI Nos. 16, 17, 33, 35, 36, 46, 48, and 49, without objections, within 30 days of the date of this hearing.

“The court shall impose a monetary sanction… against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a further response to interrogatories, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (CCP §2030.300(d).) Defendant’s request for monetary sanctions is granted as indicated above.