This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/05/2019 at 01:54:36 (UTC).

NOMA COTA VS RITE AID CORPORATION, ET AL.,

Case Summary

On 06/01/2017 NOMA COTA filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against RITE AID CORPORATION, . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is CRAIG D. KARLAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7611

  • Filing Date:

    06/01/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

CRAIG D. KARLAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

COTA NORMA

COTA NOMA

Defendants

ATKINS SEAN

THRIFTY PAYLESS INC

RITE AID CORPORATION

RITE AID STORES INC.

THRIFTY PAYLESS INCORPORATON

THRIFY PAYLESS INC.

ADKINS SEAN

AID THRIFY RITE

AID THRIFTY RITE

THRIFTY RITE AID CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

DONAHUE TIMOTHY J.

DONAHUE TIMOTHY JOSEPH

Defendant Attorneys

BRIGGS GLENN L.

HODEL BRIGGS WINTER

BRIGGS GLENN LANSING

MOHAMMADI SARAH RADIN

WINTER HODEL BRIGGS

 

Court Documents

Declaration

10/9/2018: Declaration

Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

11/8/2018: Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

Reply

1/10/2019: Reply

Reply

1/10/2019: Reply

Opposition

1/17/2019: Opposition

Minute Order

1/17/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

1/25/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

1/29/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

1/31/2019: Minute Order

Unknown

1/31/2019: Unknown

Unknown

2/5/2019: Unknown

Notice

2/21/2019: Notice

Unknown

3/5/2019: Unknown

Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter

4/25/2019: Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter

Minute Order

4/25/2019: Minute Order

Motion to Compel

4/30/2019: Motion to Compel

Demurrer - with Motion to Strike

5/17/2019: Demurrer - with Motion to Strike

Reply

5/29/2019: Reply

27 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/29/2019
  • Declaration (Declaration of Sarah Mohammadi in Support of Reply to Defendants Motion to Strike); Filed by RITE AID CORPORATION (Defendant); THRIFTY PAYLESS INC (Defendant)

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  • 05/29/2019
  • Reply (Defendants Reply in Support of Motion to Strike); Filed by RITE AID CORPORATION (Defendant); THRIFTY PAYLESS INC (Defendant)

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  • 05/22/2019
  • Opposition (Opposition to Motion to Strike Points and Authorities in Support Thereof); Filed by NOMA COTA (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/22/2019
  • Objection ( to Attorney Declaration); Filed by NOMA COTA (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/17/2019
  • Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Filed by RITE AID STORES INC. (Defendant); THRIFTY PAYLESS INC (Defendant)

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  • 05/15/2019
  • Objection (to Notice of Order on Ex Parte); Filed by NORMA COTA (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/15/2019
  • Declaration (Declaration of Sarah Mohammadi in Support of Defendants Demurrer and Motion to Strike); Filed by RITE AID CORPORATION (Defendant); THRIFTY PAYLESS INC (Defendant)

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  • 05/09/2019
  • Notice (Defendants Rite Aid Corporation and Thrifty Payless Inc.'s Notice of Order on April 25, 2019 Ex Parte Application); Filed by RITE AID CORPORATION (Defendant); THRIFTY PAYLESS INC (Defendant)

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Motion to Compel (Deposition); Filed by NORMA COTA (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/25/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department N, Craig D. Karlan, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application ( for Order) - Held

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154 More Docket Entries
  • 08/04/2017
  • Notice of Hearing on Demurrer (DEFTS RITE AID CORPORATION AND THRIFTY PAYLESS, INC.'S JOINT NTC OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO PLTFF NORMA COTA'S COMPLAINT; MEMO P&A'S 9/20/17 AT 8:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT WE-N.); Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 07/05/2017
  • Declaration (DECLARATION OF ANGELA J. YU IN SUPPORT OF AUTOMATIC EXTENSION OF TIME ); Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 07/05/2017
  • Declaration; Filed by RITE AID CORPORATION (Defendant); THRIFTY PAYLESS INC (Defendant)

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  • 06/07/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 06/07/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by NORMA COTA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/07/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by NORMA COTA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/01/2017
  • Complaint Filed

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  • 06/01/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by NORMA COTA (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/01/2017
  • Summons; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 06/01/2017
  • Summons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: SC127611    Hearing Date: July 02, 2020    Dept: N

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant Sean Atkins’ Demurrer to Plaintiff Norma Cota’s Second Amended Joint Consolidated Complaint is SUSTAINED, without leave to amend, as to the first and fourth causes of action.

Defendant Christopher Wade’s Demurrer to Plaintiff Norma Cota’s Second Amended Joint Consolidated Complaint is SUSTAINED, without leave to amend, as to the first cause of action.

Moving parties to give notice. 

REASONING

“[A] demurrer tests the legal sufficiency of the allegations in a complaint.” (Lewis v. Safeway, Inc. (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 385, 388.) A demurrer can be used only to challenge defects that appear on the face of the pleading under attack or from matters outside the pleading that are judicially noticeable. (See Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994 [in ruling on a demurrer, a court may not consider declarations, matters not subject to judicial notice, or documents not accepted for the truth of their contents].) For purposes of ruling on a demurrer, all facts pleaded in a complaint are assumed to be true, but the reviewing court does not assume the truth of conclusions of law. (Aubry v. Tri-City Hosp. Dist. (1992) 2 Cal.4th 962, 967.)

Leave to amend must be allowed where there is a reasonable possibility of successful amendment. (See Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 349 [court shall not “sustain a demurrer without leave to amend if there is any reasonable possibility that the defect can be cured by amendment”]; Kong v. City of Hawaiian Gardens Redevelopment Agency(2002) 108 Cal.App.4th 1028, 1037 [“A demurrer should not be sustained without leave to amend if the complaint, liberally construed, can state a cause of action under any theory or if there is a reasonable possibility the defect can be cured by amendment.”]; Vaccaro v. Kaiman (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 761, 768 [“When the defect which justifies striking a complaint is capable of cure, the court should allow leave to amend.”].) The burden is on the complainant to show the Court that a pleading can be amended successfully. (Blank v. Kirwan (1985) 39 Cal.3d 311, 318.)

First Cause of Action: Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy

“The elements of a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy are (1) an employer-employee relationship, (2) the employer terminated the plaintiff’s employment, (3) the termination was substantially motivated by a violation of public policy, and (4) the discharge caused the plaintiff harm.” (Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1224, 1234, citation omitted.)

Notably, “[a]n action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy can only be asserted against an employer. An individual who is not an employer cannot commit the tort of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy; rather, he or she can only be the agent by which an employer commits that tort.” (Kim v. Konad USA Distribution, Inc. (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 1336, 1351, quotation marks and italics omitted.) Defendant Sean Atkins, who demurs to this cause of action, is alleged to be Plaintiff Norma Cota’s supervisor. (Second Am. Joint Consolidated Compl. ¶ 6.) There are no facts indicating Atkins was Plaintiff’s employer and her conclusory statement in this regard does not defeat a demurrer where the facts indicate she was employed by a corporate Defendant and Atkins was merely her supervisor. (See Second Am. Joint Consolidated Compl. ¶¶ 5-6.) Atkins cannot be held liable for wrongful termination because he was merely the agent by which Plaintiff’s employer committed the alleged tort.

Accordingly, Defendant Sean Atkins’ demurrer to the first cause of action is SUSTAINED, without leave to amend.

Fourth Cause of Action: Battery

“The essential elements of a cause of action for battery are: (1) defendant touched plaintiff, or caused plaintiff to be touched, with the intent to harm or offend plaintiff; (2) plaintiff did not consent to the touching; (3) plaintiff was harmed or offended by defendant’s conduct; and (4) a reasonable person in plaintiff’s position would have been offended by the touching.” (So v. Shin (2013) 212 Cal.App.4th 652, 668-669.)

First, Plaintiff alleges no specific facts against either Defendant Sean Atkins or Defendant Christopher Wade in this cause of action, as she simply alleges “defendants . . . struck, hit and battered” her. (Second Am. Joint Consolidated Compl. ¶ 21.) Further, the Court previously found Plaintiff’s allegations to be insufficient, as she alleged that unidentified individuals struck her, but she did not allege specific facts as to who battered her, when the battery occurred or where it occurred. (See Minute Order dated Jan. 31, 2019, at p. 3.) Plaintiff alleges no additional facts here and the Court continues to lack specific allegations as to what occurred. 

Plaintiff has been allowed several opportunities to amend this cause of action and the Court has identified the specific deficiencies and how Plaintiff could cure those deficiencies each time previously, but Plaintiff has failed to do so.Accordingly, Defendant Sean Atkins’ demurrer to the fourth cause of action is SUSTAINED, without leave to amend. Defendant Christopher Wade’s demurrer to the fourth cause of action is similarly SUSTAINED, without leave to amend.