Search

Attributes

This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/12/2021 at 03:05:55 (UTC).

OLIVIA TORRES VS STATE OF CALIFORNIA ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/05/2018 OLIVIA TORRES filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against STATE OF CALIFORNIA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Chatsworth Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are LAURA A. SEIGLE, MELVIN D. SANDVIG and STEPHEN P. PFAHLER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0996

  • Filing Date:

    04/05/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Chatsworth Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

LAURA A. SEIGLE

MELVIN D. SANDVIG

STEPHEN P. PFAHLER

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

TORRES OLIVIA

Defendants and Respondents

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

GOLDBERT JUSTIN FRANK

SALINAS ERIC ANDREWS JR.

CALIFORNIA DEPARMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

CALIFORNIA STATE OF

LOS ANGELES COUNTY OF

DOES 1-50

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

SALINAS JR. ERIC ANDREWS

STATE OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

GOLDBERG JUSTIN FRANK

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

HAFFNER JOSHUA H. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

JOHN A WRIGHT DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY

SHCERER JEANNE E. CHIEF COUNSEL

WEISEL ERIC DAVID

HNATIUK NICHOLAS ALEXANDER

FEUER MICHAEL NELSON

 

Court Documents

CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES) -

6/22/2018: CROSS COMPLAINT - PERS. INJURY PROPERTY DAMAGE, WRONG DEATH (2 PAGES) -

Request for Dismissal

4/6/2021: Request for Dismissal

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT ...)

12/7/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT ...)

Objection - OBJECTION PLAINTIFFS OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANEGELES RESPONSE SEPARATE STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS

9/28/2020: Objection - OBJECTION PLAINTIFFS OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANEGELES RESPONSE SEPARATE STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS

Affidavit - COMPENDIUM OF EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT STATE OF CALIFORNIAS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

9/30/2020: Affidavit - COMPENDIUM OF EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT STATE OF CALIFORNIAS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

9/16/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER JOINT STIPULATION TO CONTINUE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' MSJ

7/14/2020: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER JOINT STIPULATION TO CONTINUE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' MSJ

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER CONTINUING HEARING) OF 04/29/2020

4/29/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER CONTINUING HEARING) OF 04/29/2020

Reply - PLAINTIFF'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION SET, TWO, FROM DEFENDANT CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

2/5/2020: Reply - PLAINTIFF'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION SET, TWO, FROM DEFENDANT CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

11/14/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL THE DEPOSITION OF PLAINTIFF OLIVIA TORRES BY DEFENDANT STATE OF CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CALTRANS)

9/5/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL THE DEPOSITION OF PLAINTIFF OLIVIA TORRES BY DEFENDANT STATE OF CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CALTRANS)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

8/21/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: SUMMONS ISSUED

5/2/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: SUMMONS ISSUED

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF COURT ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO INDEPENDENT COURT

6/3/2019: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF COURT ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO INDEPENDENT COURT

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE RE: BANKRUPTCY STATUS)

5/15/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE RE: BANKRUPTCY STATUS)

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

3/6/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

ANSWER OF THE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

6/7/2018: ANSWER OF THE DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Summons on Cross Complaint -

6/26/2018: Summons on Cross Complaint -

102 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/04/2021
  • Hearing08/04/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department F47 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/09/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F47, Melvin D. Sandvig, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/06/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 4B; (OSC RE Dismissal) - Not Held - Vacated by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/06/2021
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Olivia Torres (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/06/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/06/2021
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Olivia Torres (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/01/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F47, Melvin D. Sandvig, Presiding; Hearing on Petition to Confirm Minor's Compromise with Special Needs Trust - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/15/2021
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by Olivia Torres (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F47, Melvin D. Sandvig, Presiding; Hearing on Petition to Confirm Minor's Compromise with Special Needs Trust - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/21/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department F47, Melvin D. Sandvig, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
154 More Docket Entries
  • 05/02/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/27/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL EX PARTE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/27/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/16/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/16/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF REJECTION APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/16/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Olivia Torres (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Olivia Torres (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/17/2016
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Olivia Torres (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC700996    Hearing Date: January 21, 2021    Dept: F47

Dept. F-47

Date: 1/21/21 TRIAL DATE: 4/19/21

Case #BC700996

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Motion filed on 9/30/20.

MOVING PARTY: Defendant the People of the State of California, acting by and through the Department of Transportation (State)

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff Olivia Torres by and through her guardian ad litem, Arturo M. Torres

NOTICE: ok

RELIEF REQUESTED: An order granting summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication.

RULING: The hearing on Defendant the People of the State of California, acting by and through the Department of Transportation’s (State) motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative summary adjudication is placed off calendar.

On 10/22/20, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Settlement With Defendant California Department of Transportation indicating Plaintiff and the State had reached a settlement which disposed of Plaintiff’s claims against the State/Caltrans in their entirety. The notice further stated that the parties were in the process of finalizing settlement documents, including the State’s application for good faith settlement determination, and anticipated that the parties would file a stipulation for dismissal of claims with prejudice as to the State within 30 days of an order granting the State’s motion for good faith settlement.

On 12/7/20, this Court granted the State’s motion for determination of good faith settlement rendering the motion for summary judgment/summary adjudication moot.

Case Number: BC700996    Hearing Date: December 07, 2020    Dept: F47

Dept. F-47

Date: 12/7/20 TRIAL DATE: 4/19/21

Case #BC700996

MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

Motion filed on 11/6/20.

MOVING PARTY: Defendant The People of the State of California, acting by and through the Department of Transportation

RESPONDING PARTY: all other parties

NOTICE: ok

RELIEF REQUESTED: An order for a determination of the good faith of the settlement between Plaintiff, Olivia Torres, an individual, by and through her guardian ad litem, Arturo M. Torres, and Defendant, the People of the State of California, acting by and through the Department of Transportation.

RULING: The unopposed motion is granted.

This action arises out of a multi-vehicle accident that occurred on 4/24/17, at about 1:20 a.m. on northbound State Route 27 (SR-27)/Topanga Canyon Boulevard near Santa Susana Pass Road. At the time of the accident, Defendant Eric Andrew Salinas was traveling southbound on SR-27 when Salinas veered into the number one lane of northbound SR-27 and struck Plaintiff head-on in her vehicle. Plaintiff alleges that Topanga Canyon Boulevard was in a dangerous condition at the time of the accident and sued the State of California, the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles. Plaintiff also sued Salinas and Justin Goldberg, the owner of the vehicle Salinas was driving. Plaintiff’s complaint contains two causes of action: (1) negligence alleged against all defendants and (2) dangerous condition of public property alleged against the public entity defendants. The County of Los Angeles is no longer a party to the action. The City filed a cross-complaint against Salinas, Goldberg and Wawanesa Ins. Co.

On 10/2/20, at a Court-ordered Mandatory Settlement Conference, Defendant The People of the State of California, acting by and through the Department of Transportation (the State) and Plaintiff reached a tentative settlement whereby Plaintiff agreed to dismiss her action against the State, with prejudice, and to release all claims against the State in exchange for payment of $700,000.00, with each side responsible for their own attorneys’ fees and costs, and Plaintiff responsible for all of Plaintiff’s liens. The settlement is contingent upon a determination by the Court that the settlement is in good faith pursuant to CCP 877.6. (Hnatiuk Decl.).

In determining whether a settlement was entered in good faith, the Court considers several factors: (1) a rough approximation of Plaintiff’s total recovery and the settlor’s proportionate liability; (2) the amount paid in settlement; (3) a recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than if found liable after trial; (4) the allocation of the settlement proceeds amongst Plaintiffs, if applicable; (5) the settlor's financial condition and insurance policy limits; and (6) evidence of any collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct between the settlor and the Plaintiff aimed at making the non-settling parties pay more than their fair share. See Tech-Bilt, Inc. (1985) 38 C3d 488, 499.

The State does not dispute that Plaintiff suffered significant injuries and incurred substantial medical bills as a result of the accident. However, as set forth in the State’s pending motion for summary judgment, the State has evidence to support a design immunity defense which would completely bar its liability. Similarly, the State has evidence that shows that the location of the accident was not in a dangerous condition on the date of the accident. To date, the evidence indicates that the accident was caused by Salinas’ negligent driving.

The $700,000.00 settlement is “within the ballpark” of Plaintiff’s potential damages as it is approximately double Plaintiff’s Howell medical damages. (Hnatiuk Decl. ¶11). While the State is confident that it could ultimately prevail in this action, the cost of maintaining the action is high.

There is no issue regarding allocating the settlement proceeds as there is only one plaintiff in this case.

The settlement amount is based on the likelihood of success at trial or appeal balanced against the cost/time commitment of continued litigation, not insurance policy limits. The State is self-insured and its finances are public record. See Gov’t Code 11007.4.

The settlement was entered after arm’s length negotiations that occurred at a Court-ordered Mandatory Settlement Conference. There is no evidence of any collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed at injuring any non-settling defendant. (Hnatiuk Decl. ¶10).

Any party asserting lack of good faith of the settlement has the burden of proof on that issue. CCP 877.6(d). Here, no party has opposed the motion.

Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that the settlement entered between the State and Plaintiff to be in good faith pursuant to CCP 877.6. As such, any claims against the State for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault are barred. See CCP 877.6(c).

Case Number: BC700996    Hearing Date: September 30, 2020    Dept: F47

Dept. F-47

Date: 9/30/20 TRIAL DATE: 4/19/21

Case #BC700996

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Motion filed on 5/11/20.

MOVING PARTY: Defendant City of Los Angeles

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff Olivia Torres

NOTICE: ok

RELIEF REQUESTED: An order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant City of Los Angeles and against Plaintiff Olivia Torres.

RULING: The motion is denied.

The parties are reminded to review the 5/3/19 First Amended General Order Re Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil. When e-filing documents, parties must comply with the “TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS” which are set forth at page 4, line 4 through page 5, line 12 of the Court’s 5/3/19 First Amended General Order Re Mandatory Electronic Filing for Civil. Failure to comply with these requirements in the future may result in matters being placed off calendar, matters being continued so documents can be resubmitted in compliance with these requirements, documents not being considered and/or the imposition of sanctions.

This action arises out of a multi-vehicle accident that occurred on 4/24/17, at about 1:20 a.m. on northbound State Route 27 (SR-27)/Topanga Canyon Boulevard near Santa Susana Pass Road. (Separate Statement (SS) 1). At the time of the accident, Defendant Salinas was traveling southbound on SR-27 when Salinas veered into the number one lane of northbound SR-27 and struck Plaintiff head-on in her vehicle. (SS 1, 2, 7). Plaintiff alleges that Topanga Canyon Boulevard was in a dangerous condition at the time of the accident and sued the State of California, the City of Los Angeles (City/Moving Party on this motion) and the County of Los Angeles. Plaintiff also sued Salinas and Goldberg, the owner of the vehicle Salinas was driving. Plaintiff’s complaint contains two causes of action: (1) negligence alleged against all defendants and (2) dangerous condition of public property alleged against the public entity defendants. The County of Los Angeles is no longer a party to the action.

The City moves for summary judgment on the grounds that: (1) Topanga Canyon Boulevard is a state highway under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State of California; (2) Plaintiff’s allegation that the City is liable for her injuries because it failed to provide adequate lighting on Topanga Canyon Boulevard is legally untenable; and (3) Plaintiff’s negligence cause of action is prohibited because Government Code 835 sets forth the exclusive remedy for injuries caused by an alleged dangerous condition of public property. Although the separate statement filed in support of the motion sets forth three issues, the City has not requested summary adjudication in the alternative to summary judgment. See CCP 437c(f); CRC 3.1350(b). Additionally, the grounds for summary judgment set forth in the notice of motion are not the verbatim issues set forth in the separate statement. See CRC 3.1350(b). Therefore, only the request for summary judgment will be considered.

The City’s Request for Judicial Notice is granted.

Plaintiff’s evidentiary objections (numbers 1-13) are overruled.

The City’s objections contained in its response to Plaintiff’s Separate Statement of Additional Facts are not in proper format or supported by any authority. (See Response to PAF 16, 30, 34, 35, 36); CRC 3.1354(b). As such, they are overruled.

Although the motion is based, in part, on the ground that Topanga Canyon Boulevard is a state highway under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State of California, the reply concedes that “Topanga Canyon Boulevard, is a State Highway, which with the exception of street lighting within the jurisdictional limits of the city, is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State.” (emphasis added) (See Reply p.6:18-20). Additionally, the evidence establishes that the City has a maintenance agreement with Caltrans (the State of California) which relates to street lighting. (See Plaintiff’s Additional Facts (PAF) 19, 22-27).

While a municipality, such as the City, generally has no duty to light its streets, a duty to light, and liability for failure to do so, may arise from some peculiar condition rendering lighting necessary in order to make the streets safe for travel. See Antenor (1985) 174 CA3d 477, 483; Mixon (2012) 207 CA4th 124, 133. In this case, factors, in addition to lack of lighting, exist which establish a peculiar condition which creates a duty on the City to provide adequate lighting. Contrast Plattner (1999) 69 CA4th 1441, 1445; Huerta (2019) 39 CA5th 41, 46. Minimally, there is a question of fact as to whether the accident occurred on a portion of Topanga Canyon Boulevard that is curved (SS 5, 8; PAF 7, 8, 29). Additionally, there is evidence that the portion of Topanga Canyon Boulevard where the accident occurred has no median barriers, has no rumble strips between the northbound and southbound lanes, has heavy traffic volumes as it is used as an alternate route to the 405 freeway, and has a high speed limit and has no lighting. (PAF 28). There is also evidence of 70 accidents at or near the location of the subject accident from 2007 to 2017. (PAF 30).

Based on applicable lighting standards and the testimony of the Bureau of Streetlighting’s Person Most Knowledgeable, Evelinda Pena, a triable issue of material fact exists as to whether the City breached its duty to provide adequate lighting at the location of the accident. (See PAF 12, 32-36).

Contrary to the City’s assertion, Plaintiff’s government claim sufficiently put the City on notice of Plaintiff’s claim against it for dangerous condition of public property based on inadequate lighting. Plaintiff was merely required to provide information regarding the accident, including the date, place and other circumstances of the accident which gave rise to the claim. See Government Code 910(c). Plaintiff’s claim provides this basic information, plus additional information. (SS 3; PAF 38, 39). Plaintiff’s claim asserts, among other things, that respondents, including the City, negligently failed to maintain the subject roadway. (SS 3; PAF 38, 39). As noted above, the evidence shows that the City has a maintenance agreement with Caltrans (the State of California) which relates to street lighting. (See PAF19, 22-27). As such, the City was put on notice that litigation would proceed on a theory that the City negligently maintained the subject roadway, if the claim was denied. The fact that Plaintiff’s complaint adds further detail regarding inadequate lighting to the negligent maintenance claim is not a complete shift in the allegations. See Blair (1990) 218 CA3d 221, 225; Smith (1989) 214 CA3d 266, 276; Stevenson (1994) 24 CA4th 269, 278; Brownell (1992) 4 CA4th 787, 793.

The City’s claim that Plaintiff has failed to offer competent evidence that the portion of Topanga Canyon Boulevard where the accident occurred is within the jurisdictional limits of the City is improperly raised in the reply. The City, who has the initial burden on this motion, did not offer evidence that the accident occurred outside the jurisdictional limits of the City. (See Separate Statement, generally). Therefore, Plaintiff had no obligation to refute such a claim on this motion. See CCP 437c(p)(2); Aguilar (2001) 25 C4th 826, 850.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION is a litigant

Latest cases represented by Lawyer SHCERER JEANNE E. CHIEF COUNSEL

Latest cases represented by Lawyer JOHN A WRIGHT DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY