This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/05/2019 at 08:33:52 (UTC).

PATRICIA J QUIJANO ET AL VS RODDY KHATIB ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/27/2017 PATRICIA J QUIJANO filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against RODDY KHATIB. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8470

  • Filing Date:

    12/27/2017

  • 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

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

GARCIA STEPHANIE

QUIJANO FABIOLA

GARCIA DIANA MENDOZA

QUIJANO PATRICIA J.

QUIJANO PRISCILLA

Defendants and Respondents

NASR ELHAMI

RRASSK SERVICES INC.

KHATIB RODDY

DOES 1 - 250

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

MARTINIAN TIGRAN ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

PENISTEN WILLIAM J.

WHITE CHRISTOPHER A. ESQ.

CARRON PAUL ANDREW

 

Court Documents

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

4/24/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

4/24/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/1/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

SUMMONS

5/24/2018: SUMMONS

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY

5/24/2018: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY

Unknown

7/23/2018: Unknown

DEFENDANTS RODDY KHATIB AND RRASSK SERVICES INC. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL AND NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

7/23/2018: DEFENDANTS RODDY KHATIB AND RRASSK SERVICES INC. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL AND NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

DEFENDANTS RODDY KHATIB AND RRASSIS SERVICES, INC.'S ANSWER TO VIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFFS

7/23/2018: DEFENDANTS RODDY KHATIB AND RRASSIS SERVICES, INC.'S ANSWER TO VIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFFS

Answer

11/9/2018: Answer

Stipulation and Order

11/21/2018: Stipulation and Order

Notice

3/13/2019: Notice

Declaration

4/30/2019: Declaration

Motion for Summary Judgment

4/30/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Request for Judicial Notice

4/30/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Notice

5/17/2019: Notice

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

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

COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY 1. NEGLIGENCE ?WRONGFUL DEATH 2. PREMISES LIABILITY ? WRONGFUL DEATH; ETC

12/27/2017: COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY 1. NEGLIGENCE ?WRONGFUL DEATH 2. PREMISES LIABILITY ? WRONGFUL DEATH; ETC

SUMMONS

12/27/2017: SUMMONS

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/03/2019
  • Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Roddy Khatib (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/17/2019
  • Notice (of Change of Handling Attorney); Filed by Roddy Khatib (Defendant); RRassk Services Inc. (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/30/2019
  • Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by Elhami Nasr (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/30/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by Elhami Nasr (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/30/2019
  • Declaration (of Paul A. Carron in Support of Defendants' Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Elhami Nasr (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/13/2019
  • Notice (NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY); Filed by Roddy Khatib (Defendant); RRassk Services Inc. (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/21/2018
  • Stipulation and Order (to Continue Trial); Filed by Elhami Nasr (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/09/2018
  • Answer (to First Amended); Filed by Elhami Nasr (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/23/2018
  • DEFENDANTS RODDY KHATIB AND RRASSK SERVICES INC. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL AND NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/23/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

    Read MoreRead Less
8 More Docket Entries
  • 05/01/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Patricia J. Quijano (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/01/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/24/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/24/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/24/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Patricia J. Quijano (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/24/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Patricia J. Quijano (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/27/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Patricia J. Quijano (Plaintiff); Diana Mendoza Garcia (Plaintiff); Fabiola Quijano (Plaintiff) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/27/2017
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/27/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST DAMAGES & DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY 1. NEGLIGENCE WRONGFUL DEATH 2. PREMISES LIABILITY WRONGFUL DEATH; ETC

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/27/2017
  • SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC688470    Hearing Date: January 16, 2020    Dept: SEC

QUIJANO v. KHATIB

CASE NO.: BC688470

HEARING: 01/16/2020

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

#7

TENTATIVE ORDER

Defendant ELHAMI NASR’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED. CCP § 437c.

Moving Party to give notice.

In December 2015, Defendant NASR (“Nasr”) owned the Subject Property located at 9911 Park Street, Bellflower, CA (“Subject Property”). (Nasr’s SS No. 1.) Non-party Zeyad Elalami (“Z”) hired Defendant/Cross-Complainant RODDY KHATIB (“Khatib”) to remodel the Subject Property. (Nasr’s SS Nos. 2-8.) Khatib is the CEO of Defendant/Cross-Complainant Entity RRASSK SERVICES, INC. (“Rrassk”). Khatib hired CESAR ANGEL QUIJANO (“Decedent”) to “pull permits for the Property and do inspections.” (Nasr’s SS No. 9.) On or about December 28, 2015, Decedent was working for Khatib/Rrassk at Nasr’s Subject Property at the time he died. (Nasr SS No. 10.)

Plaintiffs’ operative pleading, the FAC, was filed on May 24, 2018, and asserts the following causes of action: (1) Breach of Statutory Obligation – Labor Code §3706; (2) Negligence – Wrongful Death; (3) Premises Liability – Wrongful Death; (4) Survival Action; and (5) Declaratory Relief. The fifth cause of action is not directed towards Moving defendant Nasr.

Nasr argues that he is entitled summary judgment for the following reasons: (1) Plaintiffs have no evidence of causation as to Nasr because Decedent died of natural causes; (2) Plaintiffs’ claims against Nasr are barred by Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689; and (3) Since Plaintiffs’ first through third causes of action are not meritorious, they cannot prevail on a claim for Survival Action. The Court notes that Nasr does not alternatively argue that he is entitled to summary adjudication.

In Opposition, Plaintiffs argue that Nasr contributed to the death of Decedent by providing an unsafe worksite. Plaintiffs further argue that Privette does not apply to this case because: (1) Nasr exercised control over the Subject Premises/jobsite where Decedent’s death occurred; and (2) a special relationship existed between Nasr and Decedent whereby Nasr exercised control over the Decedent.

The Privette Doctrine

A hirer of a contractor owes no duty of care to the contractor’s injured employee because the employee has an alternative remedy through the workers’ compensation system. (Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689, 696-702.) “[W]hen the person injured by negligently performed contracted work is one of the contractor’s own employees, the injury is already compensable under the workers’ compensation scheme and therefore the doctrine of peculiar risk should provide no tort remedy, for those same injuries, against the person who hired the independent contractor.” (Madden v. Summit View, Inc. (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 1267.) It is “unfair to subject the hirer to civil liability while the actor primarily responsible for the injury was subject only to the limited liability imposed by workers’ compensation law. (Browne v. Turner Construction Co. (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 1334, 1342.) Generally, an injured employee of an independent contractor cannot sue the landowner who hired the contractor. (Seabright Ins. Co. v. U.S. Airways, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 590, 594.) The remedy for injuries to the contractor’s employees is worker’s compensation. (Id. at 598.)

However, the employer may be liable for injuries suffered by an independent contractor’s employees because of unsafe conditions at the worksite which the employer controlled. (See McKown v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2002) 27 Cal.4th 219, 225-226 [claim that employer of independent contractor requested use of unsafe equipment held sufficient to show employer contributed to injuries suffered by contractor’s employees].); (but see Hooker v. Dept. of Transp. (2002) 27 Cal.4th 198, 214-215 [claim that employer of independent contractor permitted construction vehicles to pass by crane operator creating unsafe condition was not sufficient to show employer contributed to the contractor’s employees’ injuries.].) The principal employer is liable only insofar as its exercise of retained control affirmatively contributed to the independent contractor's employee's injuries: “Such an assertion of control occurs, for example, when the principal employer directs that the contracted work be done by use of a certain mode or otherwise interferes with the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished.” (Hooker v. Department of Transp., supra, 27 Cal.4th at 215.) [internal quotes omitted]; (Millard v. Biosources, Inc. (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 1338, 1348 [no evidence to show general contractor controlled “means and methods” of subcontractor's employee's work.].)

“When the employer directs that work be done by use of a particular mode or otherwise interferes with the means and methods of accomplishing the work, an affirmative contribution occurs. When the hirer does not fully delegate the task of providing a safe working environment but in some manner actively participates in how the job is done, the hirer may be held liable to the employee if its participation affirmatively contributed to the employee's injury. [¶] By contrast, passively permitting an unsafe condition to occur rather than directing it to occur does not constitute affirmative contribution. The failure to institute specific safety measures is not actionable unless there is some evidence that the hirer or the contractor had agreed to implement these measures. Thus, the failure to exercise retained control does not constitute an affirmative contribution to an injury. Such affirmative contribution must be based on a negligent exercise of control. In order for a worker to recover on a retained control theory, the hirer must engage in some active participation.” (Tverberg v. Fillner Constr., Inc. (2012) 202 Cal.App.4th 1439, 1446.) [internal citations omitted.]

Thus, in order to successfully argue Privette, Nasr must show that he did not retain control over the Decedent, and did not affirmatively contributed to Decedent’s death. (See Hooker at 198.)

Control

In support of his Motion, Nasr proffers the deposition testimony of Roddy Khatib to show that Khatib, not Nasr made all final decisions regarding the testing of the gas line on the day the Decedent died. (Nasr SS Nos. 14-18; Nasr Exhibit B.)

In Opposition, Plaintiffs proffer different portions of Khatib’s testimony which indicate that Z/Nasr’s representative would also communicate with Decedent directly about the jobsite, when to meet the inspector, and various jobs to be done on the Subject Property. (Plaintiffs’ Response to SS Nos. 12, 13, 15; Abrahamian Decl., Ex. 1.) Plaintiffs also proffer text messages between Z (Nasr’s representative) and Decedent which further evidences that Z and the Decedent communicated directly with each other to coordinate the scope of Decedent’s work. (Abrahamian Decl., Ex. 3.)

Here, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have raised triable issues of material fact relating to whether Nasr retained control over Decedent.

Affirmative Contribution

However, Plaintiffs have submitted no evidence to suggest that Nasr affirmatively contributed to Decedent’s death. There is no evidence submitted to show that Nasr/Z actively participated in how Decedent performed his work relating to the inspection of gas pipes on the Subject Property. Rather, the evidence offered by Plaintiffs suggest that Nasr/Z spoke to Decedent about the coordination of the inspection of the gas pipes with the gas inspector, and to coordinate the completion of other non- gas pipe-related tasks on the Subject Property. (Abrahamian Decl., Ex. 1.) Here, Plaintiffs fail to raise a triable issue as to whether Nasr’s exercise of retained control affirmatively contributed to the Decedent’s injuries.

Causation

The first, second, and third causes of action sound in negligence. The elements of any negligence cause of action are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. (Berkley v. Dowds (2007) 152 Cal.App.4th 518, 526.)

As indicated above, Nasr also argues that he is entitled to summary judgment because Plaintiffs will be unable to provide any evidence of causation because the Decedent died of natural causes. (See Motion 8:6-12.) Rather, Nasr contends that Decedent had a history of heart disease and did not die of gas exposure or of any condition on the Subject Premises. (See Nasr SS Nos. 23-28.) In support of his Motion Nasr proffers the Declaration of Michael C. Fishbein, M.D., which states that, “[Decedent] died of natural causes, specifically hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and not from anything related to gas exposure or causation by any condition of the premises where he was found. This opinion is supported by [Decedent’s] history of severe underlying heart disease, including multiple coronary artery stents and congestive heart failure.” (Nasr Exhibit, Ex. D.; Fishbein Decl., ¶4.) In reaching this conclusion, Dr. Fishbein relied upon the Coroner’s Report, which states, “[Decedent], died of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.” (Nasr Exhibit D., Fishbein Decl., Exhibit 2.)

In Opposition, Plaintiffs proffer a Police Report indicating that Decedent died of “unknown circumstances”, an OSHA Report indicating that Decedent was found lying in a man-made ditch, and the Deposition testimony of Decedent’s wife indicating that Decedent told her that he smelled a strong smell of gas and was feeling sleepy before he died. (Abrahamian Decl., Exs. 2, 4, and 10.) Plaintiffs have provided no medical expert testimony to rebut Dr. Fishbein’s medical opinion concerning the cause of Decedent’s death.

“The law is well settled that in a personal injury action causation must be proven within a reasonable medical probability based upon competent expert testimony. Mere possibility alone is insufficient to establish a prima facie case. [Citations.]” (Jones v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. (1985) 163 Cal.App.3d 396, 402-403.)

Where Plaintiffs have failed to proffer any medical testimony to rebut Nasr’s evidence concerning the cause of Decedent’s death, the Court cannot find that genuine issues of material fact exist as to causation.

Fourth Cause of Action – Survival Action

“A cause of action that survives the death of the person entitled to commence an action or proceeding passes to the decedent’s successor in interest….” (CCP §377.30.) Given the Court’s findings above, the Decedent has no basis for any claim against the Moving Defendant Nasr. Therefore, Plaintiffs maintain no standing to maintain a survival claim against Nasr.

For the reasons stated above, Nasr’s Motion for Summary judgment is GRANTED.

Defendant Nasr’s Evidentiary Objections:

Nos. 1-10: OVERRULED.