This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:42:35 (UTC).

PAULA ZOSS OH LA LA NAIL BEAUTY LOUNGE ET AL

Case Summary

On 01/16/2018 PAULA ZOSS OH LA LA NAIL BEAUTY LOUNGE was filed as a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are LAURA A. SEIGLE, AMY D. HOGUE, SAMANTHA JESSNER and JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8847

  • Filing Date:

    01/16/2018

  • 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

Presiding Judges

LAURA A. SEIGLE

AMY D. HOGUE

SAMANTHA JESSNER

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

ZOSS PAULA

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Defendants

OH LA LA NAIL & BEAUTY LOUNGE

ISKANDER RAAFAT

ISKANDER KOHARIK

DOES 1 TO 50

ROES 1 TO 50 INCLUSIVE

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

ISKANDER RAAFAT

ISKANDER KOHARIK

Not Yet Classified

UNITED STATES LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

DEMPSEY THOMAS M. ESQ.

STEINER NEIL STUART ESQ.

DEMPSEY THOMAS MICHAEL ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

ALAMO-HECHT NAI. ESQ.

KUSHI CARTER KATHLEEN MARY ESQ.

DUMBLETON CRYSTAL ANN

CARTER KATHLEEN MARY KUSHI

MARTHA RICHARD HAYS

Not Yet Classified Attorneys

HEATHCOTE TAMARA MAE

HEATHCOTE TAMARA M.

 

Court Documents

Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

7/23/2019: Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

Minute Order

7/23/2019: Minute Order

Opposition

8/9/2019: Opposition

Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

8/10/2019: Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

8/10/2019: Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

2/27/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Declaration

2/27/2019: Declaration

Notice of Ruling

3/8/2019: Notice of Ruling

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

4/2/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Declaration

5/10/2019: Declaration

Proof of Personal Service

5/10/2019: Proof of Personal Service

Motion to Compel

6/11/2019: Motion to Compel

Motion to Compel

6/11/2019: Motion to Compel

Opposition

6/28/2019: Opposition

Proof of Service by Mail

7/9/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Reply

7/9/2019: Reply

CIVIL DEPOSIT

3/21/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

2/16/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

86 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

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

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  • 12/03/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 11/19/2019
  • Hearingat 10:00 AM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 09/11/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 09/11/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 09/11/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel (name extension)

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  • 09/11/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel (name extension)

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  • 09/11/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel (name extension)

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  • 09/11/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel (name extension)

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  • 09/11/2019
  • Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel (name extension)

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126 More Docket Entries
  • 03/06/2018
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by Paula Zoss (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Paula Zoss (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Paula Zoss (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 02/07/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Paula Zoss (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/07/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 01/16/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Paula Zoss (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/16/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 01/16/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC688847    Hearing Date: March 13, 2020    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

PAULA ZOSS,

Plaintiff,

v.

OH LA LA NAIL & BEAUTY LOUNGE, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: BC688847

Hearing Date: March 13, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM WAIVER; and

MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES

BACKGROUND

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Paula Zoss (“Plaintiff”) alleges that on January 22, 2017, she tripped and fell while walking on a walkway immediately in front of Defendant Oh La La Nail & Beauty Lounge (“Oh La La”) located at 4360 Coldwater canyon Ave., Studio City, CA 91604. She alleges that Oh La La and its owners, Defendants Raafat and Koharik Iskander, had a duty to maintain the premises.

The complaint, filed January 16, 2028, alleges causes of action for: (1) general negligence; and (2) premises liability.

B. Discovery Motions on Calendar

On January 15, 2020, Plaintiff filed a combined motion to compel responses without objections and further discovery responses by the Iskanders to Special Interrogatories (“SROG”) and Requests for Production (“RPD”), set 3. On January 28, 2020, the Iskanders filed an opposition brief to the motion. On March 6, 2020, Plaintiff filed a reply brief.

On January 16, 2020, Raafat and Koharik Iskander (the “Iskanders”) filed a motion for relief from waiver of objections. On March 2, 2020, Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion. On March 6, 2020, the Iskanders filed a reply brief.

DISCUSSION

A. Single Motion to Compel Further Responses

Plaintiffs filed a single motion to compel further responses to SROG and RPD directed against each of the Iskanians.

The motion to compel further responses to written discovery is improper because Plaintiffs seek several types of discovery orders in one motion, i.e., an order under CCP §2030.300 to compel further responses to interrogatories and an order under CCP §2031.310 to compel further responses to requests for production.  There is no legal authority or local court rule allowing the requested relief to be sought in a single motion.

Thus, Plaintiff should have filed 4 separate motions to compel further responses—2 motions directed at Raafat Iskander for the SROG and RPD and 2 motions directed at Koharik Iskander for the SROG and RPD.

As Plaintiff has not filed separate motions nor paid the additional filing fees on the motions, this is grounds to deny the entire motion. However, as the Reservation attachment to the moving papers show that one filing fee of $61.65 was paid, the Court will only rule on 1 of the 4 motions and continue the remaining 3 motions. If Plaintiff seeks to have the other 3 motions heard, Plaintiff must pay 3 additional filing fees prior to the continued hearing date.

For future discovery motions, Plaintiff is cautioned to pay all required filing fees and file separate motions to compel further responses with regard to different written discovery and against different parties.

B. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Raafat Iskander Further Responses to SROG and the Iskanders’ Motion for Relief from Waiver

1. The Iskanders’ Motion for Relief from Waiver

Under CCP §§2030.290 (interrogatories) and 2031.300 (requests for production of documents), the Court may relieve a party from the waiver of discovery objections when the Court determines that both of the following conditions are satisfied: (1) the party has subsequently served a response that is in substantial compliance with the requirements for responses to the written discovery; and (2) the party’s failure to serve a timely response was the result of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect.

The Iskanders move for relief from waiver of their rights to objection and to exercise the option to produce writing under CCP §2030.230 as to their responses to the RPD and SROG propounded by Plaintiff. The Iskanders argue that due their counsel’s inadvertence and excusable oversight, they failed to respond to set 3 of the discovery requests.

On September 11, 2019, Plaintiff served each of the Iskanders with the RPD and SROG, such that responses were due by October 16, 2019. Defense counsel, Caroline G. Massey, states that due to a calendaring error, the discovery requests were not added to her calendar. (Massey Decl., ¶6.) She states that her mistake and error was not willful or deliberate, nor an attempt by Defendants or her office to avoid responding to discovery. (Id., ¶¶15-16.) She states that she discovered the error and mistake on October 23, 2019, and began drafting responses. (Id., ¶7.) She states that Plaintiff’s counsel, Neil Steiner, brought this to her attention on October 24, 2019 via email. (Id., ¶8.) Ms. Massey states that she responded to the email and requested an extension until October 28, 2019, but did not receive a response. (Id., ¶9, Ex. A [Email Exchange].) She states that she served responses on October 24, 2019, and provided verifications on October 31, 2019. (Id., ¶10; Exs. F, H [Raafat Iskander’s responses and verifications]; Exs. G, I [Koharik Iskander’s responses and verifications].) On October 25, 2019, Mr. Steiner stated that the objections were improper as they had been waived. (Id., ¶11, Ex. B.) The parties then attempted to meet and confer on the issue. (Id., ¶¶12-13, 17.)

First, based on the declaration of Ms. Massey, the Court finds that the Iskanders have shown that their failure to timely serve a response was as a result of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect of their counsel and at no fault of the Iskanders or their intent to delay the discovery process.

Second, the Court has reviewed the Iskanders’ discovery responses at issue. The Iskanders each responded to SROG Nos. 46-53 in the same way by objecting on the basis that their responses are protected by the attorney/client privilege and attorney work product doctrine, and the requests are burdensome, oppressive, and harassing. Their responses to RPD Nos. 51-63 are substantially identical in form, wherein they object on the ground that their responses are protected by the attorney/client privilege and attorney work product doctrine; and the RPDs seek the premature disclosure of expert files, call for speculation, and are burdensome, oppressive, and harassing.

While the responses appear somewhat boilerplate in nature, the Court will grant the Iskanders’ requested relief. As stated in CCP §2030.210, a party to whom interrogatories have been propounded may answer by objecting to the particular interrogatory. Similarly, CCP §2031.210 states that a party to whom a demand for documents has been made may respond by objecting to the particular demands.

To the extent Plaintiff argues that the discovery objections are improper and without merit, Plaintiff’s arguments are better reserved for motions to compel further responses. As noted above, Plaintiff has filed motions to compel further responses to the discovery at issue.

Thus, the Court grants the Iskanders’ motion for relief from waiver of objections to the RPD and SROG propounded on them. No sanctions have been requested and the Court declines to award any sanctions in connection with this motion.

2. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Raafat Iskander’s Further Response to SROG

Plaintiff moves to compel Raafat Iskander’s further responses to SROG Nos. 46-63.

The Court notes that to these SROGs, Raafat Iskander provided the same objections that the information sought was irrelevant, called for attorney work product and attorney-client privileged information, sought information equally available to all parties, and is burdensome and oppressive.

In seeking to compel further responses, Plaintiff argues that Raafat Iskander has waived objections. However, as discussed above, the Court has granted the motion for relief from waiver of objections.

SROG No. 46 asks Raafat Iskander to state all facts in support of the allegations in the cross-complaint regarding Oh La La being a limited liability corporation. Without waiving objections, he responded that this was based on Oh La La’s California registration and State File number. The response addresses and responds to the SROG, but it is unclear, in view of the objections and/or privileges and thereby has failed to completely respond, the Court overrules the objections as they have not been substantiated or justified by Raafat Iskander. In addition, Plaintiff’s claim that the information is equally available to Raafat Iskander is not responsive to the SROG, which asks him for the facts he relies upon in support of his cross-complaint allegations. Finally, the Court does not find this request burdensome or oppressive, nor has Raafat Iskander shown that responding to the information would constitute an undue burden. As such, the Court overrules the objections raised by Raafat Iskander in his responses. Thus, to the extent any further information is available, he should provide a further response to SROG No. 46. In the Court’s view, the response is conclusory, and may prevent Mr. Iskander from relying on further information if it is now available to him.

SROG No. 47 asks Raafat Iskander to state all facts in support of the allegations in certain paragraphs in the cross-complaint regarding liability described in the Plaintiff’s complaint. SROG No. 48 asks Raafat Iskander to state all facts in support of the allegations in certain paragraphs in the cross-complaint regarding negligence that contributed to Plaintiff’s injuries. SROG Nos. 49-50 ask for factual support that Oh La La’s liability/negligence was primary and direct, and that the Iskanders’ liability/negligence was secondary only. SROG No. 55 asks Raafat Iskander to state all facts that support cross-complaint’s allegations that Oh La La was negligent or tortuously responsible for Plaintiff’s injuries.

Without waiving objections, he responded that Plaintiff fell as a result of disposable flip flops provided by Oh La La and Plaintiff’s failure to exercise due care with footwear and weather conditions. With regard to No. 47, he also reiterates his responses to SROG Nos. 27 and 30, which provide further explanation on the subject incident. For the same reasons discussed above, the Court overrules the objections raised by Raafat Iskander. While his responses address SROG Nos. 47-49 and 55, he should provide full responses without objection to these SROGs. The present answers seem conclusory. How did a flip-flop cause an accident? Was it defective in some way? How did the Plaintiff fail to exercise due care? By wearing flip flops? By walking improperly? With regard to SROG No. 50, Raafat Iskander fails to address what liability or negligence (or lack thereof) the Iskanders were engaged in and thus his response is not fully responsive. As such, further responses without objection SROG Nos. 47-50 and 55 are warranted.

SROG No. 51 asks Raafat Iskander to state all facts to support the allegations of the cross-complaint that he is entitled to indemnity from Oh La La. Without waiving objections, he responded that Plaintiff fell as a result of Oh La La’s employee and Plaintiff’s failure to exercise due care, he had no notice of any conditions, he was not aware of any prior slip and fall incidents, and there is a lease indemnification agreement running to the benefit of the Iskander Family Trust. Again, Raafat Iskander has not substantiated his objections and claims of privilege, such that the Court overrules the objections. While the Court finds Raafat Iskander’s response to the SROG is responsive, it is also vague and conclusory. He should amend his response in light of the overruled objections. Which employee was negligent? Why and how? By giving the Plaintiff defective flip-flops or something else? These are just the beginning of the questions that the overly general answer begs. The motion is granted as to No. 51.

SROG Nos. 52-53 ask Raafat Iskander to identify all damages and attorney’s fees/costs described in his cross-complaint to defend the lawsuit. In response, he objected to both SROGs. As discussed above, in his responses and opposition brief, Raafat Iskander has not substantiated or justified his objections or claims of privilege. Further, the statement of damages and estimated costs/fees are relevant to this action and may be helpful to aid the parties in evaluating this case and possible settlement negotiations. Thus, the motion is granted as to SROG Nos. 52-53.

SROG No. 54 asks Raafat Iskander to state the amount he is seeking indemnification from Oh La La. Without waiving objections, he stated that Plaintiff has not provided a statement of damages and the complaint seeks damages according to proof. Thus, the amount is currently unknown. The Court finds based on the allegations of the underlying complaint, the amount of indemnification sought is currently not calculated (nor has Plaintiff stated what the amount is in the moving papers). The Court denies the motion as to SROG No. 54 at this time.

SROG Nos. 56--57 ask Raafat Iskander to state his percentage of liability and Oh La La’s percentage of liability. He responded in a similar manner as to No. 54. His response is not responsive to the percentage of liability—not necessarily the amount of damages. As such, the motion is granted as to SROG Nos. 56-57.

SROG Nos. 58-63 ask Raafat Iskander to identify: (58) all communications between him and Oh La La regarding Plaintiff; (59) all documents between him and Oh La La regarding plaintiff; (60) all documents between him and Oh La La regarding the claims asserted in this lawsuit; (61) all communications between him and the intervenor USLI regarding Plaintiff; (62) all communications between him and USLI regarding the lawsuit; and (63) all communications between him and USLI regarding the motion to intervene and the lawsuit.

To these SROGs, Raafat Iskander objected and stated that the requests are harassing because they are similar to SROG No. 25 to which substantive responses have been provided. Plaintiff seeks a further response, arguing that all objections and privileges have been waived. The Court notes that his response to No. 25 (seeking all communications between him and Oh La La regarding Plaintiff) was in the form of various objections and, without waiving objections, his response of “None.” (See Mot., Ex. 2.) The Court finds that SROG No. 58 is duplicative, and thus a further response will not be ordered.

However, SROG Nos. 59-63 seeks different documents and communications between Raafat Iskander and Oh La La or USLI, which was not requested in SROG No. 25. The Court also notes that he has not substantiated his objections in the opposition brief, such that the Court overrules the boilerplate objections. As such, the motion is granted as to SROG Nos. 59-63.

The Court’s order on this set of SROG may be instructive to the parties on the outstanding discovery. The parties should consider meeting and conferring on the remaining discovery in light of the Court’s ruling on this motion to compel further responses, particularly since the SROGs propounded on Koharik Iskander is substantially similar and the RPDs propounded on Defendants seek the documents that support the SROG requests. While the Court has generally overruled objections, the Court will consider privilege objections to a document request, but the Court is likely to rule that such objections must be supported by a privilege log.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

The Iskanders’ motion for relief from waiver is granted.

Plaintiff’s motion to compel Raafat Iskander’s further responses is granted in part as to SROG Nos. 46-53, 55-57, and 59-63, and denied in part as to SROG Nos. 54 and 58. Raafat Iskander shall provide responses without objection to the SROG within 20 days of notice of this order. Raafat Iskander and his counsel of record, jointly and severally, are ordered to pay monetary sanctions in the amount of $968.40 (= 3 hours x a reasonable rate of $300/hour, plus $68.40 filing fee) to Plaintiff, by and through counsel, within 20 days of notice of this order.

As discussed above, Plaintiff has only paid 1 filing fee for her motion to compel Raafat and Koharik Iskander’s further responses to the RPD and SROG. Plaintiff should have filed this motion as 4 separate motions and paid 4 separate filing fees. Thus, the Court has only considered Plaintiff’s motion to compel Raafat Iskander’s further responses to the SROG, and will continue the remainder of the motion (to compel Raafat Iskander’s further responses to RPD, Koharik Iskander’s further responses to SROG, and Koharik Iskander’s further responses to RPD) to April 10, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. Prior to the continued hearing date, Plaintiff must provide proof of paying additional filing fees in the amount of $180 (i.e., 3 motions at $60 each motion) by noon (12:00 p.m.) on March 27, 2020 to have the remainder of the motion go forward. Such proof of payment must be filed at least 5 court days before the continued hearing date. If Plaintiff fails to provide such proof of payment, the Court will take the motion for the remaining discovery requests off-calendar.

Based on the Court’s ruling on the SROG requests directed at Raafat Iskander, the parties are encouraged to meet and confer. The Court would be inclined to rule consistently with its findings in this motion for the remaining SROG and RPD requests directed at the Iskanders.

Plaintiff shall provide notice of this order.