On 05/14/2018 REMEDIOS ORTEGA filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against MONROE MOORE. 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.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
ROES 1 THROUGH 25
STS LOGISTICS INC.
DOES 1 THROUGH 75
EASTON & EASTON LLP
KRAMER JEFFREY S. ESQ.
LUNSFORD BRET ALAN
5/14/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENCE PER SE
11/9/2018: Proof of Personal Service
5/6/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees
5/13/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees
Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Remedios Ortega (Plaintiff); Judith Sparrow (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Remedios Ortega (Cross-Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Remedios Ortega (Cross-Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Cross-Complaint; Filed by STS Logistics Inc. (Cross-Complainant); STS Logistics Inc. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Monroe Moore (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Proof of Personal Service; Filed by Remedios Ortega (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DEFENDANT STS LOGISTICS, INC.'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS REMEDIOS ORTEGA AND JUDITH SPARROW'S COMPLAINT;Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by STS Logistics Inc. (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENCE PER SERead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Remedios Ortega (Plaintiff); Judith Sparrow (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC706123 Hearing Date: November 18, 2019 Dept: 4B
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: APPLICATION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT
On May 14, 2018, plaintiffs Remedios Ortega (“Ortega”) and Judith Sparrow (“Sparrow”) filed this action against defendants Monroe Moore (“Moore”) and STS Logistics, Inc. (“STS”) for motor vehicle negligence. On May 23, 2016, Ortega was driving a car with Sparrow as the passenger when they were rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Moore and owned by STS. STS filed a cross-complaint against Ortega for indemnity, apportionment and declaratory relief with respect to claims against it by Sparrow. Sparrow and Ortega reached a settlement regarding any claims Sparrow may have against Ortega arising out of the accident and submit this application for good faith settlement.
The Court must approve any settlement entered into by less than all joint tortfeasors or co-obligors. (Code Civ. Proc., § 877.6.) This requirement furthers two sometimes-competing policies: (1) the equitable sharing of costs among the parties at fault, and (2) the encouragement of settlements. (Erreca’s v. Superior Court (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 1475, 1487.) If the settlement is made in good faith, the Court “shall bar any other joint tortfeasor or co-obligor from any further claims against the settling tortfeasor . . . for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 877.6, subd. (c).) The non-settling tortfeasors or obligors bear the burden of demonstrating the absence of good faith in the settlement. (Code Civ. Proc., § 877.6, subd. (d).)
To demonstrate a lack of good faith, the non-settling party must show that the settlement is so far “out of the ballpark” as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of Section 877.6. (Nutrition Now, Inc. v. Superior Court (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 209, 213.) The Court will typically consider: (1) the plaintiff’s (roughly) approximated total recovery; (2) the settlor’s share of liability; (3) the size of the settlement at issue; (4) the distribution of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs; (5) the usual discount value when plaintiffs settle before trial; the settlor’s financial condition and insurance policy limits; and (6) whether there is evidence of “collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed to injure the interests of nonsettling defendants.” (Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499.) These factors will be
“If a cross-defendant without legal liability to the plaintiff settles with the plaintiff in an amount within the reasonable range of what the cross-defendant’s liability would be, the interests of the nonsettling cross-complainant are protected, and both the policies of encouraging settlements and equitable financial sharing are served. However, when such a cross-defendant enters into a disproportionately low settlement with the plaintiff solely to obtain immunity from the cross-complaint, the inference that the settlement was not made in good faith is difficult to avoid.” (Mattco Forge, Inc. v. Arthur Young & Co. (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 1337, 1354.)
“When no one objects, the barebones motion which sets forth the ground for good faith, accompanied by a declaration which sets forth a brief background of the case is sufficient” for the Court to grant a motion for determination of good faith settlement. (City of Grand Terrace, supra, 192 Cal.App.3d at p. 1261.) However, “[i]f contested, declarations by the nonsettlor should be filed which in many cases could require the moving party to file responsive counter declarations to negate the lack of good faith asserted by the nonsettling contesting party.” (Ibid.)
Ortega’s application for good faith settlement is unopposed. The settlement amount of $15,000 is the policy limit for Ortega. Ortega also submits her declaration attesting to her lack of any other assets. The Court finds this amount is proportionate considering the evidence that Ortega’s vehicle was rear-ended by Moore in a semi-truck owned by STS.
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the application for determination of good faith settlement. The Court finds this settlement was made in good faith and any other joint tortfeasor or co-obligor is barred from asserting further claims against Orteaga for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault.
Moving party to give notice.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT4B@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative. The Court will be dark on November 18, 2019. A party requesting argument should contact Department 4B for an alternate hearing date.
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