This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/23/2021 at 19:06:14 (UTC).

RICHARD EVANS ET AL VS GREG KAWCZYNSKI ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/30/2017 RICHARD EVANS filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against GREG KAWCZYNSKI. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is LAURA A. SEIGLE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3094

  • Filing Date:

    05/30/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

LAURA A. SEIGLE

 

Party Details

Petitioners and Plaintiffs

EVANS RICHARD

EVANS LYDIA

Respondents, Defendants, Cross Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

KAWCZYNSKI GREG

HOME DEPOT USA INC

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

DOES 1 TO 100

ORGANIZING FOR ACTION

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

ORGANIZING FOR ACTION DOE 1

CITY OF LOS ANGELES [ROE 1]

ORGANIZING FOR ACTION [ROE 1]

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

MORTIMER THOMAS F. JR. ATTORNEY AT LAW

MORTIMER THOMAS FRANCIS JR

ORLAND JAMES

Respondent and Defendant Attorneys

ATANOUS CLEIDIN Z.

FEUER MICHAEL N. CITY ATTORNEY

MURCHISON & CUMMING LAW OFFICES OF

ATANOUS CLEIDIN ZOUMALAN

FENG IRVING Y.

ATANOUS CLEIDIN

MORENO RICHARD CHARLES

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

KRAMER JEFFREY STEVEN

Defendant and Cross Defendant Attorneys

ATANOUS CLEIDIN ZOUMALAN

FENG IRVING Y.

MORENO RICHARD CHARLES

FEUER MICHAEL NELSON

TARKOWSKI JONATHAN E.

WOODWARD KAREN ELIZABETH

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal

8/21/2019: Request for Dismissal

Stipulation - No Order - STIPULATION - NO ORDER STIPULATION OF ALL PARTIES TO CONTINUE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TRIAL DATES

9/11/2019: Stipulation - No Order - STIPULATION - NO ORDER STIPULATION OF ALL PARTIES TO CONTINUE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TRIAL DATES

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION STIPULATED EX PARTE MOTION TO CONTINUE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TRIAL DATES

9/13/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION STIPULATED EX PARTE MOTION TO CONTINUE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TRIAL DATES

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND MOTION ...)

9/13/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND MOTION ...)

Amendment to Cross-Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

10/31/2019: Amendment to Cross-Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Separate Statement

11/7/2019: Separate Statement

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT/ CROSS DEFENDANT ORGANIZING FOR ACTIONS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

11/7/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT/ CROSS DEFENDANT ORGANIZING FOR ACTIONS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Separate Statement

11/12/2019: Separate Statement

Opposition - OPPOSITION EVANS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

11/12/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION EVANS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF THOMAS F. MORTIMER, JR. IN SUPPORT OF EVANS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT WITH EXHIBITS A TO E

11/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF THOMAS F. MORTIMER, JR. IN SUPPORT OF EVANS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT WITH EXHIBITS A TO E

Objection - OBJECTION TO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION

11/21/2019: Objection - OBJECTION TO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION

Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

11/21/2019: Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO SEPARATE STATEMENT

11/21/2019: Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO SEPARATE STATEMENT

Declaration - DECLARATION OF BRADLEY RANKELL, ESQ.

11/21/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF BRADLEY RANKELL, ESQ.

Declaration - DECLARATION OF BRADLEY RANKELL, ESQ.

11/21/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF BRADLEY RANKELL, ESQ.

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/21/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice - NOTICE EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

11/21/2019: Notice - NOTICE EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGHMENT

11/21/2019: Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGHMENT

79 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/24/2022
  • Hearing01/24/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 01/10/2022
  • Hearing01/10/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 05/17/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 27; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 05/03/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 27; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 04/13/2021
  • DocketStipulation and Order (TO CONTINUE THE CURRENT TRIAL DATE OF MAY 17, 2021 TO JANUARY 24, 2022); Filed by Organizing For Action (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 01/26/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 27; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 01/12/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 27; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 12/24/2020
  • DocketStipulation and Order (Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial and All Related Dates); Filed by Richard Evans (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/14/2020
  • DocketAssociation of Attorney; Filed by Lydia Evans (Plaintiff); Richard Evans (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/25/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 27; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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123 More Docket Entries
  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketCROSS-COMPLAINT FOR IMPLIED INDEMNITY AND TOTAL INDEMNITY; DECLARATORY RELIEF AND APPORTIONMENT OF FAULT

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  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketNotice; Filed by Greg Kawczynski (Defendant)

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  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by Greg Kawczynski (Defendant)

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  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by Greg Kawczynski (Defendant)

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  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketReceipt; Filed by Greg Kawczynski (Defendant)

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  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by Greg Kawczynski (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF PSTING JURY FEES

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  • 05/30/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT OF RICHARD EVANS AND LYDIA EVANS FOR PERSONAL INJURIES AND DAMAGES FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE; ETC

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  • 05/30/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 05/30/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Lydia Evans (Plaintiff); Richard Evans (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****3094 Hearing Date: February 7, 2022 Dept: 27

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

RICHARD EVANS, et al.,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

GREG KAWCZYNSKI, et al.,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO.: ****3094

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

Dept. 27

1:30 p.m.

February 7, 2022

On January 5, 2022, Defendant/Cross-Complainant/Cross-Defendant Organizing for Action (“OFA”) filed this motion for a trial continuance on the grounds that additional discovery needs to be completed. OFA also filed an ex parte application to shorten time to hear this motion. On January 7, 2022, the Court issued an order continuing the trial date from January 24, 2022 to April 14, 2022, and the final status conference from January 10, 2022 to April 14, 2022 as requested. Accordingly, this motion is taken off calendar as MOOT.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. Please be advised that if you submit on the tentative and elect not to appear at the hearing, the opposing party may nevertheless appear at the hearing and argue the matter. Unless you receive a submission from all other parties in the matter, you should assume that others might appear at the hearing to argue.



Case Number: ****3094 Hearing Date: January 12, 2022 Dept: 27

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

RICHARD EVANS, et al.,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

GREG KAWCZYNSKI, et al.,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO.: ****3094

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO BIFURCATE

Dept. 27

1:30 p.m.

January 12, 2022

Under the Personal Injury Court system, this case will be tried by a Court other than the instant Court. The trial Court rules on motions in limine and motions to bifurcate. Organizing for Action’s (“OFA”) motion to bifurcate is similarly a motion which should be ruled on by the judge who will preside over trial in this matter. Thus, OFA’s motion is denied without prejudice.

OFA is instructed to renew this motion to bifurcate with the trial judge.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. Please be advised that if you submit on the tentative and elect not to appear at the hearing, the opposing party may nevertheless appear at the hearing and argue the matter. Unless you receive a submission from all other parties in the matter, you should assume that others might appear at the hearing to argue.



Case Number: ****3094    Hearing Date: November 26, 2019    Dept: 4B

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEEFENDANT ORGANIZING FOR ACTION’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

I. INTRODUCTION

On May 30, 2017, plaintiffs Richard Evans and Lydia Evans (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed this action against defendants Gregg Kawczynski (“Kawczynski”) and Organizing for Action (“OFA”) for negligence, dangerous condition of public property, premises liability, and loss of consortium. OFA moves for summary judgment in its favor or, in the alternative, summary adjudication of the First Cause of Action for Negligence and Fourth Cause of Action for Loss of Consortium, the two causes of action alleged against OFA. Kawcyznski and Plaintiffs oppose the motion.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On February 20, 2016, Kawczynski and Richard Evans were involved in a three vehicle collision in San Pedro. (Defendant’s Undisputed Material Facts (“UMF”) No. 1.) Kawczynski was the driver of one vehicle and had a passenger in his car, Nicholas Maldonado (“Maldonado”). (UMF Nos. 2-3.) Both Kawcyznski and Maldonado were volunteers for defendant OFA and on the way to another volunteer’s home in Long Beach to discuss actions to take regarding a proposed nomination for the Supreme Court. (UMF Nos. 4-5.)

OFA is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization and issue advocacy group that relies mostly on fundraising and volunteer efforts to operate. (UMF No. 6-7.) OFA, through its thousands of grassroots volunteers, holds community events across the country to raise awareness about political and environmental issues. (UMF No. 8.) At its peak, OAF had approximately 150 employees generally located in Chicago. (UMF Nos. 9-10.) As of 2017, OFA has 23 paid employees in Chicago, with one employee working remotely from Ann Arbor, Michigan. (UMF No. 11.)

Kawczynski has not been employed since December 2010. (UMF No. 20.) He began volunteering with OFA in about 2013. (UMF No. 12.) At the time of the accident, Kawcyznski was the OFA chapter lead of Long Beach. (UMF No. 13.) Kawczynski did not receive any type of compensation or benefits from OFA. (UMF No. 15.) OFA chapter leads have the discretion to meet and plan events with local volunteers without direct oversight from OFA’s headquarters. (UMF No. 17.) OFA has no records that any OFA events were scheduled in Long Beach on the day of the accident. (UMF No. 19.)

III. LEGAL STANDARDS

In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, courts must apply a three-step analysis: “(1) identify the issues framed by the pleadings; (2) determine whether the moving party has negated the opponent’s claims; and (3) determine whether the opposition has demonstrated the existence of a triable, material factual issue.” (Hinesley v. Oakshade Town Center (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 289, 294.)

“A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of duty, if that party contends that the cause of action has no merit or that there is no affirmative defense thereto, or that there is no merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, or both, or that there is no merit to a claim for damages . . . or that one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs. A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 437c, subd. (f)(1).) A motion for summary adjudication shall proceed in all procedural respects as a motion for summary judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 437c, subd. (f)(2).)

“[T]he initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facia showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519.) A defendant moving for summary judgment or summary adjudication “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 437c, subd. (p)(2).) A moving defendant need not conclusively negate an element of plaintiff’s cause of action. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 854.)

To meet this burden of showing a cause of action cannot be established, a defendant must show not only “that the plaintiff does not possess needed evidence” but also that “the plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain needed evidence.” (Aguilar, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 854.) It is insufficient for the defendant to merely point out the absence of evidence. (Gaggero v. Yura (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 884, 891.) The defendant “must also produce evidence that the plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain evidence to support his or her claim.” (Ibid.)  The supporting evidence can be in the form of affidavits, declarations, admissions, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and matters of which judicial notice may be taken. (Aguilar, supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 855.)

“Once the defendant . . . has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 437c, subd. (p)(2).) The plaintiff may not merely rely on allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue of material fact exists, but instead, “shall set forth the specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the cause of action.” (Ibid.) “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” (Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal.App.4th 463, 467.)

IV. EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

OFA’s Objection No. 1 to the Kawczynski Declaration is overruled. OFA’s other objections are to Plaintiff’s Separate Statement of Additional Facts, rather than to the specific deposition excepts and exhibits cited in the Separate Statement. Instead of making evidentiary objections to the cited evidence, OFA makes arguments disputing the Additional Facts.

V. DISCUSSION

OFA argues it is not liable for Kawczynski’s acts because he was a volunteer. OFA contends that in Munoz v. City of Palmdale (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 367, the court held that vicarious liability could not be imposed for the alleged torts of unpaid volunteers at public agencies and private nonprofit organizations, without regard to the right of control. Plaintiffs argue Kawczynski was acting as an agent of OFA, making OFA vicariously liable.

The holding in Munoz was not as sweeping as OFA contends. That case concerned whether a city could be liable for the acts of an unpaid volunteer. Because the plaintiff was suing a public entity, the plaintiff needed to establish the city’s liability “based on statutory not common law.” (Munoz, supra, 75 Cal.App.4th at p. 369.) The plaintiff relied on Government Code section 815.2, which makes a public entity liable for injury proximately caused by acts “of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment.” (Ibid.) The case then analyzed whether a volunteer was an “employee” as used in section 815.2. The term “employee” is defined in Government Code section 810.2 as an officer, judicial officer “employee, or servant, whether or not compensated” (id. at pp. 369-370), but Labor Code section 3352 excludes unpaid volunteers from the definition of employee. (Id. at p. 368.) Therefore, and based on public policy considerations, the court in Munoz concluded that “employee” as used in section 815.2 and defined in section 810.2 did not included unpaid volunteers. (Id. at p. 372.)

The Munoz court did not analyze whether a private non-profit organization can be liable for injuries caused by an act of an unpaid volunteer and did not address whether an unpaid volunteer can be the agent of a private non-profit organization. Indeed, in defining “employee” in section 810.2, the Legislature specifically excluded agents. The Legislative Committee Comments to section 810.2 state that the bill as introduced originally defined “employee” as “an officer, agent or employee.” The term “servant” was substituted for “agent” because “ ‘servant’ was believed to be more restrictive than ‘agent.’” Thus, the analysis and holding in Munoz do not require the conclusion that a volunteer for a private non-profit organization cannot be an agent of the organization for purposes of vicarious liability.

“An agent is anyone who undertakes to transact some business, or manage some affair, for another, by authority of and on account of the latter, and to render an account of such transactions.” (Daniels v. Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 1150, 1171 [citations and quotations omitted].) “The significant test of an agency relationship is the principal’s right to control the activities of the agent. (Id. at pp. 1171-1172 [citations and quotations omitted].) “‘[A] principal is liable to third parties . . . for the frauds or other wrongful acts committed by [its] agent in and as part of the transactio of’ the business of the agency. [Citation.]” (Id. at p. 1172.)

Plaintiffs contend the facts establish that Kawczynski was an agent because, among other things, OFA provided him with a toolkit about how to host events and recruit volunteers and talk points to discuss during meetings. (Kawczynski Decl., ¶¶ 5, 6.) OFA provided guidelines and techniques on how to conduct training sessions and required chapter leads to report back to OFA on new volunteer signups. (Id., ¶¶ 7, 8.) OFA instructed chapter leads on hosting OFA events and deadlines for volunteers. (Id., ¶¶ 10, 11.) OFA required chapter leads to meet on a regular basis with chapter members and volunteers, hold certain periodic meetings, and make certain postings, and ensure others receive resources, guidance and training. (Exh. E, pp. 26:20-24, 30:20-31:8, 36:20-37:25.) Thus, according to Plaintiffs, OFA directed Kawczynski to take certain actions, and he was in the process of taking those actions – going to a meeting to plan a OFA phone bank – when the accident occurred. OFA disputes many of these facts, arguing that OFA did not require, but merely enouraged or incentivized, these actions, did not control the actions of chapter leads like Kawczynski, did not know about the meeting to which Kawczynski was driving, and had not instructed Kawczynski to attend the meeting.

In sum, there are disputed facts about Kawczynski’s role at OFA and the extent of instruction and control OFA exercised over him in his position as chapter lead. The Court cannot decide as a matter of law that Kawczynski was not acting as an agent of OFA at the time of the accident.

In its reply OFA makes a new argument – that even if Kawczynski was an OFA agent, OFA is not liable under the coming and going rule. The Court will not consider a new argument made in a reply brief.

VI. CONCLUSION

In light of the foregoing, the Motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

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.



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