This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/10/2019 at 00:52:18 (UTC).

RICHARD GARCIA VS D AQ CORPORTATION ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/09/2018 a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury case was filed by RICHARD GARCIA against D AQ CORPORTATION in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3789

  • Filing Date:

    02/09/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Torrance Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

DEIRDRE HILL

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

GARCIA RICHARD

Respondents and Defendants

DAUM COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SERVICES

DOES 1 TO 20

D/AQ CORPORATION

FEIT SOUTHBAY LLC

 

Court Documents

Motion re:

12/27/2018: Motion re:

Declaration

1/14/2019: Declaration

Amended Complaint

2/26/2019: Amended Complaint

Motion for Summary Judgment

3/15/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

Separate Statement

3/15/2019: Separate Statement

Answer

4/10/2019: Answer

Separate Statement

4/16/2019: Separate Statement

Declaration

5/30/2019: Declaration

Opposition

6/18/2019: Opposition

Declaration

6/18/2019: Declaration

Certificate of Mailing for

6/21/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

6/21/2019: Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

Notice

6/27/2019: Notice

Minute Order

7/2/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

7/5/2019: Minute Order

ORDER RE: STIPULATION TO FOR ENTRY OF JUDGMENT BETWEEN PLAINTIFF DANIEL MULLER AND DEFENDANT ALEKSANDER GRIGORIEV

3/26/2018: ORDER RE: STIPULATION TO FOR ENTRY OF JUDGMENT BETWEEN PLAINTIFF DANIEL MULLER AND DEFENDANT ALEKSANDER GRIGORIEV

ORDER RE: STIPULATION TO STRIKE CLAIM FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES FROM COMPLAINT

3/26/2018: ORDER RE: STIPULATION TO STRIKE CLAIM FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES FROM COMPLAINT

Complaint

2/9/2018: Complaint

53 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/05/2019
  • at 10:23 AM in Department B, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 07/05/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department M; Court Order

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  • 07/05/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order re: scheduling) of 07/05/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/05/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Court Order re: scheduling)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/05/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order) of 07/05/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/05/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/05/2019
  • Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Richard Garcia (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/03/2019
  • Order (ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/02/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held

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  • 07/02/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, Jon R. Takasugi, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held

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63 More Docket Entries
  • 03/09/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by D/AQ Corporation (Defendant); Feit Southbay, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 03/08/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 03/06/2018
  • Amendment to Complaint; Filed by Richard Garcia (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/06/2018
  • AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

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  • 03/05/2018
  • Proof of Service by Substituted Service

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  • 03/05/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Richard Garcia (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/05/2018
  • Amendment to Complaint; Filed by Richard Garcia (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/05/2018
  • AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

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  • 02/09/2018
  • Summons; Filed by null

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  • 02/09/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Richard Garcia (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC693789    Hearing Date: November 21, 2019    Dept: A

# 4. Richard Garcia v. D/AQ Corporation, et al.

Case No.: BC693789

Matter on calendar for: Motion for Summary Judgment

Tentative ruling:

  1. Background

This action involves a commercial lease. Plaintiff Richard Garcia leased the property at 16003 S. Broadway, Gardena, California 90248 in December 2009 from then owner Defendant Quagletti, Quagletti & Duggan. In 2012, the property was sold to Defendant Feit South Bay, LLC, which hired Defendant D/AQ Corporation (dba Daum Commercial Real Estate Services) (“Daum”) for property management services. In 2016, Plaintiff was working at the property when he fell from the top of an allegedly defective staircase, sustaining injury. The Quagletti defendants (previously Does 1 and 2) have been dismissed.

The First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) alleges: (1) premises liability, and (2) negligence.

Defendants Feit and Daum now move for summary judgment based on an absence of duty and the lease’s exculpatory clause. The motion is opposed.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion.

  1. Standard

A “motion for summary judgment shall be granted if all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” (C.C.P., § 437c(c).) "A moving party need only show it is entitled to the benefit of a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence in order to shift the burden of proof to the opposing party to show there are triable issues of fact. [Security Pac. Nat. Bank v. Associated Motor Sales (1980) 106 Cal.App.3d 171, 178–179.]" (Alvarez v. Seaside Transportation Services LLC (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 635, 644.) Once the moving party has met its burden of demonstrating that there is no triable issue as to any material fact, the opposing party cannot rest upon the mere allegations of the pleadings but must present admissible evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Company (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 844.) “In ruling on the motion, the court must consider all of the evidence and all of the inferences reasonably drawn therefrom… and must view such evidence… in the light most favorable to the opposing party.” (Id. at 844-845; C.C.P., § 437c(p)(2).) “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.” (C.C.P., § 437c(f)(1).)

  1. Analysis

    1. Exculpatory Clauses in Commercial Leases

Defendants argue the lease’s exculpatory clause, Paragraph 8.8 constitutes a release of liability that bars Plaintiff’s claims as a matter of law. “An exculpatory contract releasing a party from liability for future ordinary negligence is valid unless it is prohibited by statute or impairs the public interest. [Citation.]” (Grebing v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 631, 637.) Such provisions cannot exempt a party from liability for gross negligence. (Frittelli, Inc. v. 350 North Canon Drive, LP (2011) 202 Cal.App.4th 35, 43.) Although a commercial lease does not implicate the public interest, it is “subject to special scrutiny, insofar as it purports to exempt the lessor from liability for ordinary negligence. [Citation.] (Id. at 43–44.) “Even when such exculpatory clauses have no impact upon the public interest, they are ‘“strictly construed against the person relying upon them.” [Citation.]’ ‘Whether an exculpatory clause “covers a given case turns primarily on contractual interpretation, and it is the intent of the parties as expressed in the agreement that should control. When the parties knowingly bargain for the protection at issue, the protection should be afforded. This requires an inquiry into the circumstances of the damage or injury and the language of the contract; of necessity, each case will turn on its own facts.’ [Citation.]” (Id. at 44.)

Here, Defendants provide the following facts:

Paragraph 8.8 states in pertinent part:

“Exemption of Lessor from Liability. Lessor shall not be liable for injury or damage to the person ... of Lessee, Lessee’s employees, contractors, invitees, customers, or any other person in or about the Premises, whether such damage or injury is caused by or results from ... or any other cause, whether the said injury or damage results from conditions arising upon the Premises or upon other portions of the Building, or from other sources or places.” (Decl. Crisler, Exh. E, p. 8, ¶ 8.8, [emphasis added].)

“‘An agreement which seeks to limit generally without mentioning negligence is construed to shield a party only for passive negligence, not for active negligence. [Citations.]’ [Citation.]” (Burnett v. Chimney Sweep (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 1057, 1066.) “Whereas passive negligence involves ‘mere nonfeasance, such as failure to discover a dangerous condition or to perform a duty imposed by law,’ active negligence involves ‘an affirmative act,’ knowledge or acquiescence in negligent conduct, or failure to perform specific duties. [Citation.]” (Fritelli, supra, 202 Cal.App.4th at 48.)

The parties have supplied no extrinsic evidence as to the interpretation of the contract, so the Court’s analysis is as a matter of law. (Wolf v. Superior Court (2004) 114 Cal.App.4th 1343, 1351.) The emphasized language of the provision generally excludes the lessor from personal injuries arising from conditions on the property. Inasmuch as Plaintiff is alleging nonfeasance—failure to discover a dangerous condition or perform duties imposed by the Building Code—the provision encompasses Plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff’s argument that the provision does not release Defendants from their duty to inspect the premises is unpersuasive, as such conduct is what the provision purports to specifically cover.

Further, Plaintiff’s reliance on nondelegation language of Srithong v. Total Investment Co. (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 721, 726, is likewise unconvincing. Srithong addressed whether a landowner could delegate its duty to third party customers to inspect a property for dangerous conditions to independent contractors, not whether two parties to a commercial lease could contract a release of liability.

Accordingly, Defendants have successfully shown there is no triable issue of material fact and are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

The motion for summary judgment is granted.

  1. Ruling

    The motion for summary judgment is granted.

    Next dates:

    Notice: