This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/17/2021 at 10:39:27 (UTC).

RICHWELL FABRICATORS, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION VS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Case Summary

On 03/05/2019 RICHWELL FABRICATORS, INC , A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are RAMONA G. SEE and DEIRDRE HILL. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0238

  • Filing Date:

    03/05/2019

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

RAMONA G. SEE

DEIRDRE HILL

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

RICHWELL FABRICATORS INC. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Defendant

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

KIRSCHNER ETHAN

Defendant Attorneys

BARRETT MICHAEL

LAM KISU

HICKERSON ANEIKO LAVAUN WEBB

 

Court Documents

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER

7/31/2020: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

7/2/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Notice of Ruling

7/6/2020: Notice of Ruling

Order - ORDER [PROPOSED] ORDER AND JUDGMENT ON SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

7/8/2020: Order - ORDER [PROPOSED] ORDER AND JUDGMENT ON SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Objection - OBJECTION SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ITS OPPOSITION TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE

6/26/2020: Objection - OBJECTION SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ITS OPPOSITION TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE

Reply - REPLY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS SEPARATE STATEMENT IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERN

6/26/2020: Reply - REPLY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS SEPARATE STATEMENT IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERN

Reply - REPLY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

6/26/2020: Reply - REPLY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANYS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

7/2/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF ETHAN D. KIRSCHNER IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MSJ/MSA

6/18/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF ETHAN D. KIRSCHNER IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MSJ/MSA

Declaration - DECLARATION OF CHRISTOPHER PROCHNOW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MSJ/MSA

6/18/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF CHRISTOPHER PROCHNOW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MSJ/MSA

Supplemental Declaration - SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION PLAINTIFF'S INDEX OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE IN OPPOSITION TO MSJ/MSA

6/18/2020: Supplemental Declaration - SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION PLAINTIFF'S INDEX OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE IN OPPOSITION TO MSJ/MSA

Separate Statement

6/18/2020: Separate Statement

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

6/18/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Notice - NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT

6/8/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

5/29/2020: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/07/2020

4/7/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/07/2020

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

4/7/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Amended Complaint - PLAINTIFFS SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

9/4/2019: Amended Complaint - PLAINTIFFS SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

47 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/26/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Jury Trial ((10 days)) - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 08/19/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 07/31/2020
  • DocketNotice (Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order); Filed by Southern California Edison Company, a California corporation (Defendant)

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  • 07/08/2020
  • DocketJudgment ([PROPOSED] ORDER AND JUDGMENT ON SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT); Filed by Southern California Edison Company, a California corporation (Defendant)

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  • 07/06/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Southern California Edison Company, a California corporation (Defendant)

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  • 07/02/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 07/02/2020
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore; Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/02/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/26/2020
  • DocketReply (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY?S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF?S SEPARATE STATEMENT IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION); Filed by Southern California Edison Company, a California corporation (Defendant)

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  • 06/26/2020
  • DocketReply (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY?S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF?S OPPOSITION TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION); Filed by Southern California Edison Company, a California corporation (Defendant)

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56 More Docket Entries
  • 05/02/2019
  • DocketSouthern California Edison Company's Reply Brief in Support of its Motion to Strike Punitive Damages From the Complaint; Filed by Southern California Edison Company, a California corporation (Defendant)

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  • 04/30/2019
  • DocketOpposition (to Motion to Strike); Filed by Richwell Fabricators, Inc., a California corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/10/2019
  • DocketSouthern California Edison Company's Notice of Motion and Motion to Strike Punitive Damages From Plaintiff's Complaint; Filed by Southern California Edison Company, a California corporation (Defendant)

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  • 03/15/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Richwell Fabricators, Inc., a California corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/11/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/11/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Richwell Fabricators, Inc., a California corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Richwell Fabricators, Inc., a California corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Richwell Fabricators, Inc., a California corporation (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19TRCV00238    Hearing Date: July 02, 2020    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka

Department B

Thursday – July 2, 2020

Calendar No. 5

PROCEEDINGS

Richwell Fabricators, Inc. v. Southern California Edison Company, et al.

19TRCV00238

  1. Southern California Edison Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment, or, Alternatively, for Summary Adjudication to Strike Punitive Damages from Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Southern California Edison Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

    Background

    Defendant Southern California Edison Company (“Edison” or “Defendant”) moves for an order granting summary judgment against Plaintiff Richwell Fabricators, Inc. (“Richwell” or “Plaintiff”) on Plaintiff’s operative Second Amended Complaint. Alternatively, Edison moves for summary adjudication on each cause of action set forth in Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint, as well as Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages.

    Plaintiff’s original Complaint was filed on March 5, 2019. The operative Second Amended Complaint was filed on September 4, 2019. Plaintiff alleges the following facts: Plaintiff is a steel manufacturing company. Beginning in early 2013, Plaintiff began to suffer from electrical brownouts in its facility. Edison assigned a Planner named Jeffrey Kline who visited the facility and allegedly misrepresented the source of the electrical problem by blaming Plaintiff’s systems rather than properly diagnosing the source of the problem as Edison’s own equipment. In June 2015, Edison eventually repaired and replaced defective transformers which restored proper power supply to Plaintiff. Plaintiff set forth the following causes of action: 1. Intentional Misrepresentation; 2. Negligent Misrepresentation; 3. Negligence; 4. Premises Liability; 5. Violation of Public Utilities Code Section 2106.

    Legal Standard for Motion for Summary Judgment

    The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 843. “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal. App. 4th 1110, 1119.

    “On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie 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.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “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.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “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.

    “When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” Avivi, 159 Cal. App. 4th at 467; CCP § 437c(c).

    “In granting or denying a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, the court need rule only on those objections to evidence that it deems material to its disposition of the motion. Objections to evidence that are not ruled on for purposes of the motion shall be preserved for appellate review.” (C.C.P., § 437c(q).)

    Applicable Statutes of Limitations

    Richwell’s first cause of action is for Fraud- Intentional Misrepresentation. Richwell’s second cause of action is for Fraud – Negligent Misrepresentation. An action for relief on the ground of fraud or mistake is subject to a three-year statute of limitations. CCP § 338(d). “The limitations period for [Plaintiff’s] fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims is three years.” Broberg v. The Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 912, 920. Courts have found that the statute of limitations for negligent misrepresentation is two years (CCP § 339) where the claim amounts to professional negligence. See, Hydro-Mill Co., Inc. v. Hayward, Tilton & Rolapp Ins. Assoc., Inc. (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 1145, 1155. Here, Plaintiff has not set forth a claim for professional negligence.

    Richwell’s third cause of action for Negligence and fourth cause of action for Premises Liability are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. CCP §339(1). Finally, Richwell’s fifth cause of action for Violation of Public Utilities Code § 2106 is subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Cal. Pub. Util. Code § 735.

    “A cause of action accrues at the moment the party who owns it is entitled to bring and prosecute an action thereon.” Keru Investments, Inc. v. Cube Co. (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1412, 1423. “With respect to torts, generally speaking, a claim accrues and the statute of limitations begins to run upon the occurrence of the last event essential to the cause of action, even if the plaintiff is unaware that a cause of action exists. [Citation.] The infliction of actual and appreciable harm will commence the limitations period. [Citation.] However, the discovery rule postpones commencement of the limitation period until the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the facts essential to his cause of action. [Citation.] Under this rule, [p]ossession of presumptive as well as actual knowledge will commence the running of the statute. [Citation.] A plaintiff is charged with presumptive knowledge so as to commence the running of the statute once he or she has notice or information of circumstances to put a reasonable person on inquiry, or has the opportunity to obtain knowledge from sources open to his investigation .... [Citations.]” Shamsian v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 967, 979–80 (internal citations and quotations omitted.)

    Analysis

    Here, the causes of action accrued in early 2013 when Plaintiff began to suffer appreciable harm due to the defective Edison transformers. Plaintiff’s managers noticed the facility was experiencing issues with electrical current in early 2013. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 4.) In 2013, Plaintiff contacted Edison and Edison Planner Jeffrey Kline conducted a visual check and allegedly misrepresented the source of the electrical problem. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 5-7.) Richwell then hired its own electrician named Alfredo Tercero to help diagnose the problems. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 8.) In 2014, Mr. Tercero conducted testing and prepared a report noting the cause of the problems as voltage drops due to the power transformers. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 9-10.) This problem was specifically explained to Chris Prochnow the co-owner and officer of Richwell. (Id.)

    In July 2015, Edison replaced the transformers and the problem went away. (Id., 11.) In September 2015, Tercero specifically explained to Prochnow that the problems stemmed from Edison’s transformers, that Edison should have performed the troubleshooting work, and that if Edison failed to make things right, Richwell should take Edison to court. (Id., 12-14.) Then, at the end of 2015, Richwell submitted a claim to Edison. (Id., 15.)

    For purposes of the delayed discovery rule, all these facts clearly constitute the requisite “notice or information of circumstances to put a reasonable person on inquiry” to trigger the statute of limitations at the latest by the end of 2015. See, Jolly v. Eli Lilly & Co. (1988) 44 Cal.3d 1103, 1110-11. However, Plaintiff failed to file this action until March 2019, well after the applicable two and three-year statutes of limitations.

    Plaintiff’s argument that Defendant should be equitably estopped from asserting the statutes of limitations is unavailing. “Four elements must ordinarily be proved to establish an equitable estoppel: (1) The party to be estopped must know the facts; (2) he must intend that his conduct shall be acted upon, or must so act that the party asserting the estoppel had the right to believe that it was so intended; (3) the party asserting the estoppel must be ignorant of the true state of facts; and, (4) he must rely upon the conduct to his injury.” Leasequip, Inc. v. Dapeer (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 394, 403-04. Plaintiff submits no competent evidence to establish that Plaintiff was ignorant of the true state of the facts and/or that Plaintiff relied on Defendant’s conduct to its detriment. To the contrary, the above referenced facts establish that Plaintiff had reasonable suspicion of Edison’s wrongdoing by the end of late 2015. Thus, by that date, Edison was not truly ignorant of the state of facts and any reliance upon statements of Kline made in 2013 were not reasonable and were unjustified.

    Moreover, Christopher Prochnow testified at deposition that the only reason he did not file suit earlier was based on Plaintiff’s own decisions as opposed to any reliance upon the statement of Kline. (Defendant’s Ex. C; Prochnow Deposition, 103:1 to 104:11.) Mr. Prochnow cannot now contradict his sworn deposition testimony with contradictory statements in a subsequent declaration. See, D’Amico v. Board of Examiners (1974) 11 Cal.3d 1, 21-22.

    For the foregoing reasons, Edison’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

    Defendant Edison is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

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