This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/19/2020 at 03:23:48 (UTC).

RITA DAVIDSON VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/06/2018 RITA DAVIDSON filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are PATRICIA D. NIETO, GEORGINA T. RIZK, KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE and MARK A. BORENSTEIN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3058

  • Filing Date:

    02/06/2018

  • 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

PATRICIA D. NIETO

GEORGINA T. RIZK

KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE

MARK A. BORENSTEIN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

DAVIDSON RITA

Defendants and Respondents

BOARD OF AIRPORT COMMISSIONERS OF THE

LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

DOES 1 TO 100

LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF AIRPORTS

TOM BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY

JOHN BEAN TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

SKLAR JULIA ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

RUIZ RODOLFO F. ESQ.

HEMBREE JONATHAN

BROTZEN PETER P.

BROTZEN PETER P. ESQ.

HEMBREE JONATHAN EDWARD ESQ.

RUIZ RODOLFO FLORENTINO ESQ.

ANDERSON GREGORY LEON ESQ.

Court Documents

Court documents are not available for this case.

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/16/2021
  • Hearing11/16/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 29 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 11/02/2021
  • Hearing11/02/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 29 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 02/08/2021
  • Hearing02/08/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 29 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 09/16/2020
  • Docketat 2:07 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Nunc Pro Tunc Order

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  • 09/16/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Held

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  • 09/16/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 09/16/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 09/16/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Medical And Mental Examination of Plaintiff and to Continue Trial; Request For Monetary Sanctions, Filed by Defendants John Bean technologies Corp. and Tom Bradley International Equipment Company; Joinder by Defendant City of Los Angeles) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 09/16/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/16/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Tom Bradley International Terminal Equipment Company (Defendant); John Bean Technologies Corporation (Defendant)

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108 More Docket Entries
  • 04/17/2018
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by Los Angeles, City of (Defendant)

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  • 04/13/2018
  • DocketPLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION TO DECLARATION SHAKIRA L. FERGUSON RE: INABILITY TO COMPLY WITH MEET AND CONFER REQUIREMENT; DECLARATION OF JULIA SKLAR

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  • 04/13/2018
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by Rita Davidson (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by Los Angeles, City of (Defendant); Los Angeles World Airports (Defendant); Board of Airport Commissioners of the (Defendant) et al.

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  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketDECLARATION OF SHAKIRA L. FERGUSON RE: INABILITY TO COMPLY WITH MEET AND CONFER REQUIREMENT (PURSUANT TO C.C.P. SECTION 430.41)

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Rita Davidson (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/15/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 02/06/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT

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  • 02/06/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Rita Davidson (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC693058    Hearing Date: September 16, 2020    Dept: 29

Davidson v. City of Los Angeles, et al.

Motion to Compel Medical and Mental Examination of Plaintiff and Request for Monetary Sanctions, Filed by Defendants John Bean Technologies Corp. and Tom Bradley International Equipment Company is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to appear for an examination by Ari Kalechstein, M.D. and James E. Rosenburg M.D. on October 29, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. The Court awards sanctions against Plaintiff in the amount of $2,670,  to reimburse Defendants for the cancellation fees that Defendants incurred when Plaintiff cancelled at the last minute after agreeing to appear. The Court declines to consider the request for additional relief sought by Defendant City of Los Angeles in the purported “joinder” in this motion.

DISCUSSION

Defendants John Bean Technologies Corporation and Tom Bradley International Terminal Equipment Company seek an order for Plaintiff to appear for a joint neuropsychological and psychiatric examination with Ari Kalechstein, M.D. and neuropsychiatrist, James E. Rosenburg, M.D. for the purpose of conducting a mental state evaluation of Plaintiff. Motion, 2:3-6, Declaration of Jonathan Hembree, Exhibit A.

Section 2032.020, subdivision (a) of the Code of Civil Procedure provides: “Any party may obtain discovery . . . by means of a . . . mental examination of [] a party to the action . . . in any action in which the mental . . . condition . . . of that party is in controversy in the action.” “A mental examination conducted under this chapter shall be performed only by a licensed physician, or by a licensed clinical psychologist who holds a doctoral degree in psychology and has had at least five years of postgraduate experience in the diagnosis of emotional and mental disorders.” Code Civ. Proc. § 2032.020(c)(1).

Unless the plaintiff agrees to appear for the mental examination without a court order, a defendant must obtain leave of court for a mental examination, which the Court must grant for good cause shown. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2032.310; 2032.320(a).) The motion shall “specify the time, place, manner, conditions, scope and nature of the examination, as well as the identify and specialty, if any, of the person or persons who will perform the examination.” (Id. § 20320.310(b)).

Plaintiff does not dispute that her mental condition is in controversy in the action. She claims that the falling tile caused a traumatic brain injury that has affected her cognitive functioning and has also caused PTSD, anxiety, depression, nervousness and loss of sleep. Plaintiff also does not dispute that Drs. Kalechstein and Rosenburg meet the qualifications required under section 2032.020. The motion and supporting papers have also sufficiently described the scope and nature of the examination and Plaintiff has not provided any reason why she should not have to submit to the listed tests.

The Court thus orders Plaintiff to appear for the neuropsychological and psychiatric examination with Drs. Kalechstein and Rosenburg M.D. on October 29, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. The examination shall be conducted in accordance with the description set forth in Exhibit A to the declaration of Jonathan Hembree, filed on March 10, 2020, which exhibit lists the manner and scope of the procedure as well as the diagnostic tests and procedures to be conducted. The Court incorporates by reference Exhibit A to that declaration into this order.

Defendants also seek sanctions because, among other things, Plaintiff originally agreed to appear for the examination by Dr. Kalechstein but then cancelled at the last minute, causing Defendants to incur $2,670 in cancellation fees. Plaintiff was not required to agree to submit to an examination by Dr. Kalechstein without a court order, but once she agreed to appear, she was required to attend in accordance with her agreement. Agreeing to appear for an examination and then cancelling at the last minute, causing the opposing party to incur cancellation fees, is a misuse of the discovery process for which sanctions may be awarded. Here, the Court concludes that sanctions in the amount of the cancellation fees are warranted. The Court thus imposes sanctions of $2,670 against Plaintiff. The Court declines to impose additional sanctions for the costs incurred in meeting and conferring or the fees incurred in bringing this motion.

Defendant City of Los Angeles has filed a joinder to this motion. In the joinder, the City includes a request for additional relief, specifically an order requiring Plaintiff to appear for another examination with Edward C. Amos, M.D. The City cannot seek that relief in a “joinder” to the present motion; instead, the City must file its own properly noticed motion. Even if the Court were to treat the purported “joinder” as a separately noticed motion, the City has not provided sufficient information regarding the examination that it seeks. The Court encourages the parties to meet and confer regarding the examination with Dr. Amos so that further involvement of the Court is not required.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

NOTE:  PARTIES MUST APPEAR THIS DATE AS A TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE IS ALSO SET ON CALENDAR FOR THIS DATE. 

In order to comply with social distancing regulations, all parties are strongly encouraged to appear via video or telephonic services offered by the Court, through LACourtConnect.

Case Number: BC693058    Hearing Date: March 02, 2020    Dept: 29

Davidson v. City of Los Angeles, et al.

Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendant City of Los Angeles filed on 12/12/19 is DENIED.

In the second amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on or about 6/20/2017, Plaintiff was walking in a hallway of the terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Terminal 6, when a “part from the ceiling, presumably a panel, fell off and hit Plaintiff’s head causing her serious personal injuries.” SAC ¶15 . Plaintiff alleges that the City was negligent in performing, maintaining, managing, operating, controlling, and supervising the activities of its employees and contractors. SAC ¶ 17. Plaintiff asserts a single cause of action against the City for dangerous condition of public property under section 830 et seq. of the Government Code.

In its answer to the second amended complaint, Defendant asserts a design immunity defense pursuant to Government Code section 830.6. Defendant now moves for summary judgment on that defense.

As an initial matter, the Court notes that although this is Defendant’s second motion for summary judgment, this motion is not precluded because it seeks summary judgment on a different ground than the previous motion. While a party may not move for summary judgment or adjudication multiple times on the same issue under Code of Civil Procedure section 437c(f)(2), nothing in the code prevents a second summary judgment motion on a different issue.

The design immunity defense is set forth in section 830.6 of the Government Code. “The rationale for design immunity is to prevent a jury from second-guessing the decision of a public entity by reviewing the identical questions of risk that had previously been considered by the government officers who adopted or approved the plan or design. [Citation.]” (Alvis v. Cty. of Ventura (2009) 178 Cal. App. 4th 536, 549–50 (quoting Cornette v. Dept. of Transp. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 63, 69).)

Government Code section 830.6 provides in relevant part: “Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable under this chapter for an injury caused by the plan or design of a construction of, or an improvement to, public property where such plan or design has been approved in advance of the construction or improvement by the legislative body of the public entity or by some other body or employee exercising discretionary authority to give such approval or where such plan or design is prepared in conformity with standards previously so approved, if the trial or appellate court determines that there is any substantial evidence upon the basis of which (a) a reasonable public employee could have adopted the plan or design or the standards therefor or (b) a reasonable legislative body or other body or employee could have approved the plan or design or the standards therefor.”

Pursuant to this statute, “[a] public entity claiming design immunity must show three elements: (1) a causal relationship between the plan and the accident; (2) discretionary approval of the plan prior to construction; and (3) substantial evidence supporting the reasonableness of the plan or design.” (Alvis v. Cty. of Ventura (2009) 178 Cal. App. 4th 536, 549–50.) “The first two elements, causation and discretionary approval, may only be resolved as issues of law if the facts are undisputed.” (Id.) “The third element, substantial evidence of reasonableness, requires only evidence of solid value that reasonably inspires confidence.” With respect to the third factor, the defendant does not have to provide that the issue of reasonableness is undisputed; “the statute provides immunity even if the evidence is contradicted.” (Id.)

Here, Defendant has not established, as a matter of law, that the accident was caused by the design of the ceiling system, and thus the first element is not established. Plaintiff’s theory is not that the overall design of the ceiling system is faulty. Instead, as shown by the declaration of Plaintiff’s expert, Vache Nayirian, Plaintiff’s theory is that the particular panel that fell was defective for one of two reasons: (a) the panel that fell and hit Plaintiff was broken; or (b) the panel in question was of a lesser size than was called for in the design and did not properly fit the cell. While the declaration of Intissar Durham establishes that the construction of the ceiling was completed in accordance with the approved plans as of the inspection date of October 1, 2015, Defendant has provided no evidence that the particular panel that fell and hit Plaintiff was in the condition set forth in the approved plans as of the date of the accident.

“It is a longstanding proposition articulated in numerous cases that by force of its very terms design immunity is limited to a design-caused accident. Stated otherwise, it does not immunize against liability caused by negligence independent of design, even though independent negligence is only a concurring proximate cause of the accident.” (Mozzetti v. City of Brisbane (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 565, 575.) Here, as noted, Plaintiff’s theory is that a defect in the particular panel, not the overall design, is the cause of the accident.

In sum, Defendant has not established, as a matter of law, that the first element of the design immunity defense is met. Summary judgment must be denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.