On 09/27/2017 ROBERT KARDASHIAN filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against ANGELA RENEE WHITE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are ERNEST HIROSHIGE, RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK, DEIRDRE HILL and ERNEST M. HIROSHIGE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK
ERNEST M. HIROSHIGE
DOES 1 THROUGH 10
WHITE ANGELA RENEE
GLASER WEIL FINK HOWARD AVCHEN&SHAPIROLLP
KINSELLA WEITZMAN ISER KUMP&ALDISERT LLP
HOLLEY SHAWN CHAPMAN
THE BLOOM FIRM
10/19/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
8/6/2018: DEFENDANT ANGELA WHITE''S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF''S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT''S MOTION FOR PARTIAL JUDGEMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
12/17/2018: Case Management Order
1/18/2019: Stipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter
5/21/2019: Stipulation and Order
2/2/2018: DEFENDANT ANGELA RENEE WHITE'S NOTICE OF TAKING HEARING ON HER DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT OFF CALENDAR
3/22/2018: NOTICE OF RULING ON DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION
3/29/2018: REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL
4/30/2018: Minute Order
8/13/2018: Minute Order
1/16/2018: DECLARATION OF DANIEL A. ROZAN SKY IN SUPPORT OF BUNIM-MURRAY'S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER AND COST SHIFTING FEES
11/3/2017: DEFENDANT'S DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL AND NOTICE OF DEPOSIT OF JURY FEES
11/7/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
Stipulation and Order (AMENDED STIPULATION AND PROTECTIVE ORDER - CONFIDENTIAL DESIGNATIONS); Filed by Robert Kardashian (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by PartyRead MoreRead Less
Notice ( OF ASSOCIATION OF COUNSEL); Filed by Robert Kardashian (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney; Filed by Angela Renee White (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Objection (DEFENDANT'S OBJECTIONS TO THE BLOOM FIRM'S NOTICE OF ATTORNEY'S LIEN); Filed by Angela Renee White (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney; Filed by Angela Renee White (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Lien; Filed by Angela Renee White (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (to seal confidential documents filed in support of and in opposition to Defendant White's Motion to Reclassify Action as One of Limited Jurisdiction)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (Reclassify Action as one of the Limited Jurisdiction) - Held - Motion DeniedRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion - Other Reclassify Action as one of the Lim...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
CIVIL DEPOSITRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Related Case; Filed by Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
Notice of Related CasesRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF GLASER WEIL LLP AS CO-COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFSRead MoreRead Less
Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR: 1. ASSAULT ;ETCRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Robert Kardashian (Plaintiff); Kylie Jenner (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC677472 Hearing Date: September 17, 2020 Dept: 47
Robert Kardashian v. Angela Renee White, aka Blac Chyna
GIVEN THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS
CRISIS, THE COURT STRONGLY ENCOURAGES REMOTE APPEARENCES BY “LACourtConnect.” PLEASE MAKE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS IF YOU WISH TO
APPEAR REMOTELY AT WWW.LACOURT.ORG/LACC/. NO OTHER TYPES OF REMOTE APPEARANCES ARE
AVAILABLE FOR THIS PARTICULAR COURTROOM, INCLUDING COURT CALL. IF YOU APPEAR IN PERSON AT THE HEARING, YOU
WILL BE SUBJECT TO ALL SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES, INCLUDING THE WEARING OF AN
APPROPRIATE FACE MASK/COVERING (ABSENT ANY EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES) AS
CONTAINED IN THE APPLICABLE GENERAL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE
GIVEN THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, THE COURT STRONGLY ENCOURAGES REMOTE APPEARENCES BY “LACourtConnect.” PLEASE MAKE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS IF YOU WISH TO APPEAR REMOTELY AT WWW.LACOURT.ORG/LACC/. NO OTHER TYPES OF REMOTE APPEARANCES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THIS PARTICULAR COURTROOM, INCLUDING COURT CALL. IF YOU APPEAR IN PERSON AT THE HEARING, YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ALL SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES, INCLUDING THE WEARING OF AN APPROPRIATE FACE MASK/COVERING (ABSENT ANY EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES) AS CONTAINED IN THE APPLICABLE GENERAL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE L.A.S.C.
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, ALTERNATIVELY,
FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
MOVING PARTY: Defendant Angela White
RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Robert Kardashian
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
Plaintiff Robert Kardashian alleges that he was assaulted and battered by Defendant Angela White.
Defendant Angela White moves for summary judgment.
Defendant Angela White’s motion for summary judgment is DENIED.
Defendant’s alternative motion for summary adjudication is DENIED as to both issues.
Motion for Summary Judgment
As discussed below, Defendant has not demonstrated that she is entitled to prevail as to both causes of action asserted against her. Accordingly, the motion for summary judgment is DENIED.
The Court will proceed to address the alternative motion for summary adjudication.
Motion for Summary Adjudication
Plaintiff’s Evidentiary Objections
Pursuant to CCP§ 437c(q), the Court only rules upon those evidentiary objections as to the following evidence which the Court deems to be material to the disposition of this action:
Declaration of Lynne M. Ciani
Nos. 1-6, 9: OVERRULED. Sufficient foundation; not inadmissible hearsay. It is reasonably possible these videos could be authenticated and therefore would be admissible at trial. (Sweetwater Union High School Dist. v. Gilbane Building Co. (2019) 6 Cal.5th 931, 947-949.)
Nos. 7-8: OVERRULED. Goes to weight.
No. 10: OVERRULED. Relevant; other objections go to weight.
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. Atl. 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.)
When deciding whether to grant summary judgment or adjudication, 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. (Ibid.)
When a defendant moves for summary judgment or summary adjudication, it must show that one or more elements of the cause of action at issue cannot be established or that there is a complete defense to that cause of action. (CCP § 437c(p)(2).) If the defendant meets its burden to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that an essential element of a cause of action cannot be established, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to prove the existence of a triable issue of fact regarding that element. (Consumer Cause, Inc. v. SmileCare (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 454, 468.) If the plaintiff is unable to do so, the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (Ibid.)
When seeking summary adjudication, the separate statement must “separately” identify “[e]ach cause of action . . . that is the subject of the motion.” (CRC 3.1350(d)(1)(A), bold emphasis added.) The separate statement must also “separately” identify “[e]ach supporting material fact claimed to be without dispute with respect to the cause of action” – that is, each cause of action – “that is the subject of the motion.” (CRC 3.1350(d)(1)(B), bold emphasis added.) That means that if the same facts relate to multiple causes of action, they must be separately set forth in the separate statement as to each cause of action as to which the moving party seeks summary adjudication. Defendant’s separate statement does not comply with this requirement.
Despite this procedural error, the Court will consider the motion. Of course, if there is a dispute as to any of the 18 allegedly undisputed facts, by definition both issues must fail, since they both rely on the same facts.
Issue No. 1: “Rob’s claim for assault fails.”
Defendant (“Chyna”) argues that Plaintiff’s (“Rob”)’s cause of action for assault fails because she did not intend to inflict injury on him and did not, in fact, harm him.
The essential elements of a cause of action for assault are: (1) defendant acted with intent to cause harmful or offensive contact, or threatened to touch plaintiff in a harmful or offensive manner; (2) plaintiff reasonably believed [he] was about to be touched in a harmful or offensive manner or it reasonably appeared to plaintiff that defendant was about to carry out the threat; (3) plaintiff did not consent to defendant’s conduct; (4) plaintiff was harmed; and (5) defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff's harm. (CACI No. 1301; Plotnik v. Meihaus (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 1590, 1603–1604, 146 Cal.Rptr.3d 585.)
(So v. Shin (2013) 212 Cal.App.4th 652, 668–669.) Chyna argues that Rob cannot prove the first and fourth of these elements: that she acted with intent to harm him (or threatened to harm him) or that he was actually harmed.
In the 1AC, Rob alleges the following as to assault:
39. As described above, Chyna intended to cause and did cause Rob to suffer the apprehension of a harmful physical contact. On the evening of December 14 and morning of December 15, 2015, Chyna broke the television in the house Rob was renting from Kylie, broke down a door, damaged the walls and obliterated the gingerbread house. Chyna made threatening comments with Rob’s gun and chased Rob out of the house.
40. Rob actually and reasonably believed that Chyna’s actions would result in imminent and continued unwanted physical contact. In fact, although Rob never engaged in the threats, Chyna’s actions did eventually result in punches to his face and head.
41. Chyna’s acts were committed maliciously, oppressively, with an improper and evil motive, and in conscious disregard of the rights of Rob.
42. As a direct and proximate result of Chyna’s actions, Rob suffered physical injury.
43. Because Chyna committed the above-described acts in a despicable, deliberate, and intentional manner, Rob is entitled to recover punitive damages from Chyna in addition to compensatory damages.
(1AC ¶¶ 39-43.) The relevant events “described above” were as follows:
6. On or about December 14, 2016, shortly after Chyna gave birth to her and Rob’s baby girl, Dream Kardashian, Chyna became extremely intoxicated on drugs and alcohol and physically assaulted Rob. Rob sustained injuries as a result of these actions and Chyna also damaged Kylie’s house, which Rob was renting at the time.
* * *
26. Chyna’s menacing behavior culminated in a violent attack on Rob in the evening of December 14 and early morning of December 15, 2016.
27. On the night of December 14, 2016, Chyna consumed a significant amount of drugs and alcohol. That night Chyna was in Rob’s house in Calabasas . . . . As Chyna partied that night with one of her friends, baby Dream was sleeping upstairs in Rob’s house.
28. Rob remained on the main floor of the house, as Chyna continued to heavily drink with her friend in a separate room. At one point in the evening, Chyna video conferenced Rob’s friends Gene and Victory on FaceTime, and was carelessly playing with Rob’s gun unaware if the gun was loaded or if the safety was on. Chyna even pointed the gun at the camera on the iPhone and told Rob’s friends not to mess around.
29. Later in the evening, while Rob was sitting on the main floor of the house, Chyna lunged towards Rob with an iPhone charging cable and attempted to strangle Rob with the cord around his neck. Chyna was purposely trying to hurt Rob and struggled with him as she tightened the iPhone cable around Rob’s neck. Rob was able to escape her grasp, however he suffered injuries to his neck and Chyna ripped his shirt around the collar area.
30. Rob darted away from Chyna and tried to evade any further attempts to attack him. Chyna, however, chased after Rob and repeatedly struck him in the head and face. Rob documented his injuries to his neck and clothing, including tears to his shirt around the neck area, by posting pictures on social media.
31. Chyna then proceeded to damage a television owned by Kylie in the house, broke down a door on the main level, damaged the walls, destroyed cell phones, and smashed a gingerbread house that was made for the holidays.
32. Chyna pursued Rob outside the house as he tried to escape in his Bentley and drive away from her. Chyna threw a nearby chair at Rob’s car causing damage to the vehicle and also used a metal rod to injure Rob.
33. Plaintiffs estimate that Chyna’s wrongful conduct caused them at least $100,000 in damages.
(1AC ¶¶ 6, 26-33.)
As to her intent, Chyna has presented her deposition testimony that she “jokingly” put the charger cord around Rob’s neck and did not do so “to hurt him.” (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (“UMF”) No. 7; Chyna Depo. 149:16-21; 150:1 to 151:19 (Exh. H).) Rob also testified, as to the alleged beating with a metal pole, that he did not believe Chyna was trying to kill him “at that point” and that he explained the incident on December 14 by stating that “when you’re drunk, people do dumb things.” (UMF Nos. 12, 13; Rob Depo. 150:9-18; 155:22 to 156:4 (Exh. G).)
Based on this evidence as to her intent, Chyna has made a prima facie showing that Rob cannot prove this element. The burden therefore shifts to Rob to prove that there is a genuine question of material fact as to this element.
To establish intent, Rob must show that Chyna either intended to inflict harmful or offensive contact or that she intended to cause Rob to fear such contact. (Herrick v. Quality Hotels, Inns & Resorts, Inc. (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 1608, 1617.) A person who acts willfully “may be said to intend ‘those consequences which (a) represent the very purpose for which an act is done (regardless of the likelihood of occurrence), or (b) are known to be substantially certain to result (regardless of desire).” (Gomez v. Acquistapace (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 740, 746.) Thus, intent may be inferred from “wrongful acts evidencing wanton, willful or reckless disregard for human safety.” (Newman v. Larsen (1964) 225 Cal.App.2d 22, 24.) This is true even if the defendant “act[s] for the purpose of carrying out what [s]he conceives to be a joke.” (Restatement (Second) of Torts § 34 (Am. Law Inst. 1965).)
Here, Rob has shown that there are genuine issues of material fact as to this element, despite Chyna’s explanation of her intent. For example, Rob has presented evidence that Chyna intended to harm him when she came at him with a metal pole, that she wrapped the phone cord tightly around his neck, that she chased him and broke down the door of the master bedroom during the incident, and that she pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him, without Rob knowing whether the gun was loaded. (Plaintiff’s Separate Statement (“SS”) No. 20 and supporting evidence.) Under these circumstances, there is a triable issue of fact as to whether Chyna acted in a manner that demonstrated that she intended to cause him to fear for his life.
As to whether Rob was harmed, Chyna has presented evidence that he thought ripping his shirt was funny, that the phone cord was around his neck for only a few seconds, that there were no signs that he was injured in videos soon after the alleged incident, and that he has claimed no medical expenses or loss of earnings. (UMF Nos. 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14 (Rob Depo. 117:14-118:3; 141:19 to 142:3; 197:16-25; 199:14 to 201:17 (Exh. G); Unaired Season 2 footage (Exh. C); Snapchat videos (Exhs. D, E); KUWTK excerpt (Exh. F).)
Even assuming that Chyna has made a prima facie showing that Rob cannot prove this element – which is dubious given that Chyna focuses primarily on whether Rob was physically harmed – and that the burden has shifted to Rob to prove that there is a genuine question of material fact, he has made that showing. He has presented evidence that, for example, he hired security after the incident to prevent Chyna returning and damaging the home and because he feared she would “return to the home and physically harm” him. (SS No. 8; Rob Depo. 35:16 to 36:6.)
“Assault is a tort which today recognizes the right of the individual to peace of mind, to live without fear of personal harm.” (Thing v. La Chusa (1989) 48 Cal.3d 644, 649.) Therefore, “mental suffering will frequently constitute the principal element of damages.” (Id. at 650.) Here, in addition to the evidence that he hired security because he feared Chyna would return and physically harm him, Rob has also produced evidence that he feared for his life at the time of the attack. (SS Nos. 21-23 and supporting evidence.) He has also come forward with evidence that multiple witnesses did observe that he had physical injuries at the time, including bruises. (SS No. 27.) This evidence is sufficient to create a triable issue of material fact as to whether he was harmed.
Accordingly, the motion is DENIED as to Issue No. 1.
Issue No. 2: “Rob’s claim for battery fails.”
Chyna also argues that Rob’s cause of action for battery fails because she did not intend to inflict injury on him and did not, in fact, harm him.
The essential elements of a cause of action for battery are: (1) defendant touched plaintiff, or caused plaintiff to be touched, with the intent to harm or offend plaintiff; (2) plaintiff did not consent to the touching; (3) plaintiff was harmed or offended by defendant's conduct; and (4) a reasonable person in plaintiff's position would have been offended by the touching. (CACI No. 1300; see Kaplan v. Mamelak (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 637, 645, 75 Cal.Rptr.3d 861 (Kaplan).)
(So, supra, 212 Cal.App.4th at 669.)
For the reasons discussed in connection with Issue No. 1, there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether Chyna intended to harm Rob and as to whether Rob suffered harm as a result.
Accordingly, the motion is DENIED as to Issue No. 2.
Moving party to give notice, unless waived.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: September 17, 2020 ___________________________________
Randolph M. Hammock
Judge of the Superior Court
Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org by no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the hearing. All interested parties must be copied on the email. It should be noted that if you submit on a tentative ruling the court will still conduct a hearing if any party appears. By submitting on the tentative you have, in essence, waived your right to be present at the hearing, and you should be aware that the court may not adopt the tentative, and may issue an order which modifies the tentative ruling in whole or in part.
 Kylie Jenner was originally a plaintiff in this action, but she has since been dismissed from the entire action.