On 02/06/2018 a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury case was filed by RODRIGO ROSAS against UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
DOES 1 TO 25
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD
INTERMODAL MAINTENANCE SERVICES INC.
5/20/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)
5/20/2019: Association of Attorney
5/22/2019: Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)
6/3/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service
3/22/2018: DEFENDANT UNION PACIFIC RAIIROAD COMPANY'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT
3/2/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS
2/6/2018: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)
Proof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Rodrigo Rosas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
[Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Union Pacific Railroad (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by Rodrigo Rosas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Association of Attorney; Filed by Rodrigo Rosas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Union Pacific Railroad (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DEFENDANT UNION PACIFIC RAIIROAD COMPANY'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Rodrigo Rosas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Summons; Filed by Rodrigo Rosas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Rodrigo Rosas (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC693009 Hearing Date: March 04, 2020 Dept: 32
union pacific railroad,
Case No.: BC693009
Hearing Date: March 4, 2020
[TENTATIVE] order RE:
DEMURRER TO first amended complaint
Plaintiff Rodrigo Rosas (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he was injured on February 18, 2016. Plaintiff filed this action on February 6, 2018. On October 8, 2019, Plaintiff added Defendant Luis Gonzalez (“Defendant”) via Doe amendment. Then, on December 4, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint in which Plaintiff alleges as follows:
On or about February 18, 2016, Plaintiff was working for C.R. England, Inc. and while shaking hands with a railroad company worker, Luis Gonzalez, when [sic] Mr. Gonzalez pulled Plaintiff’s hand, pulling Plaintiff forward and causing Plaintiff to lose his balance when Mr. Gonzalez let go. Plaintiff could not regain his balance on the unstable asphalt, causing Plaintiff to fall backwards striking his back and head against a metal container.
(First Amended Complaint, at p. 4.) Now, Defendant demurs to the first amended complaint, which Plaintiff opposes. The demurrer is overruled.
“It is black letter law that a demurrer tests the legal sufficiency of the allegations in a complaint.” (Lewis v. Safeway, Inc. (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 385, 388.) In ruling on a demurrer, the court must “liberally construe” the allegations of the complaint. (Code Civ. Proc., § 452.) “This rule of liberal construction means that the reviewing court draws inferences favorable to the plaintiff, not the defendant.” (Perez v. Golden Empire Transit Dist. (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 1228, 1238.)
Defendant contends Plaintiff’s complaint is untimely. “Where the complaint’s allegations or judicially noticeable facts reveal the existence of an affirmative defense, the plaintiff must plead around the defense, by alleging specific facts that would avoid the apparent defense. Absent such allegations, the complaint is subject to demurrer for failure to state a cause of action.” (Gentry v. eBay, Inc. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 816, 824, internal quotations and citations omitted.) Defendant alleges that the incident happened on February 18, 2016, but Plaintiff did not name Defendant until October 8, 2019, which is approximately three years and seven months after the underlying incident. The statute of limitations on a cause of action for personal injury is two years. (Code Civ. Proc., § 335.1.)
To preserve the statute of limitations, a plaintiff must be truly ignorant of the identity of a person that the plaintiff names as a Doe defendant. (See Davis v. Marin (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 380, 387.) A Doe defendant bears the burden to prove that the plaintiff was aware of the identity of the Doe defendant at the time the plaintiff filed the initial complaint. (See Breceda v. Gamsby (1968) 267 Cal.App.2d 167, 179.) Here, the allegations of Plaintiff’s original complaint show that Plaintiff was not ignorant of Defendant’s identity. Accordingly, Plaintiff did not properly name Defendant via Doe amendment.
Nonetheless, “in order to determine the identity of a party courts are entitled to take into consideration the allegations of the complaint as well as the title.” (Plumlee v. Poag (1984) 150 Cal.App.3d 541, 547.) “The test is an objective one: would a reasonable defendant have understood the complaint to allege that it was in some way responsible for plaintiff's injury?” (Bell v. Tri-City Hospital Dist. (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 438, 449, overruled on other grounds in State of California v. Superior Court (2004) 32 Cal.4th 1234.)
In this case, Plaintiff clearly alleges in the original complaint that Defendant is responsible for Plaintiff’s injuries. The next consideration is whether Defendant received proper notice, since he was not served with the original complaint. This defect was cured because Plaintiff served the first amended complaint within three years of the filing of this action. Accordingly, the demurrer is overruled.
Conclusion and Order
Defendant’s demurrer Plaintiff’s first amended complaint is overruled. Defendant shall file an answer within twenty (20) days. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.
DATED: March 4, 2020 ___________________________
Stephen I. Goorvitch
Judge of the Superior Court