This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/28/2019 at 02:34:29 (UTC).

SAMSON MICHAEL VS SIMONTOV ESHAGHIAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/24/2017 SAMSON MICHAEL filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against SIMONTOV ESHAGHIAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3670

  • Filing Date:

    08/24/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

MICHAEL SAMSON

Defendants and Respondents

EMRANI YOUSEF

VENICE INVESTMENTS GROUP LLC

WESTERN COMMERCIAL FINANCE LLC

EMROANI EBRAHIM

ESHAGHIAN SIMONTOV

EMRANI YAHOUDA

EMRANI DAVID

DOES 1 TO 25

HILLCREST CENTER LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

SHOHET GEORGE A. ESQ.

MCMAHON BRIAN D

Defendant Attorney

BRAUN CRAIG DOUGLAS

 

Court Documents

Unknown

2/15/2018: Unknown

Unknown

3/7/2018: Unknown

PLAINTIFF?S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

3/19/2018: PLAINTIFF?S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

NOTICE OF HEARING ON DEMURRERS AND DEMURRERS OF WESTERN COMMERCIAL FINANCE, L.L.C. TO PLAINTIFF'S VERIFIED COMPLAINT, ETC

3/26/2018: NOTICE OF HEARING ON DEMURRERS AND DEMURRERS OF WESTERN COMMERCIAL FINANCE, L.L.C. TO PLAINTIFF'S VERIFIED COMPLAINT, ETC

Minute Order

5/2/2018: Minute Order

RULING

5/2/2018: RULING

OPPOSITION TO EX PARTE APPLICATION TO ALLOW FURTHER TIME TO REVIVE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

7/30/2018: OPPOSITION TO EX PARTE APPLICATION TO ALLOW FURTHER TIME TO REVIVE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

REQUEST OF WESTERN COMMERCIAL FINANCE, L.L.C. FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION; ETC.

7/30/2018: REQUEST OF WESTERN COMMERCIAL FINANCE, L.L.C. FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION; ETC.

PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO EXTEND TIME FOR PLAINTIFF TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT; ETC.

7/30/2018: PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO EXTEND TIME FOR PLAINTIFF TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT; ETC.

Minute Order

11/9/2018: Minute Order

Proof of Service by Mail

12/13/2018: Proof of Service by Mail

Objection

12/13/2018: Objection

Motion for Change of Venue

4/8/2019: Motion for Change of Venue

Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

4/8/2019: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

12/1/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Unknown

11/27/2017: Unknown

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

10/20/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

SUMMONS

8/24/2017: SUMMONS

51 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/11/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/11/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/09/2019
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by Western Commercial Finance LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/08/2019
  • Motion for Change of Venue; Filed by Simontov Eshaghian (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/08/2019
  • Request for Judicial Notice; Filed by Western Commercial Finance LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/08/2019
  • Motion for Change of Venue; Filed by David Emrani (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/08/2019
  • Motion to Strike (not initial pleading); Filed by Western Commercial Finance LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/08/2019
  • Request for Judicial Notice; Filed by David Emrani (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/18/2019
  • at 09:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/12/2019
  • Notice (Association of Counsel); Filed by Samson Michael (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
97 More Docket Entries
  • 10/04/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/04/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Samson Michael (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/04/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Samson Michael (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/20/2017
  • Notice of Related Case; Filed by Samson Michael (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/20/2017
  • Notice of Related Cases

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/18/2017
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/18/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/24/2017
  • SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/24/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Samson Michael (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/24/2017
  • VERIFIED LLC MEMBER DERWATLVE COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY AND AIDING AND ABETTING BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY; ETC

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC673670    Hearing Date: December 19, 2019    Dept: 47

Samson Michael, as Trustee of the Mishael Family Trust of 2004, derivatively on behalf of Hillcrest Center, LLC,

a California limited liability company v. Simontov Eshaghian, individually and as Trustee of the Eshaghian

Family Trust dated November 8, 1995, et al.

  

MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED AND VERIFIED LLC MEMBER COMPLAINT

MOVING PARTY: Defendants Venice Investments Group, LLC; David Emrani; Ebrahim Emrani; Yahouda Emrani; and Yousef Emrani

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Samson Michael, as Trustee of The Mishael Family Trust of 2004, derivatively on behalf of Hillcrest Center, LLC.

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Eshaghian, the other member of Hillcrest Center, LLC, drove the LLC into financial ruin and converted its real estate holdings to his own use, and conspired with co-Defendants to acquire the underlying loan and foreclose on the property. Defendant Eshaghian has filed a cross-complaint for judicial dissolution of Hillcrest Center, LLC.

Defendants Venice Investments Group, LLC; David Emrani; Ebrahim Emrani; Yahouda Emrani; and Yousef Emrani move to strike portions of Plaintiff’s First Amended and Verified LLC Member Derivative Complaint.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants Venice Investments Group, LLC; David Emrani; Ebrahim Emrani; Yahouda Emrani; and Yousef Emrani’s motion to strike is GRANTED without leave to amend as to all of the moving defendants as to the prayer for attorney’s fees.

The motion to strike is GRANTED without leave to amend as to Defendant Venice Investments Group, LLC as to the punitive damages allegations in ¶¶ 52, 58, 65, 71, 76, and the prayer for punitive damages.

The motion to strike is also GRANTED as to the individual defendants (David Emrani, Ebrahim Emrani, Yahouda Emrani, and Yousef Emrani) as to the punitive damages allegations in ¶¶ 52, 58, 65, 71, 76, and the prayer for punitive damages.

Generally speaking, leave to amend must be allowed where there is a reasonable possibility of successful amendment. (Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 348.) Plaintiff must demonstrate this possibility at the hearing. If he does not, no leave to amend will be given.

DISCUSSION:

Motion to Strike

Meet and Confer

The Declaration of Attorney Craig D. Braun reflects that the meet and confer requirement set forth in CCP § 435.5(a) was satisfied.

Request For Judicial Notice

Defendants’ requests that the Court take judicial notice of (1) the First Amended and Verified LLC Member Derivative Complaint in this action and (2) the Notice of Ruling on Motion to Strike filed in this action are GRANTED per Evidence Code § 452(d) (court records).

Discussion

The motion to strike is GRANTED without leave to amend as to all of the moving defendants as to the prayer for attorney’s fees. Plaintiff has not alleged any basis for an award of fees and does not oppose striking this prayer as to all of the moving defendants.

The motion to strike is GRANTED without leave to amend as to Defendant Venice Investments Group, LLC as to the punitive damages allegations in ¶¶ 52, 58, 65, 71, 76, and the prayer for punitive damages. As to the corporate defendant (Venice Investments Group, LLC), Plaintiff’s allegations are insufficient under Civil Code § 3294(b), which requires particular allegations when punitive damages are sought against a corporation, including that the “advance knowledge and conscious disregard, authorization, ratification or act of oppression, fraud, or malice must be on the part of an officer, director, or managing agent of the corporation.” (Civ. Code § 3294(b).) Plaintiff does not oppose striking these allegations or the prayer for punitive damages as to Venice Investments Group, LLC.

As to the individual defendants (David Emrani, Ebrahim Emrani, Yahouda Emrani, and Yousef Emrani), Plaintiff’s allegations as to punitive damages are also insufficient under Civil Code § 3294. Punitive damages may be awarded in connection with a breach of fiduciary duty claim, if Plaintiff provides that Defendants acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. (Cleveland v. Johnson (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1345 [holding that the “jury was at liberty to award punitive damages in connection with the defendants’ breach of fiduciary duty”].) Constructive fraud can likewise support a punitive damages award if the facts so warrant. (Stokes v. Henson (1990) 217 Cal.App.3d 187, 197-198.) Here, however, Plaintiff’s allegations against the individual Emrani defendants are one step removed even from these torts: they involve aiding and abetting Simontov Eshaghian in committing them. (Complaint ¶¶ 17, 50, 56.) “Liability may . . . be imposed on one who aids and abets the commission of an intentional tort if the person (a) knows the other’s conduct constitutes a breach of duty and gives substantial assistance or encouragement to the other to so act or (b) gives substantial assistance to the other in accomplishing a tortious result and the person’s own conduct, separately considered, constitutes a breach of duty to the third person.” (Fiol v. Doellstedt (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1318, 1325–1326.) To impose punitive damages for these actions, however, Plaintiff must meet the requirements of Civil Code § 3294. In focusing primarily on Defendant Eshaghian’s “egregious misconduct” (Complaint ¶ 17), Plaintiff’s allegations as to the Emrani Defendants do not rise to the level of “oppression, fraud, or malice” necessary for punitive damages.

“Malice” is defined as conduct “intended to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct . . . carried on . . . with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.” (Civ. Code § 3294(c)(1).) “Oppression” means “despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person’s rights.” (Id. § 3294(c)(2).) “Fraud” is “intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury.” (Id. § 3294(c)(3).)

Here, Plaintiff alleges, in essence, ordinary business decisions as to the Emrani Defendants:

These alleged actions do not rise to the level of malice, oppression, or fraud. In addition, although Plaintiff alleges harm from some of these actions, he does not allege the Emrani Defendants’ intent to cause these injuries. (E.g., ¶ 28 – “The Defendants’ actions drove Hillcrest out of business”; ¶ 32 – “The combined effect of Defendants harming the Plaintiff financially and certain temporary operating issues caused Hillcrest to be unable to fully pay the monthly mortgage payment”; ¶ 42 – “This further depressed the desirability and value of the Property”; ¶ 43 – “The Emranis’ actions irreparably damaged Hillcrest’s tenant relationships and frustrated its ability to operate the center profitably”). Plaintiff alleges that these Defendants “aided and abetted [Eshaghian’s] wrongdoing with full knowledge of Eshaghian’s egregious misconduct” (¶ 17; see also ¶¶ 50, 56), but that is not enough to render the Emrani Defendants liable for punitive damages. Nor is the conclusory allegation that they “pursued the course of conduct alleged above intentionally and maliciously with the sole intention of furthering their own economic interests at the expense of Hillcrest and Plaintiff.” (¶ 52.)

There is only one specific allegation in the complaint as to an individual Emrani Defendant: “Yahouda Emrani . . . denied having ‘any relationship with the current owner of the property’ when, in fact, the Emranis had been in business with Eshaghian for years.” (¶ 37.) This does not rise to the level of fraud necessary for punitive damages; as with the allegations above, there is no indication that Yahouda Emrani made this statement “with the intention . . . of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury.” (Id. § 3294(c)(3).)

Accordingly, the motion to strike the punitive damages allegations and prayer for relief is GRANTED as to the individual Emrani Defendants. Generally speaking, leave to amend must be allowed where there is a reasonable possibility of successful amendment. (Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 348.) Plaintiff must demonstrate this possibility at the hearing as to the punitive damages allegations as to the individual Emrani Defendants. If he does not, no leave to amend will be given.

Moving Party to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: December 19, 2019 ___________________________________

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