This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/06/2019 at 01:06:13 (UTC).

SEAN PHILLIPS VS ERNESTO FELICIANO VILLAR ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/20/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by SEAN PHILLIPS against ERNESTO FELICIANO VILLAR in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5128

  • Filing Date:

    02/20/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

PHILLIPS SEAN

Defendants and Respondents

UNITED MED TRANSPORTATION

DOES 1-50 INCLUSIVE

UNITED MED TRANSPORTATION INC.

VILLAR ERNESTO FELICIANO

 

Court Documents

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

6/21/2018: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Motion to Deem RFA's Admitted

6/21/2018: Motion to Deem RFA's Admitted

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

6/21/2018: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

6/21/2018: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Notice of Postponement

6/25/2018: Notice of Postponement

DECLARATION OF JOHANA VICENTE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT VILLAR'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL, ETC

7/17/2018: DECLARATION OF JOHANA VICENTE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT VILLAR'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL, ETC

DECLARATION OF STEVEN PABROS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT VILLAR'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL, ETC

7/17/2018: DECLARATION OF STEVEN PABROS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT VILLAR'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL, ETC

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

7/24/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

CROSS-COMPLAINT FOR INDEMNITY

8/16/2018: CROSS-COMPLAINT FOR INDEMNITY

DECLARATION OF STEVEN PABROS IN SUPPORT OF ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

8/23/2018: DECLARATION OF STEVEN PABROS IN SUPPORT OF ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

Minute Order

8/23/2018: Minute Order

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

8/31/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

ANSWER IN INTERVENTION OF ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

9/5/2018: ANSWER IN INTERVENTION OF ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

Notice of Change of Firm Name

12/26/2018: Notice of Change of Firm Name

Notice

1/31/2019: Notice

CIVIL DEPOSIT

3/22/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL

4/2/2018: NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL

CoverSheet

2/20/2018: CoverSheet

26 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/18/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (TO CONTINUE TRIAL); Filed by Ernesto Feliciano Villar (Defendant)

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  • 01/31/2019
  • Notice ( of Association of Counsel); Filed by Sean Phillips (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/26/2018
  • Notice of Change of Firm Name; Filed by United Med Transportation (Defendant); United Med Transportation Inc. (Defendant); Ernesto Feliciano Villar (Defendant)

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  • 10/29/2018
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4; Hearing on Motion for Leave to Intervene - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 09/05/2018
  • Answer; Filed by United Med Transportation (Defendant); United Med Transportation Inc. (Defendant); Ernesto Feliciano Villar (Defendant) et al.

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  • 09/05/2018
  • Cross-Complaint; Filed by United Med Transportation (Defendant); United Med Transportation Inc. (Defendant); Ernesto Feliciano Villar (Defendant)

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  • 09/05/2018
  • CROSS-COMPLAINT FOR 1. INDEMNITY 2.CONTRIBUTION 3. DECLARATORY RELIEF

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  • 09/05/2018
  • ANSWER IN INTERVENTION OF ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

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  • 08/31/2018
  • MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC.'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

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  • 08/31/2018
  • DECLARATION OF STEVEN PABROS IN SUPPORT OF ATLAS FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ERNESTO VILLAR

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53 More Docket Entries
  • 04/02/2018
  • NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL

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  • 03/22/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by Ernesto Feliciano Villar (Defendant)

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  • 03/22/2018
  • Answer; Filed by United Med Transportation (Defendant); United Med Transportation Inc. (Defendant); Ernesto Feliciano Villar (Defendant)

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  • 03/22/2018
  • NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

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  • 03/22/2018
  • ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 03/22/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 03/22/2018
  • Notice; Filed by Ernesto Feliciano Villar (Defendant)

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  • 02/20/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Sean Phillips (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/20/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Sean Phillips (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/20/2018
  • Complaint

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC695128    Hearing Date: December 11, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Withdraw Admissions Deemed Admitted

Having considered the moving, opposing, and reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On February 20, 2018, Plaintiff Sean Phillips (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Ernesto Feliciano Villar, United Med Transportation, and United Med Transportation Inc. alleging negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on February 22, 2016.

On August 16, 2018, Defendants/Cross-Complainants Ernesto Feliciano Villar, United Med Transportation, and United Med Transportation Inc. filed a cross-complaint against Roes 1-20 seeking indemnity, contribution, and declaratory relief.

On September 5, 2018. Defendant-in-Intervention Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. filed a cross-complaint on the behalf of Defendant Ernesto Villar against Roes 1-20 seeking indemnity, contribution, and declaratory relief.

On October 30, 2019, the Court deemed the matters within Plaintiff’s Request for Admissions (Set One) as admitted against Defendant/Cross-Complainant Ernesto Feliciano Villar.

On November 1, 2019, Defendants/Cross-Complainants Ernesto Feliciano Villar, United Med Transportation, and United med Transportation, Inc. filed a motion to withdraw admissions that had been deemed admitted against Defendant/Cross-Complainant Ernesto Feliciano Villar on October 30, 2019.

Trial is set for January 27, 2020.

PARTIES REQUEST

Defendants/Cross-Complainants Ernesto Feliciano Villar, United Med Transportation, and United med Transportation, Inc. (“Moving Parties”) ask the Court to withdraw Defendant/Cross-Complainant Ernesto Feliciano Villar (“Defendant Villar”) admissions to Plaintiff’s Request for Admissions (Set One) because the legal assistant responsible for calendaring the discovery responses failed to enter the due date on the calendar.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.300 states: “(a) A party may withdraw or amend an admission made in response to a request for admission only on leave of court granted after notice to all parties.  (b) The court may permit withdrawal or amendment of an admission only if it determines that the admission was the result of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect, and that the party who obtained the admission will not be substantially prejudiced in maintaining that party’s action or defense on the merits.”

DISCUSSION

In July of 2018, Plaintiff served Request for Admissions (Set One) on Defendant Villar.  (Harvey-Lee Decl., ¶ 3.)  On July 30, 2018, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) against Defendant Villar because Defendant Villar did not receive the written discovery even though it had been properly served.  (See Harvey-Lee Decl., ¶ 4.)  Also on July 30, 2018, the Court ordered Defendant Villar to provide responses by August 10, 2019.  (Harvey-Lee Decl., 5.)  No responses were served over the next year.  (Harvey-Lee Decl., 6.) 

On July 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) to be true as against Defendant Villar.  (See Harvey-Lee Decl., ¶ 8.)  At the August 26, 2019 hearing, the Court requested supplemental briefing and continued the hearing date to September 19, 2019.  (Harvey-Lee Decl., ¶ 10.)  On October 30, 2019, the Court deemed the matters within Plaintiff’s Request for Admissions (Set One) to be true as Villar.

Moving Parties argue that the legal assistant responsible for calendaring the discovery responses failed to enter the August 10, 2018 deadline to provide written discovery to Plaintiff’s Request for Admissions (Set One).  (Archer Decl., ¶¶ 3, 4.)

The Court finds the order that the matters in Plaintiff’s Request for Admissions (Set One) should be deemed to be admitted against Defendant Villar did not result from Defendant Villar’s mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect.  As Plaintiff’s counsel’s declaration meticulously shows, Defendant Villar had multiple opportunities to provide the outstanding responses.  The failure of his counsel’s legal assistant to enter the August 10, 2018 deadline was not the only missed opportunity to remind the firm of the outstanding discovery.  The service of the July 26, 2019 motion, the August 26, 2019 hearing, and the September 19, 2019 hearing all functioned as clear reminders that Defendant’s responses were outstanding and due.

Defendant Villar argues that he has not had ample time to provide the verified responses because defense counsel have not been able to find him and, thus, his verification cannot be attached to written discovery.  (Reply, p. 1:2-1:9.)  The Court finds this argument to be unpersuasive.  It is Defendant Villar’s decision whether or not he wants to defend this action.  He may decide that this action is not worth defending and he is willing to accept a default judgment if he so chooses.

Further, given Defendant Villar’s apparent disappearance, it seems that it would be futile to grant the relief sought in this motion, since setting aside the Court’s ruling finding all matters to be admitted would not absolve Defendant Villar of his duty to provide verified responses to Plaintiff’s requests for admissions.  Without Defendant Villar’s signature, no verified responses could be providec

Moving Parties’ motion is DENIED.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC695128    Hearing Date: December 06, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Compel Deposition

Having considered the moving and opposing papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On February 20, 2018, Plaintiff Sean Phillips (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Ernesto Feliciano Villar, United Med Transportation, and United Med Transportation Inc. alleging negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on February 22, 2016.

On August 16, 2018, Defendants/Cross-Complainants Ernesto Feliciano Villar, United Med Transportation, and United Med Transportation Inc. filed a cross-complaint against Roes 1-20 seeking indemnity, contribution, and declaratory relief.

On September 5, 2018. Defendant-in-Intervention Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. filed a cross-complaint on the behalf of Defendant Ernesto Villar against Roes 1-20 seeking indemnity, contribution, and declaratory relief.

On November 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel the deposition of Defendant-in-Intervention Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc.’s person most knowledgeable and for Defendant-in-Intervention Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc to produce documents at its deposition pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450.

Trial is set for January 27, 2020.

PARTYS REQUESTS

Plaintiff asks the Court to compel Defendant-in-Intervention Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc.’s (“Opposing Party”) person most knowledgeable’s deposition within 15 days of the hearing on this motion.

Plaintiff also requests that the Court impose $2,160 in monetary sanctions against Opposing Party and its counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

Opposing Party asks the Court to impose $2,100 in monetary sanctions against Plaintiff and his counsel of record for having to oppose this motion.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (a) provides: “If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action . . . , without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document . . . described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document . . . described in the deposition notice.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (b) provides: “A motion under subdivision (a) shall comply with both of the following:

  1. The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

  1. The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents, electronically stored information, or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (c) provides, “(1) If a motion under subdivision (a) is granted, the court shall impose a monetary sanction . . . in favor of the party who noticed the deposition and against the deponent or the party with whom the deponent is affiliated, unless the court finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010, subd. (d).)

DISCUSSION

On October 15, 2019, Plaintiff served a notice of taking the deposition of Opposing Party’s person most knowledgeable along with a request for production of documents by overnight mail setting a deposition date for November 7, 2019.  (Harvey-Lee Decl., ¶¶ 1, 10, Exh. 1.)  On November 1, 2019, Plaintiff received an objection to the deposition notice from Opposing Party.  (Harvey-Lee Decl., ¶ 13, Exh. 5.)  Opposing Party objected on the grounds that it had not been subpoenaed, the testimony requested is not relevant and privileged, and the documents requested are privileged.  (Ibid.)

The Court initially notes that Opposing Party’s objection that it needs to be subpoenaed as opposed to served with a deposition notice is baseless.  California Code of Civil procedure section 387, subdivision (b) clearly states “[a]n intervention takes place when a nonparty, deemed an intervenor, becomes a party to an action or proceeding between other persons by doing any of the following: . . . (b) uniting with a defendant in resisting the claims of a plaintiff.”  (Emphasis added.)  Opposing Party became a party to this action when it filed the answer-in-intervention on September 5, 2018, joining Defendant Villar in his defense against Plaintiff’s claims.

Plaintiff seeks deposition testimony and documents related to the incident that gives rise to this action.  There is no suggestion that any of the request testimony or documents requested are irrelevant.  Further, Opposing Party may object to questions seeking irrelevant testimony at the deposition.

Plaintiff’s request for documents in the deposition notice does not tailor the requested documents to non-privileged materials.  However, this is easily fixed by ordering Opposing Party to comply with the request for production only as it pertains to non-privileged documents.

Sanctions are proper.  While Plaintiff did not exclude privileged documents from the document request, was not entitled to use this fact to refuse to provide oral testimony or to produce non-privileged documents. Plaintiff’s request for $2,160 in sanctions consists of 6 hours in preparing the moving papers at a rate of $350 an hour, plus one $60 filing fee.  The Court finds this to be unreasonable.  The motion is relatively straight forward.  Rather, the Court finds $1,110 ($350/hr. x 3 hrs. plus one $60 filing fee) to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against Opposing Party and its counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

The motion is GRANTED.

Opposing Party is ordered to comply with the deposition notice attached as Exhibit 1 to Katherine Harvey-Lee’s declaration within 20 days of this ruling.

Opposing Party and its counsel of record are ordered to pay $1,110 to Plaintiff, jointly and severally, within 30 days of this ruling.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.