This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/14/2019 at 09:34:35 (UTC).

STANLEY ELLIS MCMILLAN VS TRADER JOES COMPANY

Case Summary

On 09/13/2017 STANLEY ELLIS MCMILLAN filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against TRADER JOES COMPANY. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DENNIS J. LANDIN. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5599

  • Filing Date:

    09/13/2017

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • 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 Judge

DENNIS J. LANDIN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

MCMILLAN STANLEY ELLIS

Defendant and Respondent

TRADER JOE'S COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

VARDANYAN LAW FIRM

FIRM VARDANYAN LAW

Defendant and Respondent Attorney

TYSON & MENDES LLP

 

Court Documents

DEFENDANT'S TRADER JOE'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, ETC

7/20/2018: DEFENDANT'S TRADER JOE'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, ETC

DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S COMPANY'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, ETC

7/20/2018: DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S COMPANY'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, ETC

NOTICE OF NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S COMPANY, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

8/7/2018: NOTICE OF NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S COMPANY, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT TRADER JOES MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES SET ONE;AND ETC.

8/16/2018: ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT TRADER JOES MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES SET ONE;AND ETC.

Minute Order

8/16/2018: Minute Order

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE BY PLAINTIFF STANLEY MCMILLAN

8/20/2018: ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE BY PLAINTIFF STANLEY MCMILLAN

Other -

11/15/2018: Other -

Minute Order

12/13/2018: Minute Order

DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S COMPANY'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

1/29/2018: DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S COMPANY'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Opposition

12/29/2017: Opposition

REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

1/2/2018: REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

1/2/2018: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Minute Order

1/9/2018: Minute Order

ORDER RE: DEMURRER

1/9/2018: ORDER RE: DEMURRER

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

10/24/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

9/13/2017: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

Unknown

9/13/2017: Unknown

SUMMONS

9/13/2017: SUMMONS

21 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/13/2019
  • Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Dismissal; Filed by STANLEY ELLIS MCMILLAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/13/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 4; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 02/27/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 4; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 12/13/2018
  • at 5:08 PM in Department 4; Nunc Pro Tunc Order

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  • 12/13/2018
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 4; Hearing on Motion for Order (Imposing Terminating Sanctions, or in the Alternative Evidentiary or Issue Sanctions and Further Monetary Sanctions Against Plaintiff) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 12/13/2018
  • Minute Order ((Hearing on Motion for Order Imposing Terminating Sanctions, o...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/13/2018
  • Order - Dismissal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/13/2018
  • Minute Order ((Nunc Pro Tunc Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/04/2018
  • Notice of Non-Opposition to Defendant Trader Joe's Company, Inc.'s Motion for Order Imposing Terminating Sanctions, or in the Alternative Evidentiary or Issue Sanctions and Further Monetary Sanctions Against Plaintiff; Filed by TRADER JOE'S COMPANY (Defendant)

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  • 11/15/2018
  • Motion for Order (Order Imposing Terminating Sanctions); Filed by TRADER JOE'S COMPANY (Defendant)

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47 More Docket Entries
  • 11/15/2017
  • 1N11's Ntc of Hrng on Demurrer; Filed by TRADER JOE'S COMPANY (Defendant)

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  • 11/15/2017
  • DEFENDANT TRADER JOE'S COMPANY, INC'S NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF HEATHER M. BEAN

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  • 10/24/2017
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 10/24/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 10/24/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 10/24/2017
  • Receipt; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 09/13/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by STANLEY ELLIS MCMILLAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/13/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 09/13/2017
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 09/13/2017
  • ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC675599    Hearing Date: February 21, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion for Terminating Sanctions

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

BACKGROUND

On September 13, 2017, Plaintiff Stanley Ellis McMillan (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Trader Joe’s Company (“Defendant”) alleging premises liability and negligence for a slip-and-fall that occurred on February 12, 2016.

On January 25, 2018, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint.

On January 21, 2020, Defendant filed a motion for terminating sanctions against Plaintiff pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030.

Trial is set for June 30, 2020.

PARTY’S REQUEST

Defendant asks the Court to impose terminating sanctions against Plaintiff for Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the Court’s December 16, 2019 order.

Defendant also asks the Court to impose $1,972.50 in monetary sanctions against Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel for their abuse of the discovery process.

LEGAL STANDARD

If a party fails to comply with a court order compelling a further response to a request for production, the court may impose monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.310, subd. (i).) California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030 provides that, “[t]o the extent authorized by the chapter governing any particular discovery method . . . , the court, after notice to any affected party, person, or attorney, and after opportunity for hearing, may impose . . . [monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating] sanctions against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process . . . .” California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.010 provides that “[m]issues of the discovery process include, but are not limited to, the following: . . . (g) Disobeying a court order to provide discovery. . . .

“The trial court may order a terminating sanction for discovery abuse ‘after considering the totality of the circumstances: [the] conduct of the party to determine if the actions were willful; the detriment to the propounding party; and the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery.’” Los Defensores, Inc. v. Gomez (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 377, 390 (quoting Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246). “Generally, ‘[a] decision to order terminating sanctions should not be made lightly. But where a violation is willful, preceded by a history of abuse, and the evidence shows that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with the discovery rules, the trial court is justified in imposing the ultimate sanction.’” Los Defensores, supra, 223 Cal.App.4th at p. 390 (citation omitted).)

“Under this standard, trial courts have properly imposed terminating sanctions when parties have willfully disobeyed one or more discovery orders.”  (Los¿Defensores, 223 Cal.App.4th at p. 390 (citing¿Lang, supra, 77 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1244-1246 (discussing cases));¿see, e.g.,¿Collisson¿& Kaplan v.¿Hartunian¿(1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1611, 1617-1622 (terminating sanctions imposed after defendants failed to comply with one court order to produce discovery);¿Laguna Auto Body v. Farmers Ins. Exchange¿(1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 481, 491, disapproved on other grounds in¿Garcia v. McCutchen¿(1997) 16 Cal.4th 469, 478, n. 4 (terminating sanctions imposed against plaintiff for failing to comply with a discovery order and for violating various discovery statutes).)

DISCUSSION

On December 16, 2019, the Court ordered Plaintiff to appear for a deposition within 20 days of the ruling.  (Bean Decl., ¶ 7, 9, Exh. 1.)  Defendant noticed Plaintiff’s deposition for December 30, 2019.  (Bean Decl., ¶¶ 8-9, Exh. 2.)  Plaintiff failed to appear for his deposition.  (Bean Decl., 9, Exh. 3.)  Plaintiff has not appeared for his deposition as of the time Heather Bean signed her declaration on January 21, 2020.  (Bean Decl., 10.)

The Court finds that Plaintiff has disobeyed the Court’s December 16, 2019’s order to appear for a deposition within 30 days.  As such, terminating sanctions are properly imposed.

CONCLUSION

The motion is GRANTED.

The complaint is DISMISSED.

Defendant’s request for monetary sanctions is denied.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC675599    Hearing Date: December 16, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Deem Matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true; Motion to Compel Deposition

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

BACKGROUND

On September 13, 2017, Plaintiff Stanley Ellis McMillan (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Trader Joe’s Company (“Defendant”) alleging premises liability and negligence for a slip-and-fall that occurred on February 12, 2016.

On January 25, 2018, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint.

On November 7, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true as against Plaintiff pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (b).

Also on November 7, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to compel Plaintiff’s attendance and testimony at a deposition pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure sections 2025.450, subdivision (a).

PARTYS REQUESTS

Defendant asks the Court to deem the matters in Request for Admissions (Set One) as true as against Plaintiff for Plaintiff’s failure to provide responses.

Defendant also asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to appear and testify at a deposition within 20 days of the Court’s ruling on this motion due to Plaintiff’s failure to appear at a prior deposition.

Defendant further requests the Court to compel Plaintiff and his counsel of record to pay $3,640 in monetary sanctions for bringing these motions.

LEGAL STANDARD

Deem Admitted

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (b), a “party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with section 2023.010).”  The court “shall” grant the motion to deem requests for admission admitted “unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220.”  (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

Compel Deposition

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.”

Sanctions

Sanctions are mandatory in connection with a motion to deem matters specified in a request for admissions as true and a motion to compel responses to interrogatories against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel 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.”  (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2033.280, subd. (c).)

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).)

California Rules of Court, rule 3.1348, subdivision (a) states: “The court may award sanctions under the Discovery Act in favor of a party who files a motion to compel discovery, even though no opposition to the motion was filed, or opposition to the motion was withdrawn, or the requested discovery was provided to the moving party after the motion was filed.”

DISCUSSION

Deem Admitted

On November 7, 2018, Defendant served Request for Admissions (Set One) on Plaintiff by U.S. mail.  (Deem Admitted Mathis Decl., ¶ 5; Notice of Errata, Exh. A.)  Defendant had not received Plaintiff’s responses as of the signing of Kristin A. Mathis’ declaration on November 7, 2019.  (Deem Admitted Mathis Decl., ¶ 7.)  

The Court finds the motion to deem matters as admitted must be granted.  Defendant properly served Request for Admissions (Set One) on Plaintiff.  Plaintiff failed to provide timely responses.  As such, the matters within the Request for Admissions (Set One) are appropriately deemed to be true as against Plaintiff.

Compel Deposition

On May 4, 2018, Defendant served a notice of taking Plaintiff’s deposition on Plaintiff by U.S. mail and overnight mail for a deposition date of July 19, 2018.  (Compel Depo. Mathis Decl., ¶ 5; Notice of Errata, Exh. A.)  Plaintiff failed to appear at his deposition.  (Compel Depo. Mathis Decl., ¶ 8.)

The Court finds the motion to compel Plaintiff’s deposition must be granted.  Defendant properly served a deposition notice on Plaintiff.  Plaintiff failed to appear at the deposition.  As such, Plaintiff’s attendance and testimony at a deposition are appropriately compelled.

Sanctions

There are no facts presented to the Court that show that Plaintiff’s failure to respond to Defendant’s Request for Admissions (Set One) or to appear at the July 19, 2018 deposition was substantially justified.  There are similarly no facts showing that the imposition of sanctions would be unjust.

Defendants request for $3,640 in monetary sanctions consists of 3 hours in preparing for Plaintiff’s deposition, 7 hours in preparing the moving papers, 4 hours in appearing at the hearings, 3 hours in reviewing opposing papers, and 2 hours in preparing reply papers at a rate of $175 an hour, plus one $200 court reporting fee and two $60 filing fees.  (Both of Kirstin A Mathis’ Declarations, ¶¶ 6, 9-11.)  The Court finds this amount to be unreasonable.  The motions are straight-forward, no opposing or reply papers were filed, and the hearings are to take place in the same courthouse, in the same department, on the same date, consecutively.  Rather, the Court finds $1,120 ($175/hr. x 4 hrs. plus one $200 court reporting fee plus two $60 filing fees) to be a reasonable amount of sanctions.

CONCLUSION

The motions are GRANTED.

The Court deems the matters in Defendant’s Request for Admissions (Set One) to be deemed as admitted against Plaintiff.

Plaintiff is ordered to appear and testify at a deposition within 20 days of this ruling on a mutually agreeable date.

Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel of record are ordered to pay Defendant $1,120, jointly and severally, within 30 days of this ruling.

The Court gives notice that it intends to hold a trial setting conference at the hearing on the pending motion, unless any party objects to the short notice, in which case the trial setting conference will be set in January 2020. 

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.