This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/29/2019 at 12:52:45 (UTC).

SUNDEE RIVERS VS AARON WERSTINE ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/08/2017 SUNDEE RIVERS filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against AARON WERSTINE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS, DEBRE KATZ WEINTRAUB, SAMANTHA JESSNER, CHRISTOPHER K. LUI and JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1468

  • Filing Date:

    08/08/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MARC D. GROSS

DEBRE KATZ WEINTRAUB

SAMANTHA JESSNER

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

RIVERS SUNDEE

Defendants

DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC.

WERSTINE AARON

WERSTINE KERRY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

STEINER NEIL S. ESQ.

STEINER NEIL STUART

Respondent and Defendant Attorneys

BASSETT MICHAEL L. ESQ.

ENDRES TED ESQ.

MCCLAUGHERTY JAY S. ESQ.

MCCLAUGHERTY JAY STEPHEN

MCCLAUGHERTY JAY STEPHEN ESQ.

BASSETT MICHAEL LYNCH ESQ.

TIPPIN ANDREW L.

BASSETT MICHAEL LYNCH

 

Court Documents

Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2024.050, ETC.; DECLARATION OF LAYNE M. BUKOVSKIS IN SUPPORT THEREOF

11/15/2019: Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2024.050, ETC.; DECLARATION OF LAYNE M. BUKOVSKIS IN SUPPORT THEREOF

Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION/OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY; DECLARATION OF KHRYS WU

11/18/2019: Objection - OBJECTION OBJECTION/OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY; DECLARATION OF KHRYS WU

Notice of Joinder - NOTICE OF JOINDER (NAME EXTENSION) NOTICE OF JOINDER IN DEFENDANTS, AARON WERSTINE AND KERRY WERSTINES OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CODE

11/18/2019: Notice of Joinder - NOTICE OF JOINDER (NAME EXTENSION) NOTICE OF JOINDER IN DEFENDANTS, AARON WERSTINE AND KERRY WERSTINES OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CODE

Reply - REPLY REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CCP 2024.50 AND TO REQUEST CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL; DECLARATIONS OF NEIL STEINER AND SUNDEE RIVERS

11/19/2019: Reply - REPLY REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CCP 2024.50 AND TO REQUEST CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL; DECLARATIONS OF NEIL STEINER AND SUNDEE RIVERS

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT ...)

11/21/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT ...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER)

11/21/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER)

Notice - NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CCP 2024.50 AND CONTINUING TRIAL

11/26/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CCP 2024.50 AND CONTINUING TRIAL

Motion re: - MOTION RE: NOTICE OF MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CCP 2024.50; OR IN ALTERNATIVE TO COMPEL DEFENDANTS TO PRODUCE EXPERT REPORTS AND WRITINGS OR PRECLUDE THEM FROM INTRODU

10/21/2019: Motion re: - MOTION RE: NOTICE OF MOTION TO REOPEN EXPERT DISCOVERY PURSUANT TO CCP 2024.50; OR IN ALTERNATIVE TO COMPEL DEFENDANTS TO PRODUCE EXPERT REPORTS AND WRITINGS OR PRECLUDE THEM FROM INTRODU

Notice of Ruling

9/12/2019: Notice of Ruling

Joinder to Motion - JOINDER TO MOTION DEFS AARON WERSTINE AND KERRY WERSTINE'S JOINDER IN MTN IN LIMINE

9/9/2019: Joinder to Motion - JOINDER TO MOTION DEFS AARON WERSTINE AND KERRY WERSTINE'S JOINDER IN MTN IN LIMINE

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL)

9/10/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL) OF 09/10/2019

9/10/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL) OF 09/10/2019

Reply - REPLY COMBINED REPLY OPPOSITIONS TO MOTION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL; DECLARATION OF NEIL STEINER

9/6/2019: Reply - REPLY COMBINED REPLY OPPOSITIONS TO MOTION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL; DECLARATION OF NEIL STEINER

Notice of Ruling

9/3/2019: Notice of Ruling

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

9/4/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFS OPPOSITION TO PLTF'S MTN TO CON'T TRIAL

9/4/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFS OPPOSITION TO PLTF'S MTN TO CON'T TRIAL

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE #4 TO PRECLUDE GOLDEN RULE OR REPTILE ARGUMENT

9/5/2019: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE #4 TO PRECLUDE GOLDEN RULE OR REPTILE ARGUMENT

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE #6 TO EXCLUDE PLAINTIFF FROM OFFERING EXPERT OPINION TESTIMONY AT TRIAL

9/5/2019: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE #6 TO EXCLUDE PLAINTIFF FROM OFFERING EXPERT OPINION TESTIMONY AT TRIAL

59 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/10/2020
  • Hearing08/10/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 04/20/2020
  • Hearing04/20/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 04/06/2020
  • Hearing04/06/2020 at 10:00 AM in Department 4A at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 11/26/2019
  • DocketNotice (of Entry of Order Reopen Expert Discovery Pursuant to CCP 2024.50 and Continuing Trial); Filed by Sundee Rivers (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/21/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 11/21/2019
  • Docketat 2:47 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Nunc Pro Tunc Order

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  • 11/21/2019
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (Notice of Motion/Motion to Reopen Expert Discovery Pur CCP 2024.50, in the alternative compel defendants to produce or preclude defendant Dr Pepper from offering expert testimony; continue trial; memo of points and authorities; Declaration) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 11/21/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Final Status Conference; Plaintiff's Motion to Reopen Expert ...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/21/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/19/2019
  • DocketReply (Reply to Opposition to Motion to Reopen Expert Discovery Pursuant to CCP 2024.50 and to Request Continuance of Trial; Declarations of Neil Steiner and Sundee Rivers); Filed by Sundee Rivers (Plaintiff)

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96 More Docket Entries
  • 09/05/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 08/24/2017
  • DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/24/2017
  • DocketANSWER OF DEFENDANT, DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP, INC., TO PLAINTIFF'S UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT

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  • 08/24/2017
  • DocketDEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

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  • 08/24/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/22/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 08/22/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Sundee Rivers (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/08/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 08/08/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Sundee Rivers (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/08/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: ****1468 Hearing Date: October 7, 2021 Dept: C

RIVERS v. WERSTINE

CASE NO.: ****1468

HEARING: 10/07/21

#2

TENTATIVE ORDER

Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Defendant DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP, INC. to Produce a PMK for Further Testimony as to Category Nos. 1 through 4 and 6 of Plaintiff’s Deposition Notice and to Compel the Production of Documents Sought by Production Demand Nos. 31 through 35 of Plaintiff’s Deposition Notice is DENIED.

Opposing Party to give Notice.

The following categories of questions are at issue:

1. The vehicle that was involved in the August 13, 2015 accident with plaintiff… including the acquisition of that VEHICLE, the condition of the VEHICLE on August 13, 2015; the maintenance history and repair records for the VEHICLE… and all driver logs, journals and records for that VEHICLE….

2. How the August 13, 2015 incident in which plaintiff was incurred occurred….

3. The schedule, route, and timetable of the VEHICLE involved in the INCIDENT….

4. All training and instruction provided to defendant Aaron Werstine by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. concerning the safe operation, driving and use of the VEHICLE.

6. All surveillance, security, video and data recording devices on the VEHICLE….

“If a deponent fails to answer any question or to produce any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing under the deponent’s control that is specified in the deposition notice or a deposition subpoena, the party seeking discovery may move the court for an order compelling that answer or production.” (CCP ;2025.480(a).)

The Motion is DENIED. During meet and confer efforts, Defendant DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC. (“DPSG”) represented to Plaintiff that it would be producing a PMK for deposition, and documents in response, on the limited issues pertaining to DPSG’s training of Defendant Werstine with respect to driving, and on the issue of any documents pertaining to prior and/or subsequent traffic citations and/or accidents. Plaintiff was on notice that DPSG would not be producing anyone for deposition as to Category Nos. 1-3 and 6, nor would it produce any expert reports. Indeed, the Court finds that DPSG appropriately produced its employee, Kevin Lopez, as its PMK as to Categories 4-5. Moreover, despite the fact that Mr. Lopez was not produced to respond to inquiries pertaining to Category Nos. 1-3 and 6, Lopez nonetheless indicated that the information sought within those categories was within the exclusive knowledge of Co-Defendant Werstine since: (1) Werstine was the owner of the Subject Vehicle; and (2) Werstine was actually involved in the Subject Incident.

Plaintiff has not justified its request for the further deposition of DPSG’s PMK because, as argued in Opposition, DPSG is in no position to produce a PMK on the maintenance history of Defendant Werstine’s vehicle, or on the precise details of the Subject Incident.

The request to compel the production of documents sought by Production Demands 31-35 is DENIED as an improper attempt to obtain expert reports.

DPSG’s request for sanctions is GRANTED. Plaintiff and her counsel of record are ORDERED to pay Defendant DPSG and its counsel of record sanctions in the amount of $1,650.00 ($165/hr. x 10 hrs.) by no later than 30 days from the date of the Court’s issuance of this Order. This date may be extended per agreement of the parties.

'


Case Number: ****1468    Hearing Date: January 27, 2020    Dept: 28

After review of the court file, the Court makes the following order:

Department 28 of the Personal Injury Court has determined that the above entitled action is complicated based upon the number of pretrial hearings and/or the complexity of the issues presented.

AT THE DIRECTION OF DEPARTMENT 1:

This case is hereby transferred and reassigned to the following Independent Calendar Court in THE SOUTHEAST DISTRICT, JUDGE MARGARET MILLER BERNAL presiding in DEPT. F of the Norwalk Courthouse, for all purposes except trial. Department 1 hereby delegates to the Independent Calendar Court the authority to assign the case for trial to that Independent Calendar Court.

Any pending motions or hearings, including trial and status conferences, will be reset, continued or vacated at the direction of the newly assigned Independent Calendar court.

Plaintiff shall give notice to all parties of record.



Case Number: ****1468    Hearing Date: November 21, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Reopen Discovery, Compel Production, or Preclude Use of Evidence; Motion to Continue Trial

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

BACKGROUND

On August 8, 2017, Plaintiff Sundee Rivers (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Aaron Werstine, Kerry Werstine, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (“Defendants”) alleging motor vehicle and general negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on August 13, 2015.

On October 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to reopen discovery, or in the alternative, compel production of expert reports, or in the alternative, preclude use of expert reports, and a request to continue trial.

Trial is set for December 5, 2019.

PARTYS REQUESTS

Plaintiff asks the Court to continue the trial date and reopen expert discovery to follow that new trial date, or in the alternative, to require Defendants to produce discoverable expert documents, or in the alternative, to preclude Defendants from presenting expert testimony unless they produce their expert’s documents.

LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (a), “[t]o ensure the prompt disposition of civil cases, the dates assigned for a trial are firm. All parties and their counsel must regard the date set for trial as certain.” Under California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (b), “[a] party seeking a continuance of the date set for trial, whether contested or uncontested or stipulated to by the parties, must make the request for a continuance by a noticed motion or an ex parte application under the rules in chapter 4 of this division, with supporting declarations. The party must make the motion or application as soon as reasonably practical once the necessity for the continuance is discovered.”

California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (c) states that “[a]lthough continuances of trials are disfavored, each request for a continuance must be considered on its own merits. The court may grant a continuance only on an affirmative showing of good cause requiring the continuance.”  California Rules of Court, rule 3.1332, subdivision (d) sets forth factors that are relevant in determining whether to grant a continuance.

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2024.050 allows a court to grant leave to complete discovery proceedings.  In doing so, a court shall consider matters relevant to the leave requested, including, but not limited to: (1) the necessity of the discovery, (2) the diligence in seeking the discovery or discovery motion, (3) the likelihood of interference with the trial calendar or prejudice to a party, and (4) the length of time that has elapsed between previous trial dates.  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2024.050.)

DISCUSSION

Defendants argue Plaintiff did not provide adequate notice in serving the motion by email on November 14, 2019.  (Oppositions, p. 2.)  However, the motion’s proof of service shows it was served on Defendants by U.S. mail on October 21, 2019.  As such, the Court finds Plaintiff properly served the motion on Defendants.

Plaintiff argues there is good cause to reopen expert discovery.  Defendants refuse to produce expert documents that Plaintiff is entitled to receive.  (Motion, p. 6:21-6:23.)  Plaintiff needs to take the depositions of Defendants’ expert witnesses Daniel Kaplin, M.D., Beau LeBlanc BSME, John Kennedy, and Stephen L.G. Rothman, M.D.  (Motion, p. 7:1-7:4.)  

Defendants argue that the Court’s September 10, 2019 ruling forecloses Plaintiff’s argument that there is good cause to reopen expert discovery.  (Opposition, p. 3:10-3:20.)  The Court disagrees.  In that minute order, as Plaintiff correctly observes, the Court did not reopen expert discovery when the Court continued trial because Plaintiff made the argument for the first time on reply that she needed to depose Defendants’ experts.  As such, Plaintiff is not barred from making the request now.

The Court finds there is good cause to continue trial and reopen expert discovery for Plaintiff to depose Daniel Kaplin, M.D., Beau LeBlanc BSME, John Kennedy, and Stephen L.G. Rothman, M.D.  Defendants do not argue that they will be prejudiced if this continuance and reopening of expert discovery is granted.  However, Plaintiff does argue that she will not be prepared for trial and will not know the scope of the testimony that will be offered by the defense experts without being able to take these depositions.  As such, there is good cause to reopen expert discovery.

The Court notes that there have been three prior continuances.  (Steiner Decl., ¶ 35.)  This continuance will be the fourth.  The Court’s patience draws thin with each continuance.  It becomes less and less likely that the Court will grant each subsequent continuance.  As such, the Court strongly suggests that the parties complete discovery and prepare for trial without requesting another continuance in this matter.

Accordingly, the motion is GRANTED.

The Court orders trial shall be continued to April 20, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.  The Court also orders the final status conference date shall be continued to April 6 at 10:00 a.m.  Both hearings are to be held in Department 4A of the Spring Street Courthouse, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

The Court extends the time for completing expert discovery for the sole purpose of allowing Plaintiff to take the depositions of Daniel Kaplin, M.D., Beau LeBlanc BSME, John Kennedy, and Stephen L.G. Rothman, M.D.  The non-expert discovery cut-off remains closed.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.



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