This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/15/2022 at 03:34:18 (UTC).

SUSAN LY VS CANDYTOPIA, LLC

Case Summary

On 01/22/2021 SUSAN LY filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CANDYTOPIA, LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are WILLIAM A. CROWFOOT and EDWARD B. MORETON, JR.. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******2687

  • Filing Date:

    01/22/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

WILLIAM A. CROWFOOT

EDWARD B. MORETON, JR.

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

LY SUSAN

Cross Plaintiffs, Defendants and Cross Defendants

CANDYTOPIA LLC

YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

ZH PRODUCTIONS INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

DEBLASE PATRICK

Defendant Attorneys

BUCK RICHARD

CORONA MELISSA

WEISS SHARON Z.

ZECH JEFFREY MICHAEL

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

MASTUDA JANE

 

Court Documents

Notice - NOTICE OF ERRATA RE EXHIBIT A TO CROSS-COMPLAINT OF ZH PRODUCTIONS, INC.

11/2/2022: Notice - NOTICE OF ERRATA RE EXHIBIT A TO CROSS-COMPLAINT OF ZH PRODUCTIONS, INC.

Motion to Continue Trial Date - MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE AND RELATED DATES;

10/27/2022: Motion to Continue Trial Date - MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE AND RELATED DATES;

Answer - ANSWER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT

10/18/2022: Answer - ANSWER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT

Cross-Complaint

10/18/2022: Cross-Complaint

Cross-Complaint

8/16/2022: Cross-Complaint

Summons - SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

8/16/2022: Summons - SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

Reply - REPLY BY SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

7/22/2022: Reply - REPLY BY SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Reply - REPLY BY SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

7/22/2022: Reply - REPLY BY SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Notice - NOTICE OF NON-OPPOSITION TO MOTION

7/25/2022: Notice - NOTICE OF NON-OPPOSITION TO MOTION

Request for Dismissal

7/27/2022: Request for Dismissal

Notice of Ruling

7/29/2022: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS;)

7/29/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS;)

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

7/18/2022: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLCS MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

7/18/2022: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLCS MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Declaration - DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLCS MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

7/18/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT YOUTOPIA ENTERTAINMENT LLCS MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Notice - NOTICE AMENDED NOTICE OF MOTION TO STAY OR DISMISS THIS ACTION BASED ON FORUM NON CONVENIENS

6/22/2022: Notice - NOTICE AMENDED NOTICE OF MOTION TO STAY OR DISMISS THIS ACTION BASED ON FORUM NON CONVENIENS

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF JOHN GOODMAN

5/18/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF JOHN GOODMAN

Request for Judicial Notice

5/18/2022: Request for Judicial Notice

30 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/19/2024
  • Hearing01/19/2024 at 08:30 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 02/22/2023
  • Hearing02/22/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 02/08/2023
  • Hearing02/08/2023 at 10:00 AM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 11/23/2022
  • Hearing11/23/2022 at 1:30 PM in Department 27 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Continue Trial

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  • 11/02/2022
  • DocketNotice of Errata Re Exhibit A to Cross-Complaint of ZH Productions, Inc. Filed by: ZH Productions, Inc. (Cross-Complainant); As to: Candytopia, LLC (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 10/27/2022
  • DocketMotion to Continue Trial Date; Filed by: ZH Productions, Inc. (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 10/27/2022
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Continue Trial Date AND RELATED DATES;: Name Extension: AND RELATED DATES;; As To Parties: removed

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  • 10/27/2022
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Continue Trial scheduled for 11/23/2022 at 01:30 PM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 27

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  • 10/18/2022
  • DocketAnswer TO CROSS-COMPLAINT; Filed by: ZH Productions, Inc. (Cross-Defendant); As to: Candytopia, LLC (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 10/18/2022
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by: ZH Productions, Inc. (Defendant); As to: Candytopia, LLC (Defendant)

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55 More Docket Entries
  • 02/26/2021
  • DocketNotice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by: Candytopia, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 01/29/2021
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Susan Ly (Plaintiff); As to: Candytopia, LLC (Defendant); Service Date: 01/26/2021; Service Cost: 105.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketFinal Status Conference scheduled for 07/08/2022 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 27

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/22/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 27

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal scheduled for 01/19/2024 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 27

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Susan Ly (Plaintiff); As to: Candytopia, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Susan Ly (Plaintiff); As to: Candytopia, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Susan Ly (Plaintiff); As to: Candytopia, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/22/2021
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Edward B. Moreton in Department 27 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******2687 Hearing Date: November 23, 2022 Dept: 27

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

SUSAN LY,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

CANDYTOPIA, LLC,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO.: *******2687

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: CROSS-DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT ZH PRODUCTIONS, INC.’S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND RELATED DATES

Dept. 27

1:30 p.m.

November 23, 2022

I. INTRODUCTION

On January 22, 2021, plaintiff Susan Ly (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against defendant Candytopia, LLC (“Candytopia”). On March 14, 2022, Plaintiff added Youtopia Entertainment, LLC (“Youtopia”) and ZH Productions, Inc. (“ZHP”) as Doe defendants. On July 27, 2022, Plaintiff dismissed ZHP as a defendant, but on August 16, 2022, Candytopia filed a cross-complaint against ZHP for indemnification, contribution, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief. ZHP subsequently filed a cross-complaint against Candytopia on October 18, 2022.

On October 27, 2022, ZHP filed this motion to continue the current trial date of February 22, 2023, as well as all related discovery and motion cut-off dates, by at least 180 days. The motion is unopposed.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Trial dates are firm to ensure prompt disposition of civil cases. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1332(a).) Continuances are thus generally disfavored. (See id. rule 3.1332(b).) Nevertheless, the trial court has discretion to continue trial dates. (Hernandez v. Superior Court (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 1242, 1246.) Each request for continuance must be considered on its own merits and is granted upon an affirmative showing of good cause. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1332(c); Hernandez, supra, 115 Cal.App.4th at 1246.) Circumstances that may indicate good cause include: (1) the unavailability of an essential lay or expert witness due to death, illness, or other excusable circumstances; (2) the unavailability of a party due to death, illness, or other excusable circumstances; (3) the unavailability of trial counsel due to death, illness, or other excusable circumstances; (4) the substitution of trial counsel where there is an affirmative showing that the substitution is required in the interests of justice; (5) the addition of a new party if (A) the new party has not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery and prepare for trial, or (B) the other parties have not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery and prepare for trial in regard to the new party’s involvement in the case; (6) a party’s excused inability to obtain essential testimony, documents, or other material evidence despite diligent efforts; or (7) a significant, unanticipated change in the status of the case as a result of which the case is not ready for trial. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1332(c).)

The court must also consider such relevant factors as: (1) the proximity of the trial date; (2) whether there was any previous continuance, extension of time, or delay of trial caused by any party; (3) the length of the continuance requested; (4) the availability of alternative means to address the problem that gave rise to the motion or application for a continuance; (5) the prejudice that parties or witnesses will suffer as a result of the continuance; (6) if the case is entitled to a preferential trial setting, the reasons for that status and whether the need for a continuance outweighs the need to avoid delay; (7) the court’s calendar and the impact of granting a continuance on other pending trials; (8) whether trial counsel is engaged in another trial; (9) whether all parties have stipulated to a continuance; (10) whether the interests of justice are best served by a continuance, by the trial of the matter, or by imposing conditions on the continuance; and (11) any other fact or circumstance relevant to the fair determination of the motion or application. (Id., rule 3.1332(d).)

On motion of any party, the court may grant leave to complete discovery proceedings, or to have a motion concerning discovery heard, closer to the initial trial date, or to reopen discovery after a new trial date has been set. This motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration demonstrating a good faith effort at informal resolution. (Code Civ. Proc., 2024.050, subd. (a).)

The court shall take into consideration any matter relevant to the leave requested, including, but not limited to: (1) the necessity and the reasons for the discovery, (2) the diligence or lack of diligence of the party seeking the discovery or the hearing of a discovery motion, and the reasons that the discovery was not completed or that the discovery motion was not heard earlier, (3) any likelihood that permitting the discovery or hearing the discovery motion will prevent the case from going to trial on the date set, or otherwise interfere with the trial calendar, or result in prejudice to any other party, and (4) the length of time that has elapsed between any date previously set, and the date presently set, for the trial of the action.” (Code Civ. Proc., 2024.050, subd. (b).)

III. DISCUSSION

Trial was originally scheduled for July 22, 2022 and continued to February 22, 2023 by stipulation between Plaintiff and Candytopia before ZHP appeared. ZHP argues that additional time is needed to prepare for trial because it recently appeared in this matter as a cross-defendant on October 18, 2022. Previously, when named as Doe 2 by Plaintiff, ZHP specially appeared on June 22, 2022 and filed a motion to dismiss or stay based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Therefore, it had not conducted any discovery before Plaintiff filed a request to dismiss it on July 27, 2022. After being added back into the action through Candytopia’s cross-complaint, ZHP now needs time to review documents produced by Youtopia, complete written discovery, and take Plaintiff’s deposition. Based on the foregoing, and the lack of an opposition, the Court finds good cause for a trial continuance.

IV. CONCLUSION

ZHP’s motion is GRANTED. Trial is continued from February 22, 2023 to September 12, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 27. The final status conference is continued from February 8, 2023 to August 29, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 27. All pretrial deadlines including discovery and motion cut-off dates are to be based on the new trial date.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. Please be advised that if you submit on the tentative and elect not to appear at the hearing, the opposing party may nevertheless appear at the hearing and argue the matter. Unless you receive a submission from all other parties in the matter, you should assume that others might appear at the hearing to argue. If the Court does not receive emails from the parties indicating submission on this tentative ruling and there are no appearances at the hearing, the Court may, at its discretion, adopt the tentative as the final order or place the motion off calendar.



Case Number: *******2687 Hearing Date: July 29, 2022 Dept: 27

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

SUSAN LY,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

CANDYTOPIA, LLC,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO.: *******2687

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: XXX

Dept. 27

1:30 p.m.

XXX, 2022

  1. INTRODUCTION

On January 22, 2021, plaintiff Susan Ly (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against defendant Candytopia, LLC (“Candytopia”) and Does 1 to 20 (“Defendants”). Plaintiff alleges that on August 22, 2019, she sustained injuries at Defendants’ exhibition in Dallas, Texas, when she stood on an elevated platform and, upon Defendants’ employees’ suggestion and encouragement, jumped into an artificial “marshmallow pit.”

On March 14, 2022, Plaintiff amended the complaint naming Youtopia Entertainment, LLC (“Youtopia”) as Doe 1 and ZH Productions, Inc. (“ZH”) as Doe 2. ZH has since been dismissed from the action.

On May 18, 2022, Youtopia filed this motion to quash service of summons claiming that this court lacks personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff filed an opposition brief on July 18, 2022. Youtopia filed a reply brief on July 22, 2022.

  1. LEGAL STANDARD

A motion to quash is the appropriate procedural device to challenge the use of Code of Civil Procedure section 474 to amend the complaint and add a Doe defendant. “If the terms of section 474 have not been complied with, the purported defendant has not been named as such in the complaint. A service upon one not named in a complaint does not confer jurisdiction to proceed upon the complaint against him, and a motion to quash is proper.” (McClatchy v. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 368, 375 [internal quotations omitted]; Optical Surplus, Inc. v. Superior Court (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 776, 782–783 [motion to quash should be granted when party is wrongly served as Doe defendant].)

  1. DISCUSSION

    Youtopia argues it was not properly named in the Complaint as a fictitious defendant because: (1) it did not exist at the time of Plaintiff’s injuries or at the time the action was filed, and (2) Plaintiff’s Complaint also lacks any allegations of successor liability. As evidence, Youtopia submits a declaration from the chief executive officer of Youtopia, John Goodman (“Goodman”), who is also the chief executive officer of Candytopia. (Goodman Decl., 2.) Goodman declares that Youtopia filed its certificate of formation as a limited liability company with the Delaware Secretary of State on February 15, 2021. (Goodman Decl., Ex. A.) Youtopia then purchased the assets of Candytopia from Candytopia’s secured creditor, Osix Corporation (“Osix”) on February 20, 2021. (Goodman Decl., 5.) Youtopia did not assume Candytopia’s debts. (Ibid.)

    Plaintiff does not dispute that Youtopia is a newly formed entity and argues that this Court has personal jurisdiction over Youtopia because Youtopia is Candytopia’s successor and has assumed Candytopia’s liabilities. Code of Civil Procedure section 474 allows a plaintiff who is ignorant of a defendant's identity to designate the defendant in a complaint by a fictitious name (typically, as a “Doe”), and to amend the pleading to state the defendant's true name when the plaintiff subsequently discovers it. When a defendant is properly named under section 474, the amendment relates back to the filing date of the original complaint. (Woo v. Superior Court (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 169, 176.) Plaintiff contends Youtopia is a mere continuation of the business conducted by Candytopia and was formed by the same people that owned and operated Candytopia for the purposes of escaping Candytopia’s liabilities. (Opp., 2:6-10.) However, the theory of successor liability upon which Plaintiff seeks to hold Youtopia liable is not alleged in the complaint. As currently pleaded, Youtopia is improperly named as a Doe defendant. Code of Civil Procedure section 474 allows a plaintiff who is ignorant of a defendant's identity to designate the defendant in a complaint by a fictitious name (typically, as a “Doe”), and to amend the pleading to state the defendant's true name when the plaintiff subsequently discovers it. (Woo v. Superior Court (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 169, 176.) Here, Youtopia cannot be named as a defendant by a fictitious name where the alleged tortious conduct was committed on August 22, 2019, before Youtopia even existed.

  2. CONCLUSION

Accordingly, Youtopia’s motion to quash service of summons based on the lack of personal jurisdiction is GRANTED. Because Plaintiff’s theory of liability against Youtopia is premised on successor liability, Plaintiff’s request to continue the hearing to permit jurisdictional discovery as to Youtopia’s minimum contacts is DENIED.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. Please be advised that if you submit on the tentative and elect not to appear at the hearing, the opposing party may nevertheless appear at the hearing and argue the matter. Unless you receive a submission from all other parties in the matter, you should assume that others might appear at the hearing to argue. If the Court does not receive emails from the parties indicating submission on this tentative ruling and there are no appearances at the hearing, the Court may, at its discretion, adopt the tentative as the final order or place the motion off calendar.



Case Number: *******2687    Hearing Date: May 20, 2021    Dept: 27

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

SUSAN LY,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

CANDYTOPIA, LLC.,

Defendant(s).

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*******2687

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS OR STAY THIS ACTION BASED ON FORUM NON CONVENIENS

Dept. 27

1:30 p.m.

May 20, 2021

On January 22, 201, Plaintiff Susan Ly filed this action against Defendant Candytopia, LLC asserting causes of action for general negligence and premises liability.  Plaintiff alleges that on August 22, 2019, she was injured at Candytopia, which Defendant describes as an “immersive, interactive pop-up art installation experience.”  (Motion, 3:5-6.)  Candytopia is located in Dallas, Texas and featured a “marshmallow pit” as one of its attractions/experiences. She alleges that she was encouraged by an employee to stand on a platform adjacent to the marshmallow pit and to jump in feet first, which caused her to fracture her femur and injure her knee.  

Defendant moves to dismiss or stay the action based on forum non conveniens on the grounds that Plaintiff signed liability waiver that contained a mandatory forum selection clause that requires the case to be brought in Dallas, Texas. 

As an initial matter, [t]he procedure for enforcing a forum selection clause is a motion to stay or dismiss for forum non conveniens.”  (Olinick v. BMG Entertainment (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 1286, 1294l; see Code Civ. Proc., ;410.30. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s argument that Defendant’s motion is improper is disregarded.  

Next, both the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court have placed a heavy burden on a plaintiff seeking to defeat such a clause, requiring it to demonstrate that enforcement of the clause would be unreasonable under the circumstances of the case.”  (Lu v. Dryclean-U.S.A. of California, Inc. (1992) 11 Cal.App.4th 1490, 1493.) However, this presumes that a clause exists in the first place.  

Defendant submits a document entitled “Guest Release and Waiver of Liability, Promise Not to Sue, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement” as an attachment to the Declaration of Jeffrey M. Zech.  (See Zech Decl., Ex. A.)  Defendant submits printed out copies of Plaintiff’s consent to this release and ticket purchase screenshot, which indicate that she read and agreed to the Release.  (See Zech Decl., Exs. B, C.)  

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that Defendant has not submitted admissible evidence that Plaintiff signed the waiver because defense counsel fails to lay a sufficient foundation to authenticate the waiver or screenshots and because the exhibits are hearsay.  The Court agrees.  Mr. Zech is not Defendant’s employee or custodian of records and his declaration cannot lay a foundation to authenticate the exhibits or establish a hearsay exception simply by stating that they are “true and correct.” (See also Sanchez v. Hellerich & Bradsby Co. (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 703, 719-720.)  

Defendant argues on reply that its evidence is admissible because the documents were produced to Plaintiff in discovery and have her name on them This is insufficient to establish their authenticity.  Otherwise, any party could simply produce a document to its opponent and claim that it is authentic by virtue of its production

Defendant’s attempt to save its Motion by arguing that there are additional reasons why California is the wrong forum is also of no avail.  The Court refuses to entertain new arguments first raised in reply papers.  (See Jay v. Mahaffey (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1522, 1537-1538.)  

Accordingly, Defendant’s Motion is DENIED without prejudice. 

Moving party to give notice.

20th day of May 2021

Hon. Edward B. Moreton, Jr.

Judge of the Superior Court



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