This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/05/2020 at 13:31:42 (UTC).

THOMAS HILT VS ANDY GUMP INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/01/2017 THOMAS HILT filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against ANDY GUMP INC. 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, RICHARD J. BURDGE JR., JON R. TAKASUGI, HOLLY E. KENDIG and THOMAS D. LONG. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9916

  • Filing Date:

    08/01/2017

  • 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

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MARC D. GROSS

RICHARD J. BURDGE JR.

JON R. TAKASUGI

HOLLY E. KENDIG

THOMAS D. LONG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

HILT THOMAS

Defendants and Respondents

DRIVER "RUBEN"

ANDY GUMP INC.

DOES 1-50

RUBEN LOPEZ NAME AS DRIVER RUBEN

RUBEN RUBEN NAME AS DRIVER

"RUBEN" DRIVER

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

MITCHELL TIMOTHY P. ESQ.

DROUET BRETT CHRISTOPHER ESQ.

DORDICK GARY ALAN

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

MENDES PATRICK J. ESQ.

YEE KEVIN ROBERT

MENDES PATRICK JOSEPH ESQ.

PATTON CHRISTOPHER LYNN

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW)

6/22/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

6/30/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

Order - ORDER PROPOSED ORDER

2/13/2020: Order - ORDER PROPOSED ORDER

Notice of Ruling

2/14/2020: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS)

11/8/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS)

Reply - REPLY ISO MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

11/1/2019: Reply - REPLY ISO MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

10/17/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

8/30/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS ANDY GUMP, INC. AND RUBEN LOPEZS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR EVIDENTIARY SANCTIONS

9/3/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS ANDY GUMP, INC. AND RUBEN LOPEZS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR EVIDENTIARY SANCTIONS

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR EVIDENTIARY SANCTIONS ON SPOLIATIONS GROUNDS OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SHORTENING TIME FOR A MOTION FOR SANCTIONS TO BE HEARD

9/3/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR EVIDENTIARY SANCTIONS ON SPOLIATIONS GROUNDS OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE SHORTENING TIME FOR A MOTION FOR SANCTIONS TO BE HEARD

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS ANDY GUMP, INC. AND RUBEN LOPEZS EX PARTE APPLICATION

9/9/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS ANDY GUMP, INC. AND RUBEN LOPEZS EX PARTE APPLICATION

Supplemental Declaration - SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF KEVIN YEE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' EXP ARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL

4/19/2019: Supplemental Declaration - SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF KEVIN YEE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' EXP ARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

4/19/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Opposition - OPPOSITION EX PARTE OPPOSITION BY PLAINTIFF TO DEFT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION OF 4/22/19

4/22/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION EX PARTE OPPOSITION BY PLAINTIFF TO DEFT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION OF 4/22/19

DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

4/27/2018: DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONEI FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

4/27/2018: DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONEI FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

DECLARATION OF KEVIN R. YEE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT, ETC

4/27/2018: DECLARATION OF KEVIN R. YEE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT, ETC

DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT

4/27/2018: DEFENDANT ANDY GUMP, INC.'S SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF THOMAS HILT

44 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/17/2021
  • Hearing12/17/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 31 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 02/17/2021
  • Hearing02/17/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 31 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 02/01/2021
  • Hearing02/01/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 31 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 08/03/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (For Failure to Prosecute withi 3yrs) - Held - Continued

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal For Failure to Prosecute wi...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/15/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 06/30/2020
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 06/30/2020
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Held

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  • 06/30/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/22/2020
  • Docketat 10:44 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case Review

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83 More Docket Entries
  • 04/24/2018
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 04/24/2018
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2018-04-24 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/16/2017
  • DocketDEFENDANTS' ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 11/16/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Andy Gump, Inc. (Defendant); Ruben Lopez Erroneously Sued As Driver "Ruben" (Defendant)

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  • 10/27/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 10/27/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Thomas Hilt (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/03/2017
  • DocketSummons Issued; Filed by Thomas Hilt (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/03/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 08/01/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Thomas Hilt (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/01/2017
  • DocketComplaint

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC669916    Hearing Date: November 08, 2019    Dept: 3

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

THOMAS HILT,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

ANDY GUMP, INC., ET AL.,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO: BC669916

[TENTATIVE] ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SANCTIONS WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Dept. 3

1:30 p.m.

November 8, 2019

1. Background Facts

Plaintiff, Thomas Hilt filed this action against Defendants, Andy Gump, Inc. and Driver “Ruben” (subsequently identified as Ruben Lopez) for damages arising out of an automobile accident.

2. Motion for Sanctions

At this time, Defendants move for sanctions against Plaintiff, contending Plaintiff’s choice to have surgery prior to a scheduled IME violated court orders and constitutes spoliation of evidence. The following issues are presented by way of the motion:

· Has Plaintiff violated any court order?

· Did Plaintiff’s pre-IME surgeries conduct constitute spoliation of evidence?

· If sanctions are imposed, what specific sanctions are appropriate?

  1. Law Governing Sanctions for Violation of a Court Order

Pursuant to Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978) 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 776, the Court should typically impose lesser sanctions prior to awarding terminating sanctions. However, there are circumstances where imposition of terminating sanctions is appropriate without first imposing issue and/or evidentiary sanctions. See Laguna Auto Body v. Farmers Ins. Exch. (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 481, 490-91.

  1. Has Plaintiff Violated a Court Order?

Defendants argue Plaintiff’s choice to under surgery prior to his scheduled IME violates a court order and is therefore sanctionable. Specifically, Defendants contend Plaintiff violated the Court’s 4/22/19 and 9/09/19 ex parte orders. See motion, page 8, line 28.

The Court’s 4/22/19 order continues the trial date, denies Defendant’s request for a protective order, and indicates, “Discovery is not extended except for Defendant’s IME on 8/06/19, expert discovery, and plaintiff’s deposition of defendant Ruben Lopez.” Defendants contend Plaintiff violated the 8/06/19 order by failing to appear at the 8/06/19 IME. This order, however, was not an order on a motion to compel an IME; this was merely an order making clear that the discovery cut-off was continued to permit the IME.

The Court’s 9/09/19 order continues the trial date and re-opens discovery per the new trial date. There is nothing in the order compelling any specific type of discovery.

Defendant has never previously brought a noticed motion to compel any discovery, and the Court has not issued an order compelling any discovery. Thus, to the extent the motion for sanctions is premised on Plaintiff’s violation of a prior order, the motion is denied.

 

  1. Law Governing Spoliation of Evidence

The intentional spoliation of evidence by a party to the litigation to which it is relevant is an unqualified wrong. (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1, 17.) Although separate tort causes of action for spoliation of evidence do not exist, there are effective non-tort remedies for this wrong. “Chief among these is the evidentiary inference that evidence which one party has destroyed or rendered unavailable was unfavorable to that party.” (Id., at p. 11; Evidence Code § 413.) Additionally, discovery laws provide a broad range of other sanctions for the misuse of the discovery process. Destroying evidence after litigation has commenced or destruction in anticipation of a discovery request clearly constitutes a misuse of discovery within the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure sections 2023.010 and 2023.030. As discussed in Cedars-Sinai, the statutory sanctions provided for misuse of the discovery process “are potent. They include monetary sanctions, contempt sanctions, issue sanctions ordering that designated facts be taken as established or precluding the offending party from supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses, evidence sanctions prohibiting the offending party from introducing designated materials into evidence, and terminating sanctions that include striking part or all of the pleadings, dismissing part or all of the action, or granting a default judgment against the offending party.” (Cedar-Sinai, supra, at p. 12; see also Coprich v. Superior Court (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 1081, 1085; R.S.Creative, supra, 75 Cal.App.4th at p. 495.)

Civil discovery practices encourage lawyers to take charge of the client's evidence, including advising the client to preserve and maintain all relevant evidence, “not only because it is right for the client to do so but because the lawyers recognize that, even if the evidence is unfavorable, the negative inferences that would flow from its intentional destruction are likely to harm the client as much or more than the evidence itself.” (Cedars-Sinai, supra, 18 Cal.4th at pp. 12-13.)

Where there is evidence of willful suppression, the court may instruct the jury: “You may consider whether one party intentionally concealed or destroyed evidence. If you decide that a party did so, you may decide that evidence would have been unfavorable to that party.” CACI 204; see also BAJI 2.03; see Cedars-Sinai Med. Ctr., supra, at 11-12.

  1. Does Having Surgery Prior to an IME Constitute Spoliation of Evidence?

Defendants rely on out-of-state authority to support their position that Plaintiff’s decision to have surgery prior to an IME constitutes spoliation of evidence. Plaintiff correctly notes that there is no CA authority affirming a trial court order imposing sanctions under such circumstances.

The Court finds the more prudent route is to permit Defendants to seek a jury instruction, per the authority above, creating an adverse inference due to the surgical intervention prior to an IME. CACI 204. The Court will leave this issue to the trial court for final determination. The Court is making no determination, at this time, concerning whether or not Plaintiff acted improperly in scheduling the surgeries prior to an IME.

  1. Monetary Sanctions

The Court notes that Defendants also seek monetary sanctions. Absent a prior order granting a motion to compel, the Court is not inclined to impose monetary sanctions at this time.

  1. Conclusion

The motion for sanctions is denied. The ruling is without prejudice to Defendants’ right to raise the issue with the trial court at the time of trial, by way of a motion in limine and/or proposed jury instructions. Defendants are ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at sscdept3@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative.