This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/09/2020 at 09:42:54 (UTC).

TONI HERNDERSON VS RE/MAX LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 10/24/2017 TONI HERNDERSON filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against RE/MAX LLC. 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, 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:

    ****0897

  • Filing Date:

    10/24/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • 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 Judges

MARC D. GROSS

JON R. TAKASUGI

HOLLY E. KENDIG

THOMAS D. LONG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

HENDERSON TONI

Defendants, Respondents, Cross Defendants and Not Classified By Court

CLASSIC DESIGN PROPERTIES

CASNER CRAIG

RE/MAX

CASNER & SONS CONSTRUCTION CO.

DOES 1 TO 50 INCLUSIVE

RE/MAX ESTATE PROPERTIES

RE/MAX LLC.

PALOS VERDES REALTY INC. (DOE 1)

SETTING DEBRALYNNE MATSUE (DOE 2)

SETTING DEBRALYNNE MATSUE DOE 2

PALOS VERDES REALTY INC. DOE 1

BRINCAT PENNY

RE/MAX LLC

PALOS VERDES REALTY INC.[DOE 1]

DEBRALYNNE MATSUE SETTING[DOE 2] DBA CLASSIC DESIGN PROPERTIES

BRINCAT[DOE 3] PENNY

CASNER AND SONS CONSTRUCTION CO[ROE 2]

CASNER[ROE 1] CRAIG

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

RE/MAX ESTATE PROPERTIES

RE/MAX LLC.

PALOS VERDES REALTY INC. DOE 1

RE/MAX LLC

PALOS VERDES REALTY INC.[DOE 1]

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

NELSON DANIEL L. ESQ.

NELSON DANIEL LEONARD ESQ.

Defendant, Respondent, Cross Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

CHAPMAN ARTHUR J. ESQ.

NACHIAPPAN MEENA C.

MALONE PATRICK M. ESQ.

GASTON & ZIMET LLP

 

Court Documents

Proof of Personal Service

1/16/2020: Proof of Personal Service

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE DEFENDANTS C R CASNER CONSTRUCTION CO AND CRAIG CASNERS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 4 TO LIMIT EXPERT TESTIMONY AT THE TRIAL TO SCOPE OF THE EXPERT DESIGNATIONS AND DEPOSI

1/29/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE DEFENDANTS C R CASNER CONSTRUCTION CO AND CRAIG CASNERS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 4 TO LIMIT EXPERT TESTIMONY AT THE TRIAL TO SCOPE OF THE EXPERT DESIGNATIONS AND DEPOSI

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE DEFENDANTS C R CASNER CONSTRUCTION CO AND CRAIG CASNERS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 7 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE NOT PRODUCED IN DISCOVERY; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES;

1/29/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE DEFENDANTS C R CASNER CONSTRUCTION CO AND CRAIG CASNERS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 7 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE NOT PRODUCED IN DISCOVERY; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES;

Joinder to Motion - JOINDER TO MOTION NOTICE OF JOINDER TO MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 1, 2,3, 4, 6, 7 AND 8

1/31/2020: Joinder to Motion - JOINDER TO MOTION NOTICE OF JOINDER TO MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 1, 2,3, 4, 6, 7 AND 8

Notice of Change of Firm Name

12/30/2019: Notice of Change of Firm Name

Separate Statement

11/8/2019: Separate Statement

Notice of Ruling

9/6/2019: Notice of Ruling

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

4/16/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Minute Order -

9/6/2018: Minute Order -

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY -

9/24/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY -

NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT, CLASSIC DESIGN PROPERTIES FROM NOVEMBER 13, 2018 TO DECEMBER 4, 2018

10/3/2018: NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT, CLASSIC DESIGN PROPERTIES FROM NOVEMBER 13, 2018 TO DECEMBER 4, 2018

CIVIL DEPOSIT -

3/28/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT -

ANSWER TO AMENDED COMPLAINT; DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

4/27/2018: ANSWER TO AMENDED COMPLAINT; DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

ANSWER TO AMENDED COMPLAINT;DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

5/1/2018: ANSWER TO AMENDED COMPLAINT;DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Summons on Cross Complaint -

6/12/2018: Summons on Cross Complaint -

AMENDMENT TO SUBSTITUTE TRUE NAME FOR FICTITIOUS NAME

7/16/2018: AMENDMENT TO SUBSTITUTE TRUE NAME FOR FICTITIOUS NAME

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL?CIVIL

8/10/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL?CIVIL

DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF ATTORNEY'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL-CIVIL

8/10/2018: DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF ATTORNEY'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL-CIVIL

60 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/29/2020
  • Hearing10/29/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 31 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)

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  • 06/29/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Toni Henderson (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/19/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 05/05/2020
  • DocketNotice of Rejection - Request For Dismissal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/22/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([Notice of Continuance Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Declarations]); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/22/2020
  • DocketNotice of Continuance Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Declarations; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Re/Max, LLC (Cross-Complainant); Palos Verdes Realty, Inc.[Doe 1] (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 02/28/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement ...) of 02/05/2020, Order to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement)]); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/14/2020
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 31, Thomas D. Long, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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102 More Docket Entries
  • 02/20/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Toni Henderson (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Toni Henderson (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/16/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Toni Henderson (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/13/2018
  • DocketFirst Amended Complaint; Filed by Toni Henderson (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/13/2018
  • DocketDefendant's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (Small Claims)

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketComplaint NOTICE OF REJECTION-REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL AND OLD RFP

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Toni Henderson (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/24/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Toni Henderson (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC680897    Hearing Date: February 05, 2020    Dept: 31

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

TONI HENDERSON,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

RE/MAX, LLC, ET AL.,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO: BC680897

[TENTATIVE] ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT

Dept. 31

1:30 p.m.

February 5, 2020

1. Background Facts

Plaintiff, Toni Henderson filed this action against Defendants, Re/Max, LLC, Re/Max Estate Properties, Re/Max, Classic Design Properties, Casner & Sons Construction Co., and Craig Casner for damages arising out of a slip and fall that occurred at a real estate open house. Plaintiff alleges she slipped and fell on a set of stairs due, at least in the part, to the fact that she was wearing shoe covers over her shoes.

The home was owned by and had been remodeled by the Casner Defendants. The home was listed for sale by Debralynne Matsue Setting dba Classic Design Properties. Defendants (some added as does) Palos Verdes Realty, Inc., Beachhside Ventures, Inc. dba Re/Max Estate Properties, and Penny Brincat were “sitting” the real estate open house when the incident occurred. In other words, they were not receiving remuneration in connection with the open house, but were able to use the open house as an opportunity to meet new potential clients and mention their own listings to persons attending the open house.

2. Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement

At issue today is a settlement between Plaintiff and the Re/Max Defendants pursuant to which Re/Max would pay Plaintiff $50,000 in full settlement of all potential claims against it. Re/Max seeks a good faith determination, and the Classic Design Properties Defendants oppose the motion.

a. Parties’ Positions

Re/Max contends Plaintiff’s medical specials are in the amount of $415,191, but over $400,000 were incurred on a lien basis, and none of the lien-based treatment was necessary or reasonable. Re/Max contends Plaintiff sustained only soft tissue injuries as a result of the fall, and the injuries resolved completely within a few weeks after the fall. Re/Max also contends it did not supply the shoe covers, and it had no notice that the stairs were defective or opportunity to cure any defect in the stairs.

Classic Design opposes the motion. It contends the settlement is out of the ballpark, as Plaintiff recently made a $450,000 demand to settle the action. It contends it also did not provide the shoe covers, and Re/Max was in the best position, being present at the home, to stop Plaintiff from using the shoe covers and/or protect her from falling on the stairs.

In reply, Re/Max contends there is no evidence that Plaintiff’s actual damages are in the amount of $500,000, and there is no evidence that it did anything wrong.

b. Analysis

i. Law Governing Good Faith Settlement

“A more appropriate definition of ‘good faith,’ in keeping with the policies of American Motorcycle and the statute, would enable the trial court to inquire, among other things, whether the amount of the settlement is within the reasonable range of the settling tortfeasor's proportional share of comparative liability for the plaintiff's injuries. This is not to say that bad faith is ‘established by a showing that a settling defendant paid less than his theoretical proportionate or fair share.’ [Citation.] Such a rule would unduly discourage settlements. ‘For the damages are often speculative, and the probability of legal liability therefor is often uncertain or remote. And even where the claimant's damages are obviously great, and the liability therefor certain, a disproportionately low settlement figure is often reasonable in the case of a relatively insolvent, and uninsured, or underinsured, joint tortfeasor.’ [Citation.] Moreover, such a rule would tend to convert the pretrial settlement approval procedure into a full scale mini trial [citation].

“But these considerations do not lead to the conclusion that the amount of the settlement is irrelevant in determining good faith. Rather, the intent and policies underlying section 877.6 require that a number of factors be taken into account including a rough approximation of plaintiffs' total recovery and the settlor's proportionate liability, the amount paid in settlement, the allocation of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs, and a recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after a trial. Other relevant considerations include the financial conditions and insurance policy limits of settling defendants, as well as the existence of collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed to injure the interests of nonsettling defendants. [Citation.] Finally, practical considerations obviously require that the evaluation be made on the basis of information available at the time of settlement. ‘[A] defendant's settlement figure must not be grossly disproportionate to what a reasonable person, at the time of the settlement, would estimate the settling defendant's liability to be.’ [Citation.] The party asserting the lack of good faith, who has the burden of proof on that issue (§877.6(d)), should be permitted to demonstrate, if he can, that the settlement is so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to these factors as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute. Such a demonstration would establish that the proposed settlement was not a ‘settlement made in good faith’ within the terms of section 877.6.

“Section 877.6 contemplates that the determination of good faith may be made by the court on the basis of affidavits (subd. (b)), and as the court observed in River Garden Farms, ‘The price levels are not as unpredictable as one might suppose. Despite the uncertainties, generalized valuation criteria are recognized by the personal injury bar, insurance claims departments and pretrial settlement courts. When testing the good faith of a settlement figure, a court may enlist the guidance of the judge's personal experience and of experts in the field. Represented by knowledgeable counsel, settlement negotiators can predict with some assurance whether a settlement is within the reasonable range permitted by the criterion of good faith. The danger that a low settlement violates the good faith clause will not impart uncertainty so long as the parties behave fairly and the courts maintain a realistic awareness of settlement imponderables.’ [Citation.]” Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Assoc. (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 498-501.

The Tech-Bilt factors can be summarized as follows:

(1) A rough approximation of plaintiff’s total recovery and the settlor’s proportionate liability;

(2) The amount paid in settlement;

(3) The allocation of settlement proceeds among defendants;

(4) A recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after a trial;

(5) The financial conditions and insurance policy limits of settling defendants; and

(6) The existence of collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed to injure the interests of the nonsettling defendants.

CCP §877.6(d) places the burden of proof on a motion concerning settlement on the party contesting the settlement. However, where the non-settling defendants contest “good faith,” the moving party must make a sufficient showing of all the Tech-Bilt factors. Such showing may be made either in the original moving papers or in counter-declarations filed after the non-settling defendants have filed an opposition challenging good faith of the settlement. City of Grand Terrace v. Sup.Ct. (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1262. Where “good faith” is contested, conclusory allegations as to the settling parties' liability are insufficient. Even an expert's opinion must be substantiated by facts. Greshko v. County of Los Angeles (1987) 194 Cal.App.3d 822, 834; Mattco Forge, Inc. v. Arthur Young & Co. (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 1337, 1351.

ii. Analysis

Classic Design expressly agrees, in its opposition to the motion, that the vast majority of Plaintiff’s medical treatment was unnecessary. See opposition, page 3, lines 26-28. The evidence is also conclusive that Re/Max did not design the house and had no control over the stairs themselves. No other person had fallen on the stairs, so there was no way to know they were slippery when wearing shoe covers. At most, Re/Max failed to stop Plaintiff from wearing a shoe cover when walking in the house.

The Court finds Classic Design did not meet its burden to show the $50,000 settlement is “out of the ballpark” when all factors are considered. The motion for determination of good faith settlement is therefore granted.

Moving Defendants are ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at sscdept31@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.