This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 10:03:38 (UTC).

WENDE KUMARA & JAMES GREENWALD VS PENMAR MANAGEMENT..; ET AL

Case Summary

On 10/16/2017 WENDE KUMARA JAMES GREENWALD filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against PENMAR MANAGEMENT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DEIRDRE HILL. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2384

  • Filing Date:

    10/16/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

DEIRDRE HILL

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

KUMARA WENDE AN INDIVIDUAL

GREENWALD JAMES AN INDIVIDUAL

KUMARA WENDE

GREENWALD JAMES

Defendants

GREEN ROBERT KEITH AN INDIVIDUAL

DOES 1-50 INCLUSIVE

PENMAR MANAGEMENT & FINANCE INC. ...

MORAN JIMMY AN INDIVIDUAL

GREEN ROBERT

PENMAR MANAGEMENT & FINANCE INC. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

MALLORI R. FRADKIN ESQ.

FRADKIN MALLORI ROSE

Defendant Attorneys

LEGIS LAW PC (JAMES GOLDMAN)

KOZICH S. DAVID

 

Court Documents

Notice of Case Management Conference

10/16/2017: Notice of Case Management Conference

Complaint

10/16/2017: Complaint

Summons

10/16/2017: Summons

Civil Case Cover Sheet

10/16/2017: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Answer

11/13/2017: Answer

Legacy Document

2/23/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

2/23/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

2/23/2018: Legacy Document

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

2/23/2018: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Case Management Statement

3/5/2018: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

3/5/2018: Case Management Statement

Minute Order

3/19/2018: Minute Order

Legacy Document

3/20/2018: Legacy Document

Notice of Ruling

3/27/2018: Notice of Ruling

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

8/16/2018: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Notice

8/23/2018: Notice

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

12/26/2018: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Certificate of Mailing for

1/4/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

12 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/16/2019
  • Hearingat 08:34 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Jury Trial

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  • 10/09/2019
  • Hearingat 08:32 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Final Status Conference

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  • 03/11/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M; Trial Setting Conference - Held

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  • 03/11/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/20/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department B, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 02/13/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 01/25/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/25/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order The court is in receipt of Peremptory Challenge ...) of 01/15/2019); Filed by Clerk

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17 More Docket Entries
  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/23/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/23/2018
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/23/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/23/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/13/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Penmar Management & Finance, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); Robert Green (Defendant)

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  • 10/16/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/16/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/16/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Wende Kumara (Plaintiff); James Greenwald (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/16/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****2384 Hearing Date: May 24, 2022 Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Department B Calendar No. 7

PROCEEDINGS

Wende Kumara, et al. v. Penmar Management & Finance, Inc., et al.

****2384

  1. Penmar Management & Finance, Inc. and Robert Keith Green’s Motion to Reopen Expert Discovery or in the Alternative to Augment or Amend Expert Designation

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Penmar Management & Finance, Inc. and Robert Keith Green’s Motion to Reopen Expert Discovery or in the Alternative to Augment or Amend Expert Designation is granted.

    Background

    Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on October 16, 2017. Plaintiffs allege the following facts. Plaintiffs hired Defendants to manage their property. Defendants breached the contract when they, among other things, negligently hired themselves and/or unlicensed contractors, to perform construction on the building thus resulting in extensive property damage. Plaintiffs seek damages according to proof to compensate for the property damages. Plaintiffs allege the following causes of action: 1. Breach of Contract; 2. Unfair Business Practices (Business and Professions Code 17200, et seq.); 3. Negligence; 4. Constructive Fraud; 5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty; 6. Disgorgement of Money Paid to Unlicensed Contactor (California Business and Professions Code 7031(b)).

    Motion to Reopen Discovery

    Code Civ. Proc., 2024.050 states, in relevant part:

    “(a) 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 under Section 2016.040.

    (b) In exercising its discretion to grant or deny this motion, the court shall take into consideration any matter relevant to the leave requested, including, but not limited to, the following:

    (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.

    (4) The length of time that has elapsed between any date previously set, and the date presently set, for the trial of the action.”

    Meet and Confer

    Defendants set forth a meet and confer declaration in sufficient compliance with CCP 2024.050 and CCP 2016.040. (Decl., Alina A. Goncharova, 10.)

    Motion to Reopen Discovery

    Defendants move for an order granting leave to reopen expert discovery, or in the alternative, an order granting leave to augment expert designation. The motion is based on the ground that Defendants require further expert discovery to counter expected expert testimony presented at trial by Plaintiffs’ experts. Defendants must therefore present their own expert’s opinions to allow for a full and fair presentation of the evidence to the trier of fact.

    Necessity and Reasons for Discovery

    Based on the issues relevant to this action, the retention of experts is essential to evaluate and analyze the facts, as well as to prepare all potential defenses. In addition, the retention of experts is crucial for the ability to impeach Plaintiffs’ evidence. Here, Defendants would suffer great prejudice if they were not able to retain experts, while Plaintiffs have retained experts and will undoubtedly present such expert testimony at trial. This would lead to an unfair advantage when presenting the case in chief. The Court must assess the need to allow the parties to present all available evidence so that a fair adjudication of the action on the merits is obtained. There is little to no prejudice to Plaintiffs in allowing Defendants to retain experts.

    Diligence

    The second factor focuses on “[t]he 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.” Here, Defendants emphasize the purported diligence of newly retained counsel, who was formally substituted in as counsel on December 14, 2021. Clearly, newly retained counsel acted diligently, when retained, to take the necessary measures to fully develop all potential defenses for their new client. However, this does not account for the fact that Defendants themselves, while being represented by former counsel, did not act with complete diligence in making sure that expert witnesses were retained before the applicable cut off dates. The Court notes that new counsel does not fully explain the lack of diligence of former counsel, but, instead, appears to now rectify former counsel’s apparent mistakes or lack of diligence. The Court notes, however, that it must take into all relevant factors in making its final decision as to whether to grant or deny this motion.

    Trial Date/Prejudice

    As to the third factor, the Court notes that the current trial date is June 8, 2022. The Court finds that reopening discovery will almost certainly result in a trial continuance. However, the length of the continuance should be short because extensive discovery will not need to be completed. Essentially, all that will be required will be to depose the newly retained experts. Again, as noted above, there is little to no prejudice to Plaintiffs, who have retained experts, to counter Defendants’ experts. On the other hand, Defendants will suffer significant prejudice if they are not allowed to retain their own experts to counter Plaintiffs’ experts.

    Prior Trial Dates

    As to the fourth factor, certainly there have been numerous continuances of the trial date, which was initially set for October 16, 2019. However, each continuance has been separately justified and supported. Continuing the trial date for one further short period of time, for the limited purpose of allowing the designation, retention, and deposition of Defendants’ expert, will not unduly prejudice the parties, nor will it hinder the Court’s ability to prioritize the rescheduling of a new trial date.

    Thus, based on a full evaluation of all the factors noted above, the Court finds that Defendants have established good cause to reopen discovery. Defendants’ Motion to Reopen Discovery for the limited purpose noted herein is granted.

    Plaintiffs’ request for monetary sanctions is denied.

    Defendants are ordered to give notice of this ruling.



Case Number: ****2384    Hearing Date: October 20, 2020    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Department B Calendar No. 9

PROCEEDINGS

Wende Kumara, et al. v. Penmar Management & Finance, Inc., et al.

****2384

  1. Penmar Management & Finance, Inc., et al.’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Penmar Management & Finance, Inc., et al.’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is denied.

    Meet and Confer

    Defendants set forth a declaration in sufficient compliance with CCP ; 439(a). (Decl. Freddie V. Vega, ¶¶ 3-10.)

    Request for Judicial Notice

    The request for judicial notice of the Complaint is granted pursuant to Evidence Code Section 452(d). The request for judicial notice of the Apartment Management Agreement is denied.

    Objections

    The objections to the declaration of Robert Keith Green are sustained.

    Objections to paragraphs 3 and 4 to the declaration of Freddie Vega is overruled. Objections to paragraphs 11 to 31 are sustained.

    Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

    A motion for judgment on the pleadings has the same function as a general demurrer but is made after the time for demurrer has expired.  Code Civ. Proc., ; 438, subd. (f).  Except as provided by statute, the rules governing demurrers apply.  Civic Partners Stockton, LLC v. Youssefi (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1005, 1012.  “Judgment on the pleadings is proper when the complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against the defendant.”  Rolfe v. Cal. Transp. Comm’n (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 239, 242; see also Code Civ. Proc., ; 438, subd. (c)(3)(B)(ii).  “Like a demurrer, the grounds for the motion [for judgment on the pleadings] must appear on the face of the challenged pleading or from any matter of which the court is required to take judicial notice.”  Civic Partners Stockton, LLC, supra, 218 Cal.App.4th at p. 1013.  In ruling on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, “[a]ll allegations in the complaint and matters upon which judicial notice may be taken are assumed to be true.”  Rippon v. Bowen (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1313.

    Defendants move for judgment on the pleadings as to the entire Complaint. The Court notes that Defendants did not specify the grounds upon which the motion is based. For example, CCP 438(b)(i) and (ii) specify two grounds upon which the motion may be based: “(i) The court has no jurisdiction of the subject of the cause of action alleged in the complaint. (ii) The complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against that defendant.”

    Here, Defendants did not specify whether the motion is directed simply to the entire pleading or as to specific causes of action. In any event, the Court notes that the motion is essentially based on two grounds: First, the motion appears to argue that the first cause of action for Breach of Contract fails to state sufficient facts based on the statute of limitations. Second, the motion is premised upon on an alleged failure by Plaintiff to indemnify Defendants. This second argument appears to be an attempt to adjudicate an unpled indemnity cause of action against Plaintiff.

    Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on October 16, 2017. Plaintiffs alleged the following facts: Plaintiffs hired Defendants to manage their property; Defendants breached the contract when they negligently hired themselves and/or unlicensed contractors to perform construction on the building, thus resulting in extensive property damage. Plaintiffs alleged the following causes of action. 1. Breach of Contract; 2. Unfair Business Practices (Business and Professions Code ;; 17200, et seq.); 3. Negligence; 4. Constructive Fraud; 5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty; 6. Disgorgement of Money Paid to Unlicensed Contactor (California Business and Professions Code ;; 7031(b)).

    As noted above, the only specific cause of action to which the motion is directed is as to the first cause of action. “The elements of a cause of action for breach of contract are: (1) the contract, (2) plaintiff's performance or excuse for nonperformance, (3) defendant's breach, and (4) the resulting damages to plaintiff.” Coles v. Glaser (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 384, 391.

    Here, Defendants’ motion is based on the contention that the cause of action is barred by the four-year statute of limitation of CCP ; 337. Defendants essentially argue that the breach occurred in 2011 and the Complaint was filed more than 4 years later in 2017. However, there are no allegations in the Complaint or factual matters upon which the Court may properly take judicial notice that reveal a bar based on the statute of limitations. The Complaint, in fact, alleges that Plaintiffs did not discover the alleged breach until 2016. (Complaint, ¶ 21.) Defendants’ arguments concerning a bar based on the statute of limitations are premised upon factual matters outside the scope of the pleadings and are not proper for adjudication with a demurrer or motion for judgment on the pleadings.

    The second argument – that Plaintiffs are required to indemnify Defendants – is not directed specifically to any cause of action in the Complaint. Thus, on that basis alone the motion can be denied. However, even here, Defendants are attempting to premise this motion upon an evaluation of the agreement between the parties which was not attached to the Complaint. This is not a proper matter upon which the Court may take judicial notice. The Court notes that Defendants also supplemented their arguments with extensive declaration testimony from both defendant Green and counsel Mr. Vega. None of these statements are admissible for purposes of this motion other than Mr. Vega’s brief testimony concerning his attempts to meet and confer prior to filing this motion.

    Defendants’ motion is based on extrinsic facts outside the scope of the pleadings. “Like a demurrer, the grounds for the motion [for judgment on the pleadings] must appear on the face of the challenged pleading or from any matter of which the court is required to take judicial notice.”  Civic Partners Stockton, LLC, supra, 218 Cal.App.4th at p. 1013.  In ruling on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, “[a]ll allegations in the complaint and matters upon which judicial notice may be taken are assumed to be true.”  Rippon v. Bowen (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1313. Factual issues as to whether Plaintiffs discovered the alleged breach in 2011, as well as whether the contract requires Plaintiffs to indemnify Defendants, are not proper for adjudication with a motion for judgment on the pleadings.

    Thus, the motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the entire Complaint is denied.

    Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this ruling.



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