This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/11/2019 at 02:09:20 (UTC).

YVAN GAUTHIER ET AL VS LYDIA ASRAT

Case Summary

On 06/13/2018 YVAN GAUTHIER filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against LYDIA ASRAT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0096

  • Filing Date:

    06/13/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

GAUTHIER JANE

GUATHIER YVAN

Defendant

ASRAT LYDIA

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

PEARCE CHARLES WARDLAW

 

Court Documents

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

6/13/2018: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

Answer

6/10/2019: Answer

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

5/13/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/10/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Lydia Asrat (Defendant)

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  • 05/13/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Yvan Guathier (Plaintiff); Jane Gauthier (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketSummons Issued; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/15/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 06/13/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 06/13/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Yvan Guathier (Plaintiff); Jane Gauthier (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****0096 Hearing Date: July 12, 2022 Dept: 31

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

YVAN GAUTHIER, ET AL.,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

LYDIA ASRAT, ET AL.,

Defendant(s).

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Case No.: ****0096

[TENTATIVE] ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REOPEN DISCOVERY

Dept. 31

1:30 p.m.

July 12, 2022

1. Background Facts

More than four years ago, on June 13, 2018, Plaintiff Yvan Gauthier; Jane Gauthier; James Gauthier, a minor by and through his guardian ad litem, Jane Gauthier (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed this action against Defendant Lydia Asrat (“Defendant”) for damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident. The file indicates that on or about August 28, 2019, Defendant made an ex parte application to continue a trial date of December 13, 2019, so that Defendant could conduct written discovery, percipient witness and party depositions, and expert discovery. (Decl. in Support of Ex Parte App. For Order Continuing Trial, p. 2, 8.) Trial was continued at Defendant’s request to June 16, 2020 (Min. Order August 29, 2019.)

The case was further delayed due to Covid. It was set for trial May 6, 2022. On April 15, 2022, the trial date was continued to August 17, 2022; however, the discovery and expert cutoffs were not moved with the new trial date. (Min. Order April 15, 2022.)

Defendant, at this time, moves to reopen discovery and extend the discovery cutoff date. Plaintiff opposes the motion. The court has not received any reply.

2. Motion to Reopen Discovery

CCP 2024.050 states:

(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.

Here, Defendant asserts that her current counsel assumed the handling of this matter from a prior attorney, and that defense counsel needs to obtain Plaintiffs’ depositions because while the prior attorney noticed the depositions for May 22, 2020, they were taken off calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The prior attorney did not reschedule the depositions before leaving defense counsel’s firm.

In opposition, Plaintiffs contend that Defendant has ignored this case for almost three years, and that the court already denied Defendant’s request to reopen discovery when it issued the April 15, 2022 Order that continued the trial date. Plaintiffs contend there is no good cause to permit Defendant to take Plaintiffs’ deposition at this late hour, as nothing prevented Defendant from taking Plaintiffs’ depositions earlier.

First, as to the necessity and reasons for the discovery, Defendant asserts that Plaintiffs’ depositions still need to be obtained for Defendant to obtain testimony concerning the accident and Plaintiffs’ medical treatments. Second, however, Defendant does not contend she has been diligent in completing discovery. In August of 2019, Defendant was given more time to take Plaintiff’s deposition. Defendant asserts that the prior attorney assigned to the case noticed Plaintiffs’ deposition to occur nine months later on May 22, 2020, but the depositions did not go forward due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the prior attorney did not reset the depositions. However, no other explanation is offered for why Plaintiffs’ depositions were not re-noticed for almost two years following the original date of May 22, 2020. For example, while the court understands the depositions may have initially been taken off calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no explanation is given for why the depositions could not have been re-noticed and completed remotely.

Third, trial is set for August 17, 2022, which is just over one month after this hearing. Defendant does not address whether reopening discovery at this stage will prevent the case from going forward on, or interfere with, the trial date. Assuming Defendant intends to take each Plaintiffs’ deposition, Defendant will have to notice and three depositions before trial. Although Defendant argues she will be prejudiced through no fault of her own, Defendant appeared in this action on June 10, 2019, and the failure to notice Plaintiffs’ deposition is attributable solely to Defendant and Defendant’s counsel.

Finally, the case was previously set for trial on May 6, 2022, before that date was vacated and then set for August 17, 2022. Again, the previous trial date was continued on April 15, 2022, where Defendant was explicitly informed discovery and expert cutoffs would not be moved with the new trial date. (April 15, 2022.) However, Defendant did not file this motion until June 7, 2022, almost two months after the trial date was continued. Defense counsel states that he was engaged in preparations for a trial in another action set for April 18, 2022, and that following the continuance, counsel tested positive for Covid-19. However, defense counsel does not provide sufficient evidence to show good cause for not filing this motion for almost two months.

Based on the foregoing, in evaluating the factors in CCP 2024.050(b), Defendant’s motion to reopen discovery is denied.

Defendant is ordered to give notice.

C61906

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE:

Dated this 12th day of July 2022

Hon. Audra Mori

Judge of the Superior Court



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