Judge: Curtis A. Kin, Case: 21STCV30706, Date: 2023-02-28 Tentative Ruling



Case Number: 21STCV30706    Hearing Date: February 28, 2023    Dept: 72

MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES-GENERAL, SET ONE

  

Date:               2/28/23 (8:30 AM)                                           

Case:               Maria Elza Tomaz v. Porsche Design Studio N. Am, et al. (21STCV30706)

  

TENTATIVE RULING:

 

Plaintiff Maria Elza Tomaz’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories-General, Set One is GRANTED IN PART.

 

In the moving papers, plaintiff Maria Elza Tomaz moved to compel further responses from Porsche Cars North America, Inc. to Form Interrogatories-General, Set One, Nos. 1.1, 3.1, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 12.1, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 13.1, 13.2, 14.1, 14.2, and 15.1. On December 21, 2022, after the filing of the motion, defendant served supplemental responses to all the interrogatories at issue except for Form Interrogatory No. 15.1. (Cabada Decl. ¶ 7 & Ex. E.) In the reply, plaintiff still seeks a further response to Form Interrogatory No. 15.1, which asks defendant to state facts, witnesses, and documents supporting its affirmative defenses.

 

“[I]f a timely motion to compel has been filed, the burden is on responding party to justify any objection.” (Fairmont Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (2000) 22 Cal.4th 245, 255, citing Coy v. Superior Court (1962) 58 Cal.2d 210, 220-21.) Defendant did not attempt to justify its objections to No. 15.1. Instead, defendant stated that it was working on a further response. (Cabada Decl. ¶ 9.)

 

Defendant has not served any supplemental response to No. 15.1. (Livshits Reply Decl. ¶ 2.) To ensure that plaintiff receives a substantive response to Form Interrogatory No. 15.1, the motion is GRANTED IN PART.  By no later than March 8, 2023, defendant Porsche Cars North America, Inc. shall serve a further verified response, without objection, to Form Interrogatories-General, Set One, No. 15.1.

 

“The court may award sanctions under the Discovery Act in favor of a party who files a motion to compel discovery, even though . . . the requested discovery was provided to the moving party after the motion was filed.” (See Rule of Court 3.1348(a).) Defendant maintains that it only served objections because plaintiff did not grant defendant an extension of time to respond. (Cabada Decl. ¶ 6.) However, the interrogatories were served on May 24, 2022. (Livshits Decl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff granted numerous extensions, including up to November 23, 2022 to respond to the interrogatories. (Livshits Decl. ¶¶ 3, 4.) Defendant had six months to provide substantive responses.

 

Because plaintiff was required to file this motion to obtain supplemental responses, the Court imposes monetary sanctions against counsel of record for defendant Porsche Cars North America, Inc. in the amount of $800, based on one hour to prepare the motion, 0.5 hours reviewing the opposition and preparing a reply, and 0.5 hours to attend the hearing (instead of the 4.5 hours total that counsel claims), at an hourly rate of $400 (instead of $600 claimed by counsel). Monetary sanctions shall be paid to counsel for plaintiff within thirty (30) days hereof.