Judge: Jill Feeney, Case: 20STCV48050, Date: 2022-08-02 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 20STCV48050    Hearing Date: August 2, 2022    Dept: 30

Department 30, Spring Street Courthouse
August 2, 2022
Motion for Leave to File Complaint-in-Intervention filed by Proposed Intervenor Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. 


The motion is granted.

Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. is ordered to file its Complaint-in-Intervention within 10 days.

Moving party is ordered to give notice and to file proof of service of such notice within five court days after the date of this order.

This is an action for motor vehicle negligence arising from a car accident which took place at the Los Angeles International Airport in January 2019. Plaintiff Cynthia Ann Green filed her complaint against Defendants George Alfred Anders on, Avis Budget Car Rental, LLC, and Does 1 to 20 on December 16, 2020.

On May 20, 2022, Proposed Intervenor Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. filed this motion for leave to file complaint in intervention. 


Moving Arguments

Proposed Intervenor seeks a court order granting leave to file a complaint-in-intervention.

Legal Standard

CCP section 387(d) provides the following:

(1) The court shall, upon timely application, permit a nonparty to intervene in the action or proceeding if either of the following conditions is satisfied: 

(A) A provision of law confers an unconditional right to intervene.

(B) The person seeking intervention claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action and that person is so situated that the disposition of the action may impair or impede that person’s ability to protect that interest, unless that person’s interest is adequately represented by one or more of the existing parties.

(2) The court may, upon timely application, permit a nonparty to intervene in the action or proceeding if the person has an interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both.

(Code Civ. Proc., § 387(d).)

To establish a direct and immediate interest in the litigation for purposes of permissive intervention, a non-party seeking intervention must show that he or she stands to gain or lose by direct operation of the judgment, even if no specific interest in the property or transaction at issue exists. (Simpson Redwood Co. v. State of California (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 1192, 1201.) “Whether the intervener’s interest is sufficiently direct must be decided on the facts of each case . . . . And section 387 should be liberally construed in favor of intervention.”  (Id. at p. 1200.)  “In order that a party may be permitted to intervene it is not necessary that his interest in the action be such that he will inevitably be affected by the judgment.  It is enough that there be a substantial probability that his interests will also be so affected.  ‘The purposes of intervention are to protect the interests of those who may be affected by the judgment . . . .’”  (Timberidge Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Santa Rosa (1978) 86 Cal.App.3d 873, 881-882 (citations and emphasis omitted). 


Proposed Intervenor Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. seeks a Court order granting leave to file a complaint-in-intervention in this action on grounds that Plaintiff was acting within the course and scope of her employment for Coach USA when she was injured. As Coach USA’s workers’ compensation benefits provider and the party responsible for paying Plaintiff’s workers’ compensation benefits, Proposed Intervenor is entitled to intervene in this action.

Labor Code sections 3852 and 3853 provide that an employer against whom a claim for workers’ compensation damages was made may join in an action against a third party arising out of the incident for which the workers’ compensation payment was made.  (Lab. Code, §§ 3852, 3853.)  “[Labor Code] [s]ection 3853 states that when an action is brought against a third party by either the employer or the employee, ‘the other may, at any time before trial on the facts, join as party plaintiff.’”  (Jordan v. Superior Court (1981) 116 Cal.App.3d 202, 206 (quoting Labor Code section 3853).) An employer includes the employer’s insurer. (Lab. Code, § 3850(b).)

“‘[T]he law is clearly established that, when the employer’s action is timely filed, the employee may intervene and press his complaint in intervention to recover damages for personal injuries, even though the employee does not appear and make such a claim until more than one year after his injury.’” (Id. at 207 (quoting Harrison v. Englebrick (1967) 254 Cal.App.2d 871, 875).)  

Here, Proposed Intervenor states in its motion that it is Coach USA’s third-party workers’ compensation benefits provider and that it paid and continues to pay Plaintiff workers’ compensation in the form of temporary total disability, medical care, permanent disability, and medical legal. (Motion, p.4; Anderson Decl., ¶¶2-3.) Plaintiff was working in the course and scope of her employment with Coach, Inc. when the injury occurred. (Anderson Decl., ¶2.)

As Proposed Intervenor is Plaintiff’s employer’s insurer, the motion is granted pursuant to Labor Code section 3853.