Judge: Layne H. Melzer, Case: 22-01261243, Date: 2022-08-04 Tentative Ruling

Dft. Tig Insurance Company
1. Motion - Other (For Joinder)
Dft. Insurance Company Of The State Of Pennsylvania, Lexington Insurance Company
2. Motion - Other (To Designate Case as Complex)

 

The court grants Defendants Insurance Company of The State of Pennsylvania And Lexington Insurance Company’s Motion to deem this case complex.  The joinder by Defendant TIG Insurance is therefore granted as well.

 

Facts

Plaintiff City of Santa Monica sues Defendants The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, Insurance Company of the West, Lexington Insurance Company, Axis Surplus Insurance Company, Arch Specialty Insurance Company, TIG Insurance Company, and Santa Monica Pal Corp. D.B.A. Santa Monica Police Activities League for:

 

1.    Declaratory judgment

2.    Breach of contract

3.    Tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing

4.    Contractual indemnification

5.    Equitable indemnification

 

 

The City of Santa Monica paid out around $100 million to settle lawsuits by 61 people whom alleged in litigation that City employee Eric Uller sexually molested them when they participated in the Santa Monica Police Activities League program from 1987 to at least 2004.

 

The City alleges that they were sued for negligent supervision and insurance should have covered these settlements and defended (and continue to defend) the City. 

 

TIG filed a cross-complaint against the City of Santa Monica for declaratory judgment. The operative cross-complaint is the First Amended Cross-Complaint. (ROA 80)

 

All named Defendants have appeared.

 

Merits

The Judicial Council has adopted rules regarding the definition and designation of complex cases. (CRC, rules 3.400–3.550).

 

Under the rules, a complex case is defined as an action that requires “exceptional judicial management” to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on the court or the litigants and to expedite the action, keep costs reasonable, and promote effective decision-making by the judge, the attorneys, and the parties. (CRC, rule 3.400(a).)

 

When determining whether an action is a complex case, the judge must consider, among other factors, whether the action is likely to involve any of the following (CRC, rule 3.400(b)):

 

• Many pretrial motions raising difficult or novel legal issues that will be time-consuming to resolve.

• Management of a large number of witnesses or a substantial amount of documentary evidence.

• Management of a large number of separately represented parties.

• Coordination with related actions pending in one or more courts in other counties, states, or countries, or in a federal court.

• Substantial postjudgment judicial supervision.

 

An action is provisionally a complex case if it involves one or more of the following types of claims (CRC, rule 3.400(c)):

 

• Antitrust or trade regulation claims.

• Construction defect claims involving many parties or structures.

• Securities claims or investment losses involving many parties.

•Environmental or toxic tort claims involving many parties.

•Claims involving mass torts or class actions.

•Insurance coverage claims arising out of any of the types of claims listed above.

 

Here, this case is provisionally complex because it involves insurance coverage arising out of mass tort claims.

 

Further, the Complaint puts over thirty insurance policies at issue with collective policy periods spanning from as early as 1990 to 2005 (Compl. ¶¶ 24–200), thus the court finds that will likely be management of a large number of witnesses and/or substantial amount of documentary evidence.

 

Further, all parties are in agreement or do not oppose a complex designation.

 

The Motion is granted.