Judge: Mark A. Young, Case: 20SMCV01434, Date: 2023-03-23 Tentative Ruling



Case Number: 20SMCV01434    Hearing Date: March 23, 2023    Dept: M

CASE NAME:           Berberian v. Musiz Inc.

CASE NO.:                20SMCV01434

MOTION:                  Motion for Default Judgment

HEARING DATE:   3/23/2023

 

BACKGROUND

 

Defendant Muzik Inc. failed to retain counsel and appear at the FSCs on January 3, 2023, and January 23, 2023. This includes an OSC Re: Defendant’s retention of counsel. Thus, the Court struck Muzik’s answer and entered default against them.

 

REQUESTED JUDGMENT

 

The CIV-100 Form and Judgment JUD-100 Form seek the following judgment:

 

Contract Damages:     $ 43,750.02

Economic Loss:          $ 2,005,299.00

Interest:                       $ 14,771.34

Costs:                          $ 593.80            

Attorney Fees:            $ 27,225.00

TOTAL:                    $ 2,091,639.16

           

 

Analysis

 

The default judgment requested by Plaintiff is DENIED as follows:

 

First, as to future losses, the Court requires additional evidentiary foundation from the economist. Plaintiff’s expert must verify the facts and assumptions made for her conclusion. Generally citing a “true and correct” copy of her report summarizing economic losses is not sufficient evidence to substantiate over $2,000,000 in requested economic losses.  For instance, what is the basis for Plaintiff’s work life expectancy of 16.79 year?  While the calculations appear correct, foundation is required to evidence these future losses.

 

As to attorney’s fees beyond the schedule (LASC Rule 3.214), the Court would likely find that counsel would be entitled to fees at a greater rate than the contested default schedule. However, the Court will require an itemized statement of the services rendered or to be rendered before it can grant fees for such services.

 

Considering these evidentiary issues, the currently supported judgment would be as follows:

 

Past Economic Losses

$ 204,832.00

Severance Contract

$ 43,750.02

Punitive Damages

$0

Interest

 

 

$ 15,034.90

Costs

 

$ 593.80

Attorney fees (per schedule)

 

$ 8,241.64

TOTAL

 

$ 251,452.36

 

 

      Otherwise, additional foundation is required to support the above items of damages. Accordingly, the court will continue the motion to ________________.  Plaintiff must submit the additional declarations at least 5 days prior to the continued hearing date.