Judge: Robert S. Draper, Case: 21STCV23761, Date: 2022-08-15 Tentative Ruling



Case Number: 21STCV23761    Hearing Date: August 15, 2022    Dept: 78

Superior Court of California 

County of Los Angeles 

Department 78 

 

PHILIP ESCAMILLA,

Plaintiff;

vs. 

TRADEMANGO SOLUTIONS US INC., et al.,

Defendants. 

Case No.: 

21STCV23761

Hearing Date: 

August 15, 2022 

[TENTATIVE] RULING RE:

MOTION FOR SUBSTITUTION OF THE SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST FOR DECEASED PLAINTIF PHILIP ESCAMILLA AND TO CONTINUE ACTION

Plaintiff’s Motion for Substitution of the Successor in Interest for Deceased Plaintiff Philip Escamilla and to Continue Action is GRANTED.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Philip Escamilla (“Escamilla”) worked for Defendant Trademango Solutions US Inc. (“Trademango”) from February 2, 2020, to April 2, 2021. (Compl. ¶ 8.) During Escamilla’s employment with Trademango, Escamilla was never provided his statutorily required rest and lunch breaks. (Compl. ¶¶ 10-11.)

Escamilla was also injured twice on the job; once in September 2020, and once in April 2021. (Compl. ¶¶ 14-15.) Escamilla reported his injuries to his supervisor, and took a few days off to recuperate pursuant to his doctor’s orders. (Compl. ¶ 16.) When he returned to, Escamilla was still in pain, and told his supervisor such. (Compl. ¶ 17.) Shortly thereafter, his supervisor began telling Escamilla’s co-workers that Plaintiff was accident prone and began excessively writing Escamilla up. (Compl. ¶ 18.) On April 2, 2021, Trademango terminated Escamilla’s employment. (Compl. ¶ 19.) Escamilla alleges that Trademango’s justification for termination was pretextual, and that he was actually terminated due to his injuries. (Compl. ¶ 21.)

PROCEDURAL HISTORY 

On June 25, 2021, Escamilla filed a Complaint asserting eight causes of action:

1.    Failure to Provide Meal Periods in Violation of California labor Code §§ 226.7, 512;

2.    Failure to Provide Rest Periods in Violation of California Labor Code § 226.7;

3.    Failure to Furnish Accurate Itemized Wage Statements in Violation of California Labor Code § 226;

4.    Retaliation in Violation of FEHA;

5.    Disability Discrimination in Violation of FEHA;

6.    Failure to Accommodate in violation of FEHA;

7.    Failure to Engage in the Interactive Process in Violation of FEHA; and

8.    Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy.

On September 11, 2021, Trademango filed an Answer.

On May 12, 2022, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Substitution of the Successor in Interest for Deceased Plaintiff Philip Escamilla and to Continue Action.

On June 23, 2022, the Court continued the hearing from June 29, 2022 to August 15, 2022.

No Opposition has been filed.

DISCUSSION 

I.               MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT

Escamilla’s Successor in Interest, Jody Escamilla (“Jody”)[1], moves the Court for an order allowing the pending action to be continued by Jody following the death of her father, Philip Escamilla. This Motion is made pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 377.31.

“A cause of action that survives the death of the person entitled to commence an action or proceeding passes to the decedent’s successor in interest . . . and an action may be commenced by the decedent’s personal representatives or, if none, by the decedent’s successor in interest.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 377.30.) After the death of a plaintiff, the court, on motion, shall allow a pending action that does not abate to be continued by the decedent’s personal representative or successor-in-interest. (Code Civ. Proc., § 377.31.) 

The person who seeks to commence or continue a pending action as the decedent’s successor-in-interest shall execute and file an affidavit or declaration stating: (1) the decedent’s name, (2) the date and place of decedent’s death, (3) “No proceeding is now pending in California for administration of the decedent’s estate,” (4) a copy of the final order showing the distribution of the decedent’s cause of action to the successor-in-interest, if the decedent’s estate was administered, (5) either the affiant or declarant is the decedent’s successor in interest or the affiant or declarant is authorized to act on behalf of the decedent’s successor in interest, with facts in support thereof, (6) “No other person has a superior right to commence the action or proceeding or to be substituted for the decedent in the pending action or proceeding,” and (7) the statements are true, under penalty of perjury. (Code Civ. Proc., § 377.32.) 

Here, moving party Jody Escamilla files a declaration with her motion stating: (1) Plaintiff’s name, Philip Escamilla (Escamilla Decl. ¶ 1); (2) Escamilla passed away on March 9, 2022, in Fullerton, California (Id.  ¶ 2); (3) No proceeding is now pending in California for administration of the decedent’s estate (Id. ¶ 4); Jody is the decedent’s successor in interest with respect to the action (Id. ¶ 5); No other person has a superior right to commence the action or to be substituted for the decedent in the pending action. (Id. ¶ 6.)

Finally, Jody attaches a copy of Escamilla’s Certificate of Death to her Declaration. (Ex. 1.)

The Court finds that Jody has met all the requirements of CCP section 377.32. Accordingly, Jody Escamilla’s Motion for Substitution of the Successor in Interest for Deceased Plaintiff Philip Escamilla and to Continue Action is GRANTED.

 

DATED:  August 15, 2022

___________________________

Hon. Robert S. Draper 

Judge of the Superior Court

 



[1] The Court uses Jody’s first name to distinguish her from her father. No disrespect is intended.