Judge: Shirley K. Watkins, Case: 22VECV00449, Date: 2022-07-26 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22VECV00449    Hearing Date: July 26, 2022    Dept: T

SAVANNAH G. ORTIZ,

 

                        Plaintiff,

 

            vs.

 

SCOTT D. WRIGHT,

 

                        Defendants

 

CASE NO: 22VECV00449

 

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

MOTION TO STRIKE AGAINST PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT

 

Dept. T

8:30 a.m.

July 26, 2022

 

            [TENTATIVE] ORDER:  Defendant Scott D. Wright’s Motion to Strike is GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

  1. Introduction

    Defendant Scott D. Wright (“Defendant”) moves to strike the portions of the Complaint filed by Plaintiff Savannah G. Ortiz (“Plaintiff”). Defendant seeks to strike all references to punitive damages in the Complaint, which includes the following: (1) Page 9, Lines 12-17, ¶ 49, and (2) Page 9, Line 24.   

  2. Discussion

                Upon review of the Complaint, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages has not been sufficiently alleged because it lacks specific allegations to show that Defendant acted with oppression, malice or fraud. Plaintiff must meet the heightening pleading standard associated with punitive damages. (Lehto v. Underground Constr. Co. (1977) 69 Cal.App.3d 933, 944 [reasoning that a claim for punitive damages must be pleaded with particularity].) (Id.) Moreover, it is noted that Plaintiff primarily alleges that her claims stem from the defective conditions of her rental property. (Compl. ¶ 13 (a)-(qq).) However, defective conditions of a premises and a failure to correct on their own are not sufficient to sustain a claim for punitive damages. (McDonell v. American Trust Company (1955) 130 Cal.App.2d 296, 297-299.) Thus, Plaintiff would need to allege additional facts to support her claim for punitive damages. However, because no opposition has been filed, Plaintiff have failed to explain how she can cure this defect.

                Accordingly, the Court grants Defendant’s motion to strike without leave to amend and strikes all references to punitive damages made in the Complaint.

  3. Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, the Court GRANTS without leave to amend Defendant’s motion to strike.

 

            IT IS SO ORDERED, ____________________ TO GIVE NOTICE.