Judge: William A. Crowfoot, Case: 22STCV16931, Date: 2022-07-25 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22STCV16931    Hearing Date: July 25, 2022    Dept: 27

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

 

ALEX ARROCHA,

                        Plaintiff(s),

            vs.

 

FAIRHAVEN MEMORIAL SERVICES, et al.,

 

                   Defendant(s).

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     CASE NO.: 22STCV16931

 

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PETITION TO CONFIRM

MINOR’S COMPROMISE

 

Dept. 27

1:30 p.m.

JULY 25, 2022

 

 

I.         BACKGROUND

On May 23, 2022, Plaintiff Alex Arrocha, a minor by and through his guardian ad litem Conrad Arrocha filed this action against Defendant Fairhaven Memorial Services (“Defendant”), alleging one cause of action for general negligence.  

The Complaint alleges that on September 9, 2020, Plaintiff was on Defendant’s property in Mission Viejo, California, when a dog (that was not on a leash) on the property jumped on Plaintiff, attacked him, and caused Plaintiff to suffer injuries as a result. The injuries are described as scratches; Plaintiff was not bitten.

II.       LEGAL STANDARD

The compromise of a minor’s disputed claim for damages is valid only after the court has approved it upon filing a petition. (Prob. Code, § 3500.) The petition must be verified by the petitioner, contain full disclosure of all information that has any bearing upon the reasonableness of the compromise, and be prepared on judicial council form MC-350. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 7.950.)

III.      DISCUSSION

Plaintiff and Claimant Alex Arrocha (“Claimant”) (a minor age 11), by and through his Guardian Ad Litem, Conrad Arrocha (“Petitioner”), has agreed to settle his claims against Defendant.

  1. Petitioner and Claimant Excused from Hearing

California Rules of Court, rule 7.952(a), require the Petitioner and Claimant to attend the hearing on the petition “unless the court for good cause dispenses with their personal appearance.”

The Court finds good cause to dispense with the personal appearance of the Petitioner and Claimant at the hearing due to the Claimant’s age.

  1. Request to Approve Minor’s Compromise

The Court has reviewed the Petition to Approve Minor’s Compromise.

Claimant sustained small scratches on his arm and minor psychological trauma after the dog attack alleged in the Complaint. (Petition, Item 7.) However, after one emergency room visit and a couple of counseling sessions, Claimant has recovered completely from the effects of the injuries and does not have permanent injuries. (Petition, Items 8 and 9a.)

Claimant has agreed to settle his claims against Defendant in exchange for $20,000. If approved, $2,615.64 will be used to pay medical expenses, $6,615.64 (33%) will be used to pay attorney’s fees, and $454.22 will pay for expenses (other than medical), leaving a balance of $10,263.48 for the Claimant to be deposited in an insured account subject to withdrawal only upon authorization of the court. The name, branch, and address of the depository are Partners Federal Credit Union, 100 S. Anaheim Blvd., #400, Anaheim, CA 92805. (Attachment 19b(2).)

The Court finds the settlement fair and reasonable, including the requested attorney’s fees of 33% of the settlement. According to Petitioner’s counsel’s declaration, Defendant initially offered to settle the dispute for $10,000. (Petition, Attachment 14a – Soleimani Decl., ¶ 4.) However, counsel states he was able to convince Defendant to double that offer due to his experience, reputation, and ability. (Soleimani Decl., ¶ 6.)

Accordingly, the Court approves the Petition as requested.

IV.     CONCLUSION

          The Petition to Confirm Compromise is APPROVED.

Moving party to give notice. 

            Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court’s website at www.lacourt.org. Please be advised that if you submit on the tentative and elect not to appear at the hearing, the opposing party may nevertheless appear at the hearing and argue the matter. Unless you receive a submission from all other parties in the matter, you should assume that others might appear at the hearing to argue. If the Court does not receive emails from the parties indicating submission on this tentative ruling and there are no appearances at the hearing, the Court may, at its discretion, adopt the tentative as the final order or place the motion off calendar.