Motion: Transfer and Coordinate Cases. Moving Party Defendant Kyle Crisanti. Responding Party Plaintiff Jack Botros; Defendants Amanda Stergas, Marc and Nancy Penso; Plaintiffs Juan, Damien and Jacob Rodriguez and Michelle Diaz.
Ruling: The Motion to Transfer and Coordinate Cases is DENIED.
Pursuant to Code Civ. Proc., § 403, the court exercises its discretion to deny the motion. Because the Orange County case, Botros v. Crisanti, has proceeded to trial more rapidly than the Los Angeles case, Rodriguez v. Botros, this court declines to the transfer the Orange County case to Los Angeles. Justice would be better serve to have the two cases continue on their separate tracks.
The key issue concerns the status of discovery and trial setting. The Orange County case, Botros v. Crisanti, is set for trial on 6/25/18. The Los Angeles case, Rodriguez v. Botros, is set for 2/15/19. The Rodriguez is just starting discovery, where the Botros case has almost completed discovery.
In the Orange County case, Defendant Kyle Crisanti answered the Complaint on 6/13/17. He elected not to file a Cross-Complaint for Indemnity against the other drivers. On 7/28/17, Defendant Kyle Crisanti filed a Case Management Statement, but did not address the potential for other litigation.
On 8/7/17, the CMC was held and the court set the trial for 4/2/18. Pursuant to stipulation of counsel, the court continued this case from 4/2/18 to 6/25/18.
The Los Angeles case, Rodriguez v. Botros, was filed on 8/15/17. Although Defendant Kyle Crisanti filed a Notice of Related Action, he did delayed in seeking to transfer and consolidate. This motion was filed on 2/13/18, which was the same day the trial was continued.
The court makes the following findings under CRC Rule 3.500 (d). The actions are not complex. The liability for the accidents is a common question of fact or law. The convenience of the parties, witnesses, and counsel is a minor issue. The relative development of the actions regarding the state of discovery and setting trial is the most significant issue. The disadvantages of duplicative and inconsistent rulings, orders, or judgments is outweighed the state of discovery and trial setting. The likelihood of settlement of the actions will not be affected by the ruling on this motion.