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Congratulations to BWB&O’s Newport Beach Team for Prevailing on a Highly Contested Motion to Quash!

Congratulations to Newport Partners Tyler Offenhauser and Jonathan Cothran, and Associate Anisha Kohli, who recently prevailed on behalf of BWB&O’s client before the Orange County Superior Court on a highly contested Motion to Quash Service based on Plaintiff’s failure to timely file and serve a DOE Amendment, naming our client.

BWB&O’s client was the owner of a building where Plaintiff, a licensed electrician, was electrocuted while performing an upgrade to the building’s electrical infrastructure. Plaintiff’s original lawsuit named only the building’s tenant, who was also represented by BWB&O. BWB&O was successful earlier this year on a Motion for Summary Judgment under the Privette Doctrine and won judgment on behalf of the client/tenant. While that MSJ was pending, Plaintiff surreptitiously added the building’s owner to the suit with a DOE Amendment, after several months earlier learning the owner and then tenant were entities operated by the same individual. However, Plaintiff never informed counsel or any other party of the filing. Moreover, after the MSJ was granted, Plaintiff then waited several more months to serve the building’s owner.

After reviewing the timeline of facts and the chicanery by Plaintiff, BWB&O crafted a Motion to Quash attacking the DOE Amendment itself under CCP §474. Despite the challenges facing this Motion, including having a high bar of proof, numerous evidentiary hurdles, and strong arguments by Plaintiff in opposition, the Court found BWB&O’s arguments persuasive and granted the Motion in its entirety. The Court noted in its ruling that the prejudice to the building’s owner is manifest in the facts, and summarily dismantled each of Plaintiff’s arguments in opposition, including Plaintiff’s plea that the conduct was excusable. Finally, the Court concluded by stating that since the building’s owner and tenant are operated by the same individual, the individual “would now be faced with fully litigating the case all over again in a manner reminiscent of the situation faced by Bill Murray’s character in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’.”

A HUGE victory and shout out to Tyler, Jonathan, and Anisha for their incredible work!