UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN JOSE DIVISION
June 13, 2011
TIN, INC., DBA TEMPLE INLAND, INC., AND QUALITY CARRIERS, INC.,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States District Judge Lucy H. Koh
United States District Court For the Northern District of California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR A 12 GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT DETERMINATION
Defendant Quality Carriers, Inc. ("Quality") has filed a motion for a good faith settlement 18 determination pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 877.6. Quality represents that at a 19 mediation session held on May 12, 2011, Quality reached a settlement in the amount of $50,000 20 with Plaintiff Robin Marsh. Quality now requests that the Court make a determination that this 21 settlement was entered into in good faith, dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint as to Quality, and dismiss 22 the cross-complaint of Defendant TIN, Inc. ("TIN"). Plaintiff has stipulated to the requested relief, 23 and TIN has filed a statement of non-opposition stating that it does not oppose Quality's motion.*fn1 24
A federal court sitting in diversity may apply California good faith settlement law, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 877, 877.6, to claims brought under California law. Mason and Dixon Intermodal, Inc. v. Lapmaster Intern. LLC, 632 F.3d 1056, 1060-63 (9th Cir. 2011). "To determine whether a 2 settlement has been made in good faith, California courts consider (1) 'a rough approximation of 3 plaintiffs' total recovery and the settlor's proportionate liability'; (2) 'the amount paid in 4 settlement'; (3) 'the allocation of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs'; and (4) 'a recognition that 5 a settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after a trial.'" Id. at 6 256, 698 P.2d 159 (1985)). California courts may also consider the financial condition and 8 insurance policy limits of the settlor, as well as any tortious behavior intended to harm the interests 9 of the non-settling defendants. Mason and Dixon, 632 F.3d at 1064.
1064 (quoting Tech--Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward--Clyde Associates, 38 Cal.3d 488, 499, 213 Cal.Rptr.
This case arises out of an incident in which Plaintiff, an independent
truck operator, was dispatched by Quality to deliver a shipment of
molten wax to a facility owned and operated by
TIN. As Plaintiff attempted to transfer the wax from the Quality
trailer to the TIN storage tank, she 13 was allegedly sprayed with wax
and knocked to the ground, causing injuries. In support of a good 14
faith settlement determination, Quality has submitted evidence
suggesting that it provided Plaintiff 15 extensive training in proper
unloading procedures, including one-on-one training sessions. Quality
16 also submits evidence indicating that it provided Plaintiff phone
numbers of two people to contact 17 with questions about an
assignment, and that Plaintiff did not contact either of these people
to 18 discuss her hesitations about unloading the wax. Finally,
Quality submits evidence suggesting that
$50,000 is an adequate amount to cover Quality's proportion of
liability, if any, for Plaintiff's 20 injuries. No party has opposed
Quality's motion. Accordingly, having reviewed the briefs and 21
evidence submitted by Quality, the Court finds that the settlement
payment of $50,000 by Quality 22 to Plaintiff was made in good faith.
and ORDERS as follows:
within the meaning of California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 877 and 877.6;
(2) Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed with prejudice as to Defendant Quality only; 28
(3) The Cross-Complaint filed by TIN against Quality is dismissed with prejudice; 2
The Court therefore GRANTS Quality's motion for a good faith settlement determination
(1) The settlement between Plaintiff and Quality is determined to have been made in good faith 26
(4) The Cross-Complaint filed by Quality against TIN is dismissed with prejudice; 2
(5) Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 877.6(c), this Order bars any other 3 joint tortfeasor or co-obligor from any further claims against the settling tortfeasor or co-obligor for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault.
The June 17, 2011 hearing on Quality's motion is hereby VACATED. However, because Plaintiff 7 and Defendant TIN have not reached a settlement, the Court will hold a Case Management Conference, as scheduled, on June 17, 2011 to discuss the ongoing litigation.
IT IS SO ORDERED.