California Court of Appeals, Second District, Eighth Division
from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County
No. BC640449, Elizabeth A. White, Judge. Affirmed.
Office of Steven A. Simons and Steven A. Simons for
Plaintiffs and Respondents.
Law Firm and Jared Gross for Defendant and Appellant.
an appeal from a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff Mike
Kalta on his claim against defendant for violation of the
Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA; Civ. Code, § 1750 et
seq.) Defendant contends the judgment must be reversed
because Mr. Kalta is not a consumer with standing to sue
under the CLRA. We affirm.
glean the following facts from the rather limited record on
appeal, which did not include the pleadings, a transcript of
the hearing on the motions in limine, the trial exhibits, or
appears plaintiffs Mike Kalta and his business, Greenfield
Landscaping, Inc., sued defendant Fleets 101, Inc. for
violation of the CLRA based on misrepresentations made during
the sale of a used truck to plaintiffs.
admitted in response to plaintiffs' request for
admissions that the vehicle was purchased for Mr. Kalta's
personal use. Before trial, defendant moved in limine to
preclude plaintiffs from introducing this admission at trial,
and to preclude any reference at trial to plaintiffs as
“consumers” under the CLRA. These motions were
denied. Defendant makes no claim of error in the court's
ruling denying these motions in limine.
evidence at trial was that Mr. Kalta purchased the vehicle
through his company, Greenfield Landscaping, Inc., due to his
poor credit. Title was taken in the business's name.
However, Mr. Kalta testified the vehicle was for his personal
use, and the Retail Installment Sale Contract states the
truck was purchased for personal and not commercial purposes.
The trial court instructed the jury it had been
“conclusively established” that the vehicle
“was purchased for personal use.”
jury found by special verdict that Mr. Kalta suffered damages
of $10, 435.88, and awarded punitive damages of $10, 000.
Judgment was entered in favor of both plaintiffs.
appeal, defendant contends Mr. Kalta lacks standing to sue
because his business purchased the vehicle. Defendant also
contends Mr. Kalta is not a “consumer” within the
meaning of the CLRA.
does not tell us the standard of review; does not summarize
the facts, detailed ante, supporting a finding that
the vehicle was purchased for Mr. Kalta's personal use;
does not challenge the trial court's ruling on its
motions in limine, which precluded defendant from arguing at
trial that Mr. Kalta was not a consumer; and the record on
appeal creates more questions than it provides answers.
Plainly, defendant has failed to satisfy its burden of
demonstrating prejudicial error. (People v. Stanley
(1995) 10 Cal.4th 764, 793 [a brief must contain reasoned
argument and legal authority to support its contentions or
the court may treat them as waived]; Foreman & Clark
Corp. v. Fallon (1971) 3 Cal.3d 875, 881 [failure to
state all evidence fairly in appellate briefs waives alleged
error]; Denham v. Superior Court (1970) 2 Cal.3d
557, 564 [appellant must provide an adequate record to
establish prejudicial error, because the lower court's
judgment is presumed correct].)
substantial evidence Mr. Kalta was a consumer within the
meaning of the CLRA, and had standing to sue. (See Civ. Code,
§ 1761, subd. (d) [“ ‘Consumer' means an
individual who seeks or acquires, by purchase or lease, any
goods or services for personal, family, or household
purposes.”]; San Luis Rey Racing, Inc. v.
California Horse Racing Bd. (2017) 15 Cal.App.5th 67, 73
[trial court's factual findings concerning standing are