Affirms Dismissal of Class Action in Which Class Representative Had Died Five Years Earlier
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Div. Two of the Court of Appeal for this district yesterday issued a 27-page opinion in the case of Ignacio Salgado v. The Daily Breeze—notwithstanding that Ignacio Salgado died on Aug. 17, 2015.
The action, in which a failure to reimburse business expenses was alleged, was dismissed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara A. Meiers on Oct. 15, 2020, five years, one month, and 28 days since the demise of Salgado.
“This appeal is taken from an order granting a motion to dismiss class claims in an action where the class has lacked a living class representative for seven years,” Justice Victoria M. Chavez said in an opinion that was not certified for publication, adding:
“While Jaime Salazar has been substituted as a representative of Salgado’s estate as to Salgado’s personal claims, he was never substituted as class representative in this matter. No formal motion for substitution of the class representative was ever granted, or even heard, in this matter. Thus, there is no living appellant in this matter.”
Nonetheless, Chavez provided a 7,524-word opinion detailing the background of the case and the contentions put forth by class counsel and by the defendants, publishers of the Daily Breeze and the Long Beach Press Telegram.
“Class counsel have failed to provide legal authority for their position that Salazar simply stepped into the role of class representative in this matter or that such automatic recognition of an individual would have been appropriate in this case. Thus, we conclude, as the trial court did, that there was no properly approved or designated class representative since the time of Salgado’s death in 2015. Under the circumstances, it was within the trial court’s discretion to dismiss the class claim.”
Dismissing Appeal Considered
The appeals court had considered dismissing the appeal. In an April 13 order, it invited supplemental briefing on the issue of “whether this court may render judgment for or against Ignacio Salgado (decedent) in this matter in that no representative has been substituted as a party in the decedent’s role as class representative.”
Chavez said in her opinion that “[a]t the parties’ urging, we consider the issues raised on appeal….”
Purporting to represent Salgado were Costa Mesa attorney James M. Trush; Stanley D. Saltzman, Cody R. Kennedy, Joel M. Gordon of the Agoura Hills firm of Marlin & Saltzman; and City of Orange lawyer Timothy Donahue. Arguing for the defendants were Jill L. Ripke and Lauren M. Kulpa of Perkins Coie.
Copyright 2022, Metropolitan News Company