108 Cal.App.3d 567, 59343, Ernest W. Hahn, Inc v. Superior Court

Docket Nº:59343
Citation:108 Cal.App.3d 567, 166 Cal.Rptr. 644
Opinion Judge:[10] Compton
Party Name:Ernest W. Hahn, Inc v. Superior Court
Attorney:[6] Dean, Mansell & Manchester and Robert E. Kuhn for Petitioner. [7] No appearance for Respondent. [8] James F. Callopy for Real Party in Interest.
Case Date:July 25, 1980
Court:California Court of Appeals

Page 567

108 Cal.App.3d 567

166 Cal.Rptr. 644

ERNEST W. HAHN, INC., Petitioner,


SUPERIOR COURT of the State of California FOR the COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, Respondent.

TINY NAYLOR'S RESTAURANTS, Real Party in Interest and Respondent.

Civ. 59343.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Second Division

July 25, 1980.

Page 568

Dean, Mansell & Manchester by Robert E. Kuhn, Los Angeles, for petitioner.

James F. Callopy, Los Angeles, for real party in interest and respondent.

No appearance, for respondent court.

Page 569

COMPTON, Associate Justice.

Proceedings in mandamus to vacate an order denying petitioner's motion for summary judgment and to direct the superior court to enter summary judgment in favor of petitioner. We issue the writ as prayed for.

One Talma E. Hopper slipped and fell on an allegedly defective step at the entrance to Tiny Naylor's Restaurant (RPI) in January of 1976. She commenced a personal injury action against RPI in January of 1978.

RPI cross-complained for indemnification against petitioner the building contractor who built the restaurant. Construction of the restaurant was completed in 1967.

Code of Civil Procedure section 337.1 provides that no action for damages resulting from patent defects may be maintained against persons who construct improvements to real property more than four years after substantial completion of the improvement. Code of Civil Procedure section 337.15 provides, in the case of latent defects, a limitation period of ten years after completion.

Inasmuch as it appears that Hopper's action against RPI was commenced more than ten years after petitioner completed construction of the building, we are not here concerned with whether the defect complained of was "patent" or "latent." A direct action by Hopper against petitioner would be barred in either event.

The sole issue presented in these proceedings is whether Code of Civil Procedure section 337.15 operates to bar an action for indemnity against petitioner. The essential facts being uncontroverted, a motion for summary judgment is the proper vehicle for resolution of the issue. The trial court's ruling was that the action was not barred because of the California Supreme Court holding in People ex rel. Dept. of Transportation v. Superior Court, 26 Cal.3d 744, 163 Cal.Rptr. 585. We disagree.

That case involved a...

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