update: this takes a long time...
If you are ever in a position where you have to pursue the legal path, it's important to understand that this likely a very lengthy process. Here is what has happened so far and likely timeline:
1. BHCC was served papers in early May
2. After the date of receipt, they have 30 days to respond (they briefly contacted the lawyer to tell him to piss up a pole)
3. This period is up now and they failed to properly respond so the next step is to file a suit.
4. Filing the suit usually takes a few weeks, say another 30 days.
5. Once filed, they have another 30 days to respond. So we do not expect an answer or any solution for another 2 months at the earliest.
6. Going to trial would rather suck: In LA county, the backlog is huge and a likely trial date right now would not be until November 2019!
7. Given the likely outcome and faced with a large retainer for a lawyer, they hopefully settle much earlier.
Anyhow, expect at least 4 months for something like this but can be 2 years!
In the meantime, according to the lawyer, it is reasonable to make repairs to the vehicle to make it driveable and those can be charged as part of the settlement. Not routine maintenance (oil changes, brake pads) or upgrades (new shocks!) but definitely replace the broken spring or anything else to make the car safe to drive. So since it will take up space in my garage for quite a while longer, I'll replace the spring in the next few weeks.