Summary Judgment Rulings On Duty And Causation Elements Taco Truck And Apartment Fire Cases

by Low, Ball & Lynch
Contact

Low, Ball & Lynch

Travis Sakai v. Massco Investments, LLC
Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (February 8, 2018)

Taco Truck Case re: Duty

Defendant Massco Investments LLC (Massco) owned a gas station with a parking lot which it leased to a taco truck. Plaintiff drove into the lot to buy food from the taco truck. Plaintiff got into an accident with another driver Ana Avalos who was not a party. This first accident caused some property damage to Plaintiff’s car. Plaintiff and Avalos exited their vehicles to inspect their cars. Plaintiff asked Avalos to exchange insurance information, but Avalos did not. Instead, Avalos got back into his car and sped away, hitting Plaintiff and dragging him into the street. This second accident caused bodily injury to Plaintiff.

The trial court granted Massco’s summary judgment motion, finding that there was “no foreseeability and no duty.” The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

Although the Court said it is foreseeable that a food truck customer might be struck by a car exiting a parking lot in an imprudent manner, the conduct of Avalos was not foreseeable or derivative of Massco’s conduct in designing, leasing, or operating the parking lot. Even Plaintiff did not expect Avalos to suddenly get in his car and abruptly leave while they were discussing the first accident. The Court concluded that Massco’s conduct in leasing the parking lot bore only an attenuated relationship to Plaintiff’s injuries. Furthermore, the parking control measures suggested by Plaintiff would be burdensome with no evidence that they would have prevented Plaintiff’s injuries.

COMMENT
Duty is a question of law, and when the facts are not disputed, a defendant can prevail on a summary judgment motion if an accident is not considered foreseeable.

For a copy of the complete decision, see: Travis Sakai v. Massco Investments, LLC

Agustin Leyva et al., v. Abel Garcia
Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (February 7, 2018)

Apartment Fire Case re: Causation

Tenants sued their landlord for injuries and property damage sustained in an apartment fire. The landlord met his initial burden of showing the tenants could not prove causation by citing declarations of two fire investigators who could not tell what caused the fire to ignite, but agreed a wall heater was the heat source. Tenants did not provide any contrary evidence in their opposition to the landlord’s summary judgment motion. The trial court granted summary judgment on the ground that the tenants were unable to establish causation. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

The Court found that the landlord met his initial burden as the moving party by presenting prima facie evidence that the tenants would not be able to establish the element of causation in a negligence cause of action. Since the initial burden was met, the burden shifted to the tenants to produce evidence showing a triable issue of material fact. Since the tenants failed to present any evidence creating a triable issue of material fact, the trial court properly granted the summary judgment. Another reason the Court upheld the trial court’s judgment was that the tenants failed to provide a separate statement in opposition to the motion as required in CCP Section 437c, subd.(b)(3); Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1350(e).

COMMENT
Summary judgment was properly granted based upon evidence that experts could not establish the cause of the fire.

For a copy of the complete decision, see: Agustin Leyva et al., v. Abel Garcia

 

Written by:

Low, Ball & Lynch
Contact
more
less

Low, Ball & Lynch on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.