Division I Hold that Expert Testimony Establishes Causation in a Slip-and-Fall Case

Author: David Reeve

December 1, 2017 5:07pm

Background Facts

Plaintiff Virginia Mehlert alleges she slipped and fell down a flight of stairs while leaving the Mariners Team Store in downtown Seattle. To reach the store’s front door, three concrete steps led from the sidewalk to a landing; the landing was in turn connected to a carpeted vestibule; and the vestibule led to the store’s front door. At the time, a plywood ramp had been placed over the stairs to make the store accessible by wheelchair, as shown below (photo included in the court’s opinion). There were no handrails on the ramp, but each side contained a raised 1-inch wide by 2-inch tall strip.

Nevada Supreme Court Overturns Jury Verdict for Insufficient Evidence of Negligence

Author: Margaret Schmidt

December 1, 2017 5:00pm

Clark County School District v. Makani Kai Payo, 403 P.3d 1270 (Nev. 2017)

In a recent decision entitled Clark County School District v. Makani Kai Payo, 403 P.3d 1270 (Nev. 2017), the Nevada Supreme Court reversed a jury’s negligence verdict awarding past and future medical damages to a student who sustained an eye injury during his physical education class.

COWABUNGA: Nevada Alter Ego Liability

Author: Carrie McCrea Hanlon

December 1, 2017 4:53pm

On November 22, 2017 the Nevada Supreme Court held that managers of a limited liability corporation (LLC) may be subject to suit for personal negligence as tortfeasors under an alter ego theory of liability.

In the case of Gardner v. Henderson Water Park, LLC dba Cowabunga Bay Water Park, 133 Nev. Adv. Op 89, the Gardners’ minor child suffered injuries resulting from a near-drowning at Cowabunga Bay Water Park in Henderson, Nevada.  The Gardners filed suit against Henderson Water Park, LLC dba Cowabunga Bay Water Park and its two managing members, West Coast Water Parks, LLC and Double Ott Water Holdings, LLC.  The 7 managers of West Coast and Double Ott LLCs have an ownership interest in, or manage, the member-LLCs and also serve on the management committee governing the water park itself.

Grease Lightning: Miami-Dade County v. Jones and Public Entity Defense In Presmises Liability Claims In Florida

Author: Jenny Silverstein

December 1, 2017 4:47pm

For foodies like myself, the cuisine du jour/hipster thing to do is to go to a random pop-up market of high end food trucks. In Florida, there is a weekly food truck market called “Roaming Hunger.” There you can sample a wide range of cuisines from around the world. From Peking Duck Tacos to Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Macaroni & Cheese and Bacon filling, this high end “street food” is the “in” thing to do in Miami and the surrounding areas. Usually these markets take place on County or City property and the food trucks are granted a permit for temporary use.

Stop Burning Your Core! Ensure Your Gym Rats Leave With Contracts

Author: Terra Davenport

December 1, 2017 4:30pm

California’s Health Studio Services Act applies to all contracts for services between a consumer and gym.[1] (Civil Code §1812.82 et seq.)  “Any contract for health studio services which does not comply with the applicable provisions of this title shall be void and unenforceable as contrary to public policy.” (Civil Code §1812.91.)

Crossing The Line Of Duty: California Supreme Court Limits Duty Of Commercial Property Owners To Control Traffic Collisions In Valisenko v. Grace Family Church

Author: David Kahn

December 1, 2017 4:27pm

Should the owner of land abutting a public street be held responsible for a traffic collision between a motor vehicle and a jaywalking invitee?   The California Supreme Court says no.  On November 13, 2017, the Court issued a significant premises liability opinion overturning the Third District Court of Appeal and limiting the duty of commercial property owners who operate a business abutting a public street.  (Valisenko v. Grace Family Church (11/13/17) WL 5243812).  Specifically, the Court held a landowner does not have a duty to assist invitees in crossing a public street so long as the street’s dangers are not obscured or magnified by some condition of the landowner’s premises or by some action taken by the landowner.  (Id. at p. 1).  As set forth below, the key to the Court’s holding is the proximity of the relationship between the landowner’s conduct and the invitee’s and who should as a matter of public policy ultimately bear the burden of preventing such accidents.

Nevada Supreme Court Broadens Scope of Determining Innkeepers’ Duty to Protect Patrons from Injuries Caused by Third Parties on Its Premises

Author: Margaret Schmidt

November 5, 2017 11:03am

In the early morning hours of April 10, 2010, Carey Humphries (“Humphries”) was walking through the casino floor at New York-New York Hotel & Casino (NYNY) when another patron, Erick Ferrell (“Ferrell”), made unwanted advances and lewd comments towards her.  After Humphries made a “spitting gesture” and turned to walk away, Ferrell attacked her, resulting in a skull fracture and other injuries.  Lorenzo Rocha (“Rocha”) was playing at a nearby slot machine and attempted to intervene, receiving injuries to his face and head from doing so.

When is the Open and Obvious Doctrine a Complete Defense?

Author: Leslie Price

September 29, 2017 3:38pm

A recent decision of the Court of Appeal decision addressed application of the Open and Obvious Doctrine in a premises liability case.  In Jacobs v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company (2017) 14 Cal.App.5th 438, 221 Cal.Rptr.3d 701, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of a defendant landowner sued for negligence by a plaintiff who was seriously injured after falling into an empty pool.  If there is an “open and obvious” issue, can the defendant successfully argue there is no triable issue of fact, thereby avoiding a jury trial, or will the court determine “open and obvious” is a jury question to be decided under the doctrine of comparative negligence?

Your Release May Not Be as Broad as You Think

Author: James E. Sell

September 29, 2017 3:11pm

In Iqbal v Ziadeh (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 1, plaintiff was hired by a used car lot, Yosemite Auto, to determine why a car recently towed to the lot would not start. Unbeknownst to plaintiff, the tow truck operator had disconnected the transmission shift linkage to do so. The tow truck operator then failed to reconnect the shift linkage after towing the car. Plaintiff confirmed the car was in “park” and crawled underneath it to determine why it would not start. When he tested the electrical connection to the starter, the vehicle immediately ran over him and dragged him through the used car lot, crushing his spine.

Skateboarder’s Claim Against Water District and Owner of Road Barred By Doctrine of Primary Assumption of Risk

Author: Robert Taitz

July 29, 2016 10:28pm

In this case, Plaintiffs Richard Bertsch and Mitchell Bertsch (“Plaintiffs”) appealed from the trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of defendants Mammoth Community Water District and Sierra Star Community Association as to plaintiffs’ causes of action for wrongful death, negligence, premises liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress. In this matter, Brett Bertsch suffered fatal injuries when he fell off his skateboard when its wheels came into contact with a small gap between the road and a cement collar surrounding a manhole cover. Defendant Mammoth Community Water District was the entity responsible for inspecting and maintaining the manhole cover, and Sierra Star Community Association was the owner of the road where the accident occurred. The trial court concluded the doctrine of primary assumption of risk barred plaintiffs’ lawsuit as a matter of law.

Primary Assumption of Risk Arguments Still Kicking

Author: David Ramirez

February 4, 2015 4:55pm

The primary assumption of the risk doctrine has been used to provide immunity from suits for certain sporting and recreational activities, based on the public policy consideration that such activities are to be encouraged, rather than discouraged. The immunity from suit typically applies so long as the defendant did not do anything to increase the “inherent risk” of the activity.

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