On 11/21/2017 DIANE C SALERNO filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CHATEAU MARMONT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GEORGINA T. RIZK, KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE and MARK A. BORENSTEIN. The case status is Other.
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
GEORGINA T. RIZK
KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE
MARK A. BORENSTEIN
SALERNO DIANE C.
BALAZS INVESTORS LLC
DOES 1 TO 50
CHATEAU PROPERTY HOLDINGS LLC
EVENT ELEVEN WORLDWIDE (DOE 1)
EVENT ELEVEN WORLDWIDE DOE 1
ROES 1 THROUGH 100 INCLUSIVE
EVENT ELEVEN WORLDWIDE DOE 1
EVENT ELEVEN WORLDWIDE
STEINER JON M. ESQ.
KWONG PAUL C. ESQ.
BREMER KEITH GLENN ESQ.
TARNEJA ANKUR ESQ.
GIANNETTO ALEXANDER MICHAEL ESQ.
BREMER KEITH GLENN ESQ.
GIANNETTO ALEXANDER MICHAEL ESQ.
BREMER KEITH G
2/26/2020: Request for Dismissal
1/24/2020: Request for Dismissal
12/3/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT) OF 12/03/2019
12/3/2019: Notice of Settlement
10/10/2019: Response - RESPONSE TO OPPOSITION
10/10/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
10/10/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
8/8/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment
8/8/2019: Separate Statement
3/19/2019: Notice of Ruling
3/5/2019: Declaration - Declaration OF JON M. STEINER IN RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT EVENT ELEVEN INC.S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE AND ALL RELATED DATES AND DEFENDANT CHATEAU PROPERTY HOLDINGS, LLCS JOINDER
3/7/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury
3/12/2019: Reply - REPLY REPLY TO DECLARATION OF JON STEINER
2/22/2019: Substitution of Attorney
2/1/2018: Proof of Personal Service -
2/13/2018: ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF?S UNVERIFIED COMPLAINT
2/13/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 2, Mark A. Borenstein, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by DIANE C. SALERNO (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 2, Mark A. Borenstein, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Event Eleven Worldwide (Cross-Complainant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 3:37 PM in Department 2, Mark A. Borenstein, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case ReviewRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order ( (Non-Appearance Case Review Re Notice of Settlement)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by DIANE C. SALERNO (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Non-Appearance Case Review Re Notice of Settlement) of 12/03/2019); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 2, Mark A. Borenstein, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 2, Mark A. Borenstein, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF CHANGE OF FIRM NAMERead MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by CHATEAU PROPERTY HOLDINGS, LLC (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketReceipt; Filed by CHATEAU PROPERTY HOLDINGS, LLC (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketANSWER TO PLAINTIFF S UNVERIFIED COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
DocketCIVIL DEPOSITRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Personal ServiceRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by DIANE C. SALERNO (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by DIANE C. SALERNO (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC684411 Hearing Date: October 24, 2019 Dept: 2
Salerno v. Chateau Marmont, et al.
Defendant Event Eleven, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment, filed on 8/8/2019, is DENIED. Defendant has not established it is entitled to judgment in its favor based on the undisputed material facts proffered. Cal Code Civil Procedure § 437c(p)(2).
Plaintiff Diane Salerno alleges that she was injured at a cocktail party at the Chateau Marmont hotel. The event was produced by Defendant Event Eleven, Inc., (“Event Eleven”) an event planning company. Plaintiff asserts claims for premises liability and negligence against Event Eleven, Chateau Property Holdings, LLC dba Chateau Marmont (“Chateau Marmont” or “Hotel”), and other defendants related to Chateau Marmont. Event Eleven moves for summary judgment, claiming that it lacked ownership and control over the property and lacked actual or constructive knowledge over the dangerous condition. Both Plaintiff and Chateau Marmont oppose the motion.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the opposing parties, the evidence is sufficient to raise a genuine issue as to the following facts:
Event Eleven is an event planning company which has held many events at the Chateau Marmont Hotel. Event Eleven entered into an “Event Agreement” with Chateau Marmont to allow Event Eleven to host a cocktail party on February 26, 2016. The event agreement gave Event Eleven the right to use the hotel’s garden, lobby lounge, and driveway area for the party.
Pursuant to the agreement, Chateau Marmont and its employees provided the catering services, beverages, glassware, service trays and tables for the party. Event Eleven personnel worked with Chateau Marmont during the event as a team.
The agreement provided that “except as otherwise expressly set forth in the Agreement, including the Event Plan,” Event Eleven was to be “fully responsible for all aspects of implementation of the Event.” The agreement further included a provision regarding “set-up and break down” of the event, and contemplated that “products and equipment” would be provided by Event Eleven.
In a section of the agreement regarding entertainment, the agreement provided: “Unless set forth in the Event Plan, [Event Eleven] shall be responsible for organizing and engaging any entertainment to be provided in connection with the Event. . . . Installation of all equipment, lighting, signage, step and repeat walls or decorations must also be pre-approved in writing by the hotel.” The agreement also provided that “only Hotel personnel may move planters, lobby furniture, and other Hotel equipment or property in the common areas.” The agreement contained indemnity provisions that are not relevant to this motion.
Event Eleven created the floor plan for the event, and it had vendors bring in furniture. The floor plan created by Event Eleven had to be approved by the Los Angeles Fire Department, which imposed conditions that were required to be followed. The hotel was responsible for getting the approval from the fire department. One of the conditions that the fire department imposed was to eliminate tripping hazards and to keep all exits and aisles clear and unobstructed. Event Eleven’s team worked with the hotel to endure that the Fire Department’s conditions were met.
Event Eleven hired a lighting subcontractor for the event. Event Eleven brought in lighting and had at least some degree of control over the lighting in the garden. For example, Event Eleven put a gel over existing lamps in the garden to tone down the harshness of the lighting and to create different colors or atmosphere. Event Eleven’s client, Cadillac, asked Event Eleven to change elements of the lighting, and Event Eleven made sure it was changed. Event Eleven’s CEO admitted that lighting in the garden area was very dim.
Event Eleven presented a declaration of its CEO stating that Event Eleven never had any control over construction, design, modifications or maintenance of any physical structures, including steps, stairways, floors, or lighting at the Chateau Marmont. He stated specifically that Event Eleven never had control over the light strips installed on these steps, and never had access to activate or turn off the light strips installed on the steps. He stated that Event Eleven employees were not allowed to change or modify lighting conditions in any way. The evidence described above, however, creates a triable issue of fact on these assertions.
Plaintiff was a guest at the party. She arrived at around 8:45 p.m. Approximately an hour and fifteen minutes later, she walked through the exit doors to an outdoor patio area. There were steps at the edge of the patio leading down to the lower garden area. As she was descending the steps, she fell. She testified that she had seen only two steps, but because of the lack of proper lighting, she hadn’t seen the bottom step. The bottom step was not visible to her because of the poor lighting. She used her hands to break her fall and she hit the ground with her hands, knees and face. Her fall upended a nearby tray on which glasses had been set; the glasses fell to the ground and broke. Plaintiff’s left hand came down on a piece of glass and it became imbedded in her hand, causing serious injuries.
The service tray that Plaintiff’s fall upended would have been provided and placed by Chateau Marmont employees.
Approximately a week after Plaintiff’s fall, Plaintiff returned to the hotel to take photographs of the steps where she fell. She observed a strand of lights running across the top and middle steps, but no strip on the third step.
In over twenty years, Event Eleven has never asked an event site to change anything because of safety concerns. It has no specific policies and procedures for safety issues at events, such as checklists. It did not conduct a safety walk-through of the premises for this event. Event Eleven’s CEO had not noticed the lighting strip on the stairs in question.
Event Eleven contends that it is entitled to summary adjudication on the premises liability claim because it allegedly did not own, possess or control the premises.
Generally, a “possessor” of property owes certain affirmative duties of care to person who come onto the property. Witkin, Summary of California Law, Eleventh Ed. Torts, Ch. IX, sec. 1224. A possessor of land is defined, in relevant part, as “a person who occupies the land and controls it.” Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm, sec. 49(a); Regents of University of California v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal. 5th 607, 621 (showing that California follows Restatement (Third) of Torts in determining scope of duty); Preston v. Goldman (1986) 42 Cal.3d 108, 118-119. “A person is in control of the land if that person has the authority and ability to take precautions to reduce the risk of harm to entrants on the land, which is the reason for imposing the duties” on land possessors. Restatement (Third) Torts, sec. 49(a), Comment c.
“Ordinarily, an owner of property who occupies it is in control of property. However, the owner may permit others to take control of the property.” Id. Comment C. For example, “[t]he owner may enter into a lease that provides a tenant with control of the land.” Id.
Further, “[p]ossession of land may be divided among several actors.” Id. Comment D. “[C]ontrol over some areas may be shared, and each actor is subject to the duties provided in this Chapter with respect to the control exercised.” Id.
Importantly for purposes of this motion, a lessee may have liability, along with the lessor, to a third-party entrant who suffers harm, when the lessee fails to exercise reasonable care to discover dangerous conditions over which the lessee has some degree of control. Restatement (Third) Torts section 53 Comment e; id. section 51 Comment i.
Based on the record presented here, the Court cannot conclude, as a matter of law, that Event Eleven so lacked control over premises such that it could not have discovered or ameliorated the allegedly dangerous condition had it exercised due care. Pursuant to the agreement with the hotel, Event Eleven agreed to be “fully responsible for all aspects of the implementation of the event.” Event Eleven hired a lighting subcontractor to supplement the lighting on the premises. Many aspects of the lighting were changed, including lighting in the garden. There is at least a triable issue of fact as to whether Event Eleven could have ensured that the lighting on the step was sufficient to prevent the fall.
Further, the affirmative duty imposed on a landowner or a person in possession or control of property to act to protect people who come on to the property includes a duty to conduct reasonable inspections. Howard v. Omni Hotels Management Corp. (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 403, 431. Event Eleven has not established that it discharged its duty with respect to inspections.
II. Actual or Constructive Notice of an Unsafe Condition
Event Eleven also argues that it lacked actual or constructive notice of the allegedly dangerous condition.
To impose liability, the Plaintiff must show that the landowner had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition, “or have been able by the exercise of ordinary care to discover the condition, which if known to him, he should realize as involving an unreasonable risk to invitees on his premises. His negligence in such cases is founded upon his failure to exercise ordinary care in remedying the defect after he has discovered it or as a man of ordinary prudence should have discovered it." Oldenburg v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. (1957) 152 Cal. App. 2d 733, 743; Perez v. Ow (1962) 200 Cal. App. 2d 559, 561.
The evidence provided by Event Eleven on this element is not sufficient to shift the burden to Plaintiff. Event Eleven has not made a prima facie showing that it could not have discovered the defective lighting condition on the stair had it exercised due care. Because the burden was not shifted, Plaintiff had no burden to controvert that element.
Moving party is ordered to give notice.
RULINGS ON OBJECTIONS:
Defendant Chateau Property Holdings, LLC’s Objections to Event Elevens, Inc.’s Evidence
1. Sustained as to the word “control”; otherwise overruled.
2. Sustained as to the word “control”; otherwise overruled
3. Sustained as to the word “control”; otherwise overruled
4. Sustained as to the first sentence; otherwise overruled.
5. Sustained as to the word “control”; otherwise overruled.
10. Sustained as to the first sentence. Otherwise, overruled.
11. Sustained as to the first sentence. Otherwise overruled.
Defendant Event Eleven’s Evidentiary Objections to Evidence Submitted by Defendant Chateau Marmont and Plaintiff Diane Salerno
4. Not material to the Court’s ruling
8. Not a proper objection
9. Not a proper objection
10. Not a proper objection
Moving Party to give notice.
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