On 07/07/2017 GARRETT ORNESS filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against LOS ANGELES COUNTY METRO TRANS AUTHORITY. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH
DOES 1 TO 25
LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN
THE ADRIAN LAW FIRM
NEBENZAHL MICHAEL R. ESQ.
LATHAM ROBERT ALLEN III
7/29/2019: Ex Parte Application
7/29/2019: Minute Order
7/30/2019: Notice of Ruling
9/14/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY
9/14/2018: NOTICE OF CHANGE OF FIRM AND ADDRESS
12/18/2018: Minute Order
12/18/2018: Ex Parte Application
12/20/2018: Notice of Ruling
12/24/2018: Separate Statement
7/7/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENCE BY COMMON CARRIER
7/18/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS
8/21/2017: Proof of Service Personal Service
8/28/2017: ANSWER OF DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 5 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; : OSC RE DismissalRead MoreRead Less
Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 5 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearingat 10:00 AM in Department 5 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Hearingat 13:30 PM in Department 5 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Summary JudgmentRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - StipulationRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to continue trial on stipulation to permit hearing on defense motion for summary judgment) - Held - Motion GrantedRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Continue TrialRead MoreRead Less
DocketEx Parte Application (To Continue Trial on Stipulation to Permit Hearing on Defense Motion for Summary Judgement; Points and Authorities; Declaration of Robert A. Latham III; Stipulation); Filed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEYRead MoreRead Less
DocketANSWER OF DEFENDANT LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINTRead MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan (Defendant); MTA (Legacy Party)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Personal Service; Filed by Garrett Orness (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Service Personal ServiceRead MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Garrett Orness (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Garrett Orness (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE 2. NEGLIGENCE BY COMMON CARRIERRead MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC667640 Hearing Date: August 20, 2020 Dept: T
LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY; et. al.
CASE NO: BC667640
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
August 20, 2020
[TENTATIVE] ORDER: The Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.
Defendant LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) moves for summary judgment against the Complaint filed by Plaintiff Garrett Orness (“Plaintiff”.) The Complaint alleges two causes of action: negligence and negligence by common carrier.
MTA asserts that there is no triable issue of material fact as to whether the MTA or the driver was negligent. MTA provides that the facts show that there was no prior notice of the attack upon Plaintiff. MTA cites to City and County of San Francisco v Sup. Ct. (1994) 31 Cal. App. 4th 45 (“San Francisco”) as being on all fours with the instant action. Despite MTA’s contention that San Francisco is controlling, the Court finds that there are distinguishing facts between the instant action and San Francisco. The assailant in San Francisco was described “as a Black male wearing “dirty” or “soiled” clothing. There was nothing about his behavior or his appearance to raise any suspicion; neither real party [victim] nor the driver noticed anything unusual about him.” Id @47. The assailant sat behind the victim, took out a pocket knife and within five seconds of taking out the knife, stabbed the victim.
However, the facts in the instant action are different. There is testimony/evidence provided in MTA’s own motion that the assailant was agitated and hostile in front of the bus driver due to an inoperative Tap Card. (Defendant’s Separate Statement (“DSS”) 10: Orness transcript, pg. 51:17-52:21.) The encounter lasted about 30 seconds. (DSS 10: Orness transcript, pg. 54:19.) The assailant also sat in a few different spots. (DSS 10: Orness transcript, pg. 55:23.) After sitting, the assailant mumbled to himself as he was going about. (DSS 13: Orness transcript, pg. 151:8-14.) The evidence provided by MTA shows that the facts in the instant action are distinguishable with the evidence in San Francisco since the assailant did not behave or appear to be suspicious in any manner. The assailant in the instant action presented some behavior other than merely taking a seat without incident. Further, the above evidence presented by Defendant’s own motion presents a triable issue of fact as to whether a reasonable person would have a raised suspicion regarding an attack. It is noted that Plaintiff, as well as the bus driver, both attest that their own personal suspicion as not being aroused as to an impending attack but a reasonable common carrier standard is used in determining duty. Whether the actions of the assailant prior to the attack would have provided notice to a reasonable common carrier is a question of fact.
In addition to the facts presented in the motion, Plaintiff presents additional facts attested to by third party witnesses at the assailant’s preliminary hearing. Plaintiff’s evidence shows the assailant being angry, cursing a lot, agitated, upset and using the F-word when the assailant argued with the bus driver. (Plaintiff’s Separate Statement (“PSS”) 8.) Another witness attested to the fact that he believed under the influence of methamphetamine. (PSS 9.) Finally, the assailant had a second interaction/argument with the bus driver. (PSS 13 and DSS 10, Orness transcript pg. 54:25.) These additional facts provided by Plaintiff add to the triable issue of whether the MTA had or should have had notice of the impending attack.
MTA provides that the bus driver consistently observed the rules and procedures regarding unruly passengers and provides that the bus driver complied with the rules and procedures as to this attack. (DSS 7.) However, Plaintiff provides the driver’s testimony showing that he could not describe the training as to unruly passengers (DSS 7.) Lastly, there is evidence that the driver, in violation of the MTA policy, gestured to the assailant to get off the bus. But the assailant refused. (DSS 10: Orness transcript, pg. 52:18-21; 53:9-15.) With this conflicting evidence within MTA’s own evidence, there appears a triable issue of fact.
Lastly, Defendant provides that Plaintiff walked off the bus, “unassisted.” (DSS 23.) However, the evidence submitted does not support the contention of being “unassisted.” The testimony only shows that Plaintiff was able to walk off the bus and into the ambulance. Whether Plaintiff’s walk was “unassisted,” is not supported by the testimony.
The court agrees with the opposition. There are sufficient facts presented by which the court cannot say as a matter of law, there is no conflict in the evidence. The strong public policy is for cases to be heard on the merits. This is not a case in which there was “nothing about [the assailant’s] behavior or his appearance to raise any suspicion...” City and County of San Francisco v. Superior Court (1994) 31 Cal.App.4th 45. 47-48. To the contrary, there were a number of issues raised in the moving and opposing papers. For purposes of this motion, the court does not weigh conflicting evidence nor does it assess the strength of the evidence.
There are triable issues of material fact and MTA failed to meet its burden to show that no triable issues of material fact exist. The motion is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED, ____________________ TO GIVE NOTICE.
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