Marc Trachtman Law wins summary judgment in premises liability case based on trivial defect and lack of causation.

Facts: Plaintiff alleges she tripped and fell on uneven and/or broken outdoor flooring consisting of concrete pavers and/or also as a result of uneven, slip resistance, slope and elevation of the exterior area in a common area outside an office building owned by our client. Plaintiff claimed the incident caused her to be bleeding from her head that resulted in scarring of her forehead and that she sustained a traumatic brain injury and also bruising and/or abrasions to her knees, ankles, feet, and writs. Plaintiff claimed extraordinary damages including for ongoing treatment and consultations from a voluminous number of healthcare providers. Defendant contended that Plaintiff was unable to identify without speculation within some reasonable particularity where she fell and or the nature of the alleged dangerous condition, and in any event, that there were no dangerous conditions in the general vicinity of common area where the incident generally occurred. Marc Trachtman filed a summary judgment on these alternative grounds.

Result: Motion for summary judgment granted that was brought by Marc Trachtman Law (via John W. Roddy, Esq. and Timothy M. Smith, Esq.) on August 22, 2022. The Court ruled that to the extent there was a defect with the exterior pavers, it was a “trivial defect.” Also, the Court based the granting on Plaintiff’s speculation as to what specifically caused her to fall. Plaintiff has appealed the MSJ granting, and the matter is currently pending.

Facts: This action arises out of a violent assault and battery on a security guard (the Plaintiff) whose employer was hired by Superior Grocers and stationed at Superior Grocers which is in a strip mall. Two homeless men or vagrants were acting in a threatening, intimidating, and physical aggressive way toward patrons and employees. Plaintiff called the police and asked the two men to leave. Profanities were exchanged, Plaintiff employed pepper spray, which was not successful, and the two men beat Plaintiff badly so that he suffered a traumatic brain injury, head trauma, facial lacerations, facial and orbital fractures, eye injuries, loss of vision, injuries to his upper and lower extremities, other injuries, allegedly leaving him permanently disabled and unable to work.  Plaintiff claimed there were insufficient security guards given alleged history of past similar crimes, inadequate administration of security force, failure to arm guards with defensive weapons, inadequate monitoring of parking lot, ineffective and inadequate Post-Orders, absence of video surveillance, and more grounds. Marc Trachtman Law filed a motion for summary judgment based on the Privette doctrine and primary assumption of risk doctrine. The parties mediated while the summary judgment was pending. However, the Plaintiff’s Counsel was certain it would defeat the MSJ and refused to reduce its settlement demand under multiple millions.

Result: Summary judgment granted for Marc Trachtman Law (via John W. Roddy, Esq.) in 2020. The Court, in an exhaustive 17-page ruling, held as a matter of law that Superior Grocers did not owe a legal duty, that the risk of injury was a foreseeable occupational hazard, and thus assumption of risk applied, and that the peculiar risk doctrine adopted by the Privette and its progeny, insulated Superior Grocers from any liability of its third-party security vendor where Superior Grocers did not otherwise actively or negligently and actively contribute to the incident.

Facts: Plaintiff, a young female, completed her work shift at LA Fitness in Beverly Hills. She was jogging home as she neared and then entered an alleyway allegedly owned by our client, Plaintiff was suddenly struck in the back of the head by a brick, causing her to fall face first to the ground. Plaintiff was tragically attacked by a violent psychopath who ultimately was the perpetrator of multiple violent attacks on unsuspecting persons and who was arrested and ultimately convicted for the multiple crimes. Plaintiff alleged the attack occurred over the course of 30 minutes which occurred on both public and private properties. Plaintiff alleged our client allowed transients and criminals to congregate and commit crimes on the premises in the past due to lack of operable lighting and the nature of the secluded nature of the area from the public’s plain view. Marc Trachtman Law (via Marc A. Trachtman, Esq.) engaged in statutory required meet and confer in advance of filing its first Demurrer pleading to the original Complaint. Plaintiff’s counsel response was that he viewed our “attempted demurrer as an endeavor to harass [his] client, create further delay, and increase litigation expenses.” In Plaintiff’s counsel 4-page attack, he concluded that he “demanded that [we] not file this ill-conceived demurrer as it is meritless and a complete waste of time and resources.” “Further given the frivolous nature of [our] proposed demurrer, [Plaintiff’s counsel threatened it] will seek sanctions against [our law firm and our client] pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Sections 128.5 and 128.7 should [we] proceed with the filing of [our Demurrer].”

Result: Marc Trachtman Law (via Marc A. Trachtman, Esq. and John W. Roddy, Esq.) failed to heed Plaintiff’s counsel threats and warnings and proceeded with the Demurrer to the original Complaint based on lack of duty of our client. Not only was Marc Trachtman Law not sanctioned but the court agreed with Marc Trachtman Law and sustained the Demurrer. Plaintiff’s Counsel filed a First Amended Complaint, but Marc Trachtman Law was successful again on getting the Demurrer sustained. Plaintiff further filed a Second Amended Complaint, but Marc Trachtman Law was yet again successful on its Demurrer, but this time, without leave to amend, which put a final end to the action.

Facts: Plaintiff, a young minor, was allowed by his parents/guardians to sled down a snow berm into the Donner Summit Lodge parking lot owned by Sugar Bowl that was occupied by parked and moving vehicles. Plaintiff accessed the parking lot by climbing a snow berm from a adjacent property. Plaintiff’s father testified that the family parked in the Donner Summit Gas parking lot, walked to the back of the property, and then climbed an approximately 12 foot snow berm, from which Plaintiff sledded to the bottom and into a SUV being driven by another party defendant. Marc Trachtman Law. argued the action was barred by the recreational use immunity codified by Civil Code Section 846 and by application of the primary assumption of risk doctrine.

Result: The court, in an exhaustive and extensive 16-page Memorandum Decision and Order, granted summary judgment for Marc Trachtman Law (via Timothy M. Smith, Esq) on September 1, 2022. The Court’s tentative ruling granted summary judgment initially only on the primary assumption of risk ground. But Timothy Smith, Esq. successfully advocated the court to also grant summary judgment based on the recreational use immunity statute.

Facts: Plaintiff alleges she slipped and fell on a “flat old gummy bear” on the sidewalk of defendants’ premises. Plaintiff stated that the “gummy bear” was approximately .5 inches long and less than .5 inches tall. Marc Trachtman Law argued for Chase Bank and the shopping center owner that a timely inspection was timely completed by Chase Bank’s security guard and that the “gummy bear” did not present as a dangerous condition and was no more than a “trivial defect.”

Result: The court agreed with Marc Trachtman Law (via Adam Young, Esq.) and granted summary judgment for the defendants on May 5, 2022. The Court reasoned that the candy was small, barely visible, soft and malleable, compared to a dip in a jagged sidewalk. The court further held that a gummy bear “is not something dangerous, like broken stone, or the like, that could potentially break skin.” “While it may be unpleasant to step on, it certainly is not a general danger to a passerby.” The Court finally held that defendants were not on active or constructive notice in support of its granting of summary judgment.

Facts: Plaintiff claims that she rolled her ankle and fell down at the meeting point of a concrete sidewalk and a grass lawn located on a walking path at the Park Villa Apartments in Chino.  She allegedly sustained personal injuries as a result.  Because the height differential between the concrete and adjacent ground surface measured a maximum of 1.375 inches, Marc Trachtman Law argued it was not a dangerous condition but a trivial defect as a matter of law.  Notably, Plaintiff encountered the condition approximately 1,400 times prior to allegedly suffering her fall.  On none of these occasions did she form an opinion that the condition was dangerous.  Accordingly, Marc Trachtman Law argued that Defendant owed no duty to guard against harm arising from the alleged defect because it was a trivial defect and “open and obvious” and was therefore entitled to summary judgment.

Result: The court agreed with Marc Trachtman Law (via Adam C. Young, Esq). The court ruled that Defendant demonstrated the condition constituted both a trivial defect and was open and obvious. Accordingly, the court granted summary judgment on June 15, 2022.

Facts: Plaintiff was injured in a fitness class that used martial arts movements. She sued the celebrity trainer as well as the fitness studio. Plaintiff suffered a compression fracture in her lumbar spine as well as a severe disc herniation that led to a disc replacement. This was a contentious case with a Plaintiff’s attorney who made extreme demands and who did what he could to make defense of the case very expensive. The Plaintiff was from a celebrity family.

Marc Trachtman Law (via Timothy Smith, Esq.) moved for summary judgment under both the express release and the doctrine of Primary Assumption of Risk.

Outcome: In a March, 2021 ruling, the Court found factual issues as to the enforcement of the release; however, the Court granted our MSJ under the doctrine of primary assumption of risk. The Court went on to order payment of attorney’s fees as costs of proof sanctions for Plaintiff’s denial of Requests for Admission.

Facts: Plaintiff was injured at a gym when her finger was crushed between two dumbbells. She lost the tip of her finger and needed three surgeries to repair. Marc Trachtman Law, represented the fitness company.

Marc Trachtman Law, (via Timothy Smith, Esq.) moved for summary judgment on the basis of the release that Plaintiff signed and under the doctrine of Primary Assumption of Risk.

Outcome: In February 2021, in making its ruling on the MSJ, the Court found that Plaintiff successfully created triable issues of facts as to the enforceability of the express release. However, the Court granted our Motion on the basis that the doctrine of Primary Assumption of Risk barred Plaintiff’s recovery.

Facts: Plaintiff was a guest at an indoor playground establishment located in Southern California. Plaintiff was carrying her toddler child in her arms when she tripped and fell over a foam block while entering the “ball pit” arena. Marc Trachtman Law represented the indoor playground company. Our client had placed the foam block at the entrance to the arena as a method to contain the plastic balls inside the arena. The client expected customers to step over the 12” high foam block when entering the arena. Plaintiff alleges she did not see the block because she did not expect the entrance to be obstructed and assumed her path of travel was clear. Plaintiff, a surgeon at a well-known hospital, suffered a fractured right shoulder.

In July 2020, Marc Trachtman Law (via Timothy Smith, Esq.) filed an MSJ on behalf of our client on the basis that Plaintiff’s claim was barred by the doctrine of Primary Assumption of Risk.

Outcome: The Court granted our Motion and specifically held that the doctrine of Primary Assumption of Risk barred Plaintiff’s claims.

Facts: The City of Los Angeles is responsible for maintenance of hundreds of thousands of trees on City-owned property, but does not have the budget to maintain all of those trees. Here, a tree on City property fell and crushed a passing vehicle, seriously injuring the occupants. As is its practice, the City encouraged the Plaintiffs to name the adjacent landowner, in this case an apartment complex, as a defendant. The City then Cross-Complained against the apartment complex. Marc Trachtman Law represented the apartment complex.

Marc Trachtman Law (via John Roddy, Esq. and Timothy Smith, Esq.) moved for summary judgment on the ground that the apartment complex had no duty to maintain the subject tree and did not exercise possession, control or maintenance over the subject tree.

Outcome: Summary judgment was granted for the apartment complex. The City ended up paying more than $2,000,000 to resolve this claim.