Bench Trial Defense Judgment
June 22, 2017
Following a three-day trial before the Hon. William G. Willete of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Torrance Courthouse, the Court ruled in favor of the Defense. Abraham Berger was lead counsel and Alexis B. Cruz was second chair at trial.
This matter arose out of the theft of a third-row seat from the plaintiff's vehicle at a parking structure at the plaintiff's employment at the Warner Center. The Warner Center property is owned and managed by Douglas Emmett 2000, LLC and the parking structures, consisting of over 6,400 spaces, are managed by ABM Parking Services, Inc. The plaintiff brought a Complaint for Negligence and Breach of Contract. The case centered on whether the defense breached a duty of reasonable care of the safety and security of the patrons at the property. In the instant matter, the plaintiff argued that the defendants breached their duty of care to the plaintiff in not having sufficient security measures at the Property which may have prevented the theft of the third-row seats in her vehicle. The plaintiff also argued that ABM breached its Parking Access Agreement by failing to provide reasonable security at the Property.
Following the close of the plaintiff's case-in-chief, the defense moved for a Motion for Judgment under C.C.P. 631.8. The court granted the motion in its entirety, finding that plaintiff failed to sustain her burden to show a breach of the duty of care to her by the defendants and found that the evidence supported that the security measures were reasonable. If there was no breach, then there was no implied breach of the Parking Access Agreement. The court also found there was no breach of any express terms of the Agreement. In fact, the court found that the Agreement contained language which exculpated the defendants. As a result, the court agreed with the defense, granted the Motion for Judgment and dismissed the action.