California Team Wins Appeal in Wrongful Death Case

Los Angeles, CA (October 26, 2018) – A cross-practice Los Angeles team recently secured an affirmance of a defense judgment after a jury verdict in favor of the defendants.

The plaintiffs sued our clients claiming a major Los Angeles intersection constituted a dangerous condition and caused the accident where their son, who was walking to school, darted out into the street against a red traffic signal light and was killed. A jury found the decedent was the sole cause of the accident.

On appeal, the plaintiffs asserted the trial court erroneously barred the admission of evidence of subsequent remedial measures at the intersection. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument. It observed that the record failed to support the plaintiffs’ assertions that certain witnesses had purportedly testified that nothing could be done to make the intersection safer. As such, the court held the remedial evidence was not admissible for the purposes of impeachment.

The court also concluded that the trial court did not err by excluding evidence of subsequent remedial measures to demonstrate feasibility, as none of the subsequent remedial measures would have prevented the accident. The appellate court affirmed the judgment in full and awarded our client costs on appeal.

The case was handled by Partners Michael McLain and Edward Ward, and Appellate Practice Group Partner Caroline Chan.

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