(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
THERE EXISTED A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GREENES AND PLAINTIFF AND PLAINTIFF’S FIRST AND SECOND CAUSES OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENCE AND NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION-SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP ARE DISTINGUISHED FROM THE CASE AND STATUTORY LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE 25602.1 THAT DEFENDANTS HAVE CITED
Actionable negligence involves a breach of a legal duty of care that proximately causes injury. Because there existed a special relationship between the Greenes and Plaintiff Paul Verano, age 14 at the time of this tragic car accident— their promise to “be there” for him and his reliance on the expectation that they would protect, control and supervise him on the night and early morning of December 19, 20, 2006, they are liable for Plaintiff’s injuries based upon the affirmative duties arising from this “special relationship.” (cf.Andrews v. Wells supra, 204 Cal.App.3d at 541.)
Defendants contend that that Plaintiff’s First and Second Causes of Action for Negligence and Negligent Supervision are barred by Business and Professions Code Secs. 25602, 25602.1, because the Greenes are not “licensed purveyors of alcohol” and were only patrons in El Mexicano Restaurant when some alcohol was consumed by Smith at some point after he was obviously intoxicated before the accident occurred. Defendants claim that they had no legal duty of care and are immune from liability pursuant to Civ. Code Sec. 1714, B & P Code Sec. 25602.1 for Plaintiff’s injuries that occurred because they allowed Plaintiff to get into a vehicle driven by Smith, a drunk driver, who crashed his vehicle into a tree, killing himself, two passengers and severely injuring Plaintiff.
Defendants have cited a number of cases in opposition to Plaintiff’s entire complaint, which can be distinguished based upon the particular facts of this case. They primarily rely on Strang v. Cabrol 37 Cal.3d 720 (1984) (a licensee), DeBolt v. Kragen Auto Supply, Inc. 182 Cal.App.3d 269 (1986) (a social host), Cory v. Shierloh, 29 Cal.3d 430 (1981) (plaintiff’s injuries were the result of his own intoxication), Chalup v. Aspen Mine Co. 175 Cal.App.3d 973 (1985) (an 18 year old became intoxicated in a restaurant and when she left she ran across the street against a traffic signal into the path of a car) as relevant authority for the proposition that Plaintiff cannot state causes of action for negligence and negligent supervision-special relationship because the California State Legislature in 1978 abrogated our Supreme Court’s application of common law negligence principles to alcohol consumption related injuries. (Civ. Code Sec. 17114, B & P Code Secs.25602 and 25602.1.) (See Part 4 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.