Hon. Josh Fredericks, Los Angeles County Superior Court-Compton
Plaintiffs, Gladys and Frank Gonzales-Jack Denove, Cheong, Denove, Rowell & Bennett
Defendant, Don Kott Chrysler Jeep- Elizabeth L. Kolar, Kolar & Associates
FACTS & CONTENTIONS:
Plaintiffs were at Don Kott Ford on November 26, 2005 to purchase a vehicle with their children. Plaintiff, Gladys Gonzales was walking down a hallway and alleged she fell down two stairs sustaining a knee injury which ultimately resulted in arthroscopic surgery and knee replacement surgery. Plaintiffs contend that the stairs did not meet the applicable building codes, that the stairs posed a dangerous condition and that there was inadequate lighting in the hallway. Defendants argued that there were no code violations but, even if there were, they were not the cause of Plaintiffs’ injuries because: 1) the stairs were open and obvious and there were visual cues regarding the presence of the steps and; and 2) the hallway was well lit.
Ms. Gonzales claimed she had $140,646.51 in past medicals. Plaintiffs asked the jury to award $750,000 for past and future medicals, pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
Plaintiffs demanded $450,000 pre-trial. Defendant made a settlement offer of $5,000 to Gladys Gonzales pre-trial.
Defense Verdict. Jury found that the dealership was not negligent in the maintenance of its premises.