Judge: David A. Hoffer, Case: 30-21-01190430Simpsonvs.OceanViewPlaza, Date: 2022-07-25 Tentative Ruling

The Motion for Summary Judgment filed on 2/9/22 by moving parties rePlanet Packaging, LLC and rePlanet Holdings, Inc. (here “MPs”) is DENIED.


As a preliminary matter, the Motion as presented fails to identify any separate “issues” to be adjudicated, and is thus effectively only a motion for summary judgment. (See C.R.C. 3.1350(b).) MPs have not shown that they are entitled to summary judgment here.


MPs argue that they cannot be held liable here as a matter of law, as they did not own, possess, control or have a duty to maintain the parking lot where Plaintiff’s fall occurred, citing Seaber v. Hotel Del Coronado (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 481. But Seaber concerned an injury that occurred in a public crosswalk, owned and controlled by a public entity, which the defendant hotel could not control.  Here, the portion of the private property at issue was evidently used primarily, if not entirely, for patrons to access MP’s business. (UF 2.)  Liability may exist for a dangerous condition on adjacent property, where the defendant’s conduct has drawn patrons to a foreseeable and controllable risk. (See Bonanno v. Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (2003) 30 Cal.4th 139, 149-152 [location of bus stop may constitute a “dangerous condition” where bus patrons must cross busy thoroughfare at uncontrolled intersection to reach it, distinguishing Seaber].)  In addition, a business owner can potentially be liable for a patron’s injuries on adjacent property where it knows that its customers regularly use that property to access its business, and it has at least a non-exclusive right to have its customers park there. (Southland Corp. v. Superior Court (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 656, 662-667; see also Alcaraz v. Vece (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1149, 1158 [premises may be greater than invitor's property, and may include means of ingress and egress customers may reasonably be expected to use: crucial element is control].)  MPs have not adequately shown here that, as a matter of law, they have no potential liability to any degree based on those standards.


In addition, Plaintiff here argues that MPs had at least constructive knowledge of the condition at issue (UF 4, 5), and thus a duty to warn their patrons accordingly. MPs here have not adequately addressed whether that was so. As MPs have not established, based on the evidence presented, that, as a matter of law, they have no potential liability here whatsoever, the Motion is denied.


MPs’ unopposed Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED under Ev. Code §452(d). (Fontenot v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 256, 264; Arce v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 471, 482.)  Plaintiff’s unopposed Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED under Ev. Code §452(f).


Counsel for plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.