Failure to warn of traffic danger is claimed when motorcyclist dies. $5 million. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Restaurant patron turns the wrong way out of parking lot onto one-way highway.

The Case

  • Case Name: Eileen Annocki and Joseph Annocki, Sr. v. Peterson Enterpises, LLC dba Geoffrey’s Malibu and Terry Allen Turner, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Coutny Superior Court / SC112366
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, December 08, 2017
  • Type of Action: Premises Liability, Vehicles - Motorcycle , Wrongful Death, Highlighted Verdicts
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Nancy Newman
  • Plaintiffs:
    Eileen Annocki, 68
    Joseph Annocki, Sr., 72
  • Defendants:
    Peterson Enterpises, LLC dba Geoffrey’s Malibu
    Terry Allen Turner
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $5,000,000
  • Settlement Amount: Caltrans settled before trial for $1,000,000.
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 35% Geoffrey’s Malibu; 50% Terry Turner; 15% Caltrans.
  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past non-economic damages: $1,500,000

    Future non-economic damages: $3,500,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 9 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: Approximately 2 1/2 days.
  • Jury Polls: 9-3 for $1,500,000 in past non-economic; 9-3 for $3,500,000 in future non-economic.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Liddy Law Firm by Donald G. Liddy and Paula J. Khehra, Pasadena.

    Johnston & Hutchinson LLP by Thomas J. Johnston, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Lewis Brisbois by Dana Fox and Matthew Harrison, Los Angeles. (For Peterson Enterprises, LLC dba

    Geoffrey’s Malibu.)

    Tharpe & Howell by Kevin Mitchell and Diana Rivera, Sherman Oaks. (For Terry Allen Turner.)

The Experts

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Brad Avrit, civil engineer, Los Angeles.

    Jon Landerville, accident reconstruction, Torrance.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    For Terry Turner:

    Mark Rieser, traffic safety engineer, Santa Monica.

    Christopher Gayner, accident reconstruction, Los Angeles.

    For Geoffrey’s Malibu:

    Paul Guthorn, mechanical engineer, Signal Hill.

    Warren Vander Helm, parking design, Long Beach.

    William Neale, accident reconstruction, Greenwood Village.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On the night of March 16, 2011, defendant Terry Allen Turner, a tourist from Oklahoma, had dinner at Geoffrey’s restaurant in Malibu. After dinner, he attempted to leave the restaurant by turning left onto PCH. PCH is one-way with a median barrier in front of Geoffrey’s restaurant, and plaintiff's turn put him head-on into oncoming traffic. Joseph Annocki was riding his motorcycle southbound on PCH when he attempted to avoid the Turner vehicle, fell off of his motorcycle and was killed.

    Eileen Annocki and Joseph Annocki, Sr., the parents of 41 year old Joey Annocki, sued defendants Terry Allen Turner, Peterson Enterprises LLC dba Geoffrey’s Malibu, and Caltrans, for the wrongful death of their son.

    The case against Geoffrey’s was dismissed on demurrer by Judge Amy Hogue. Justice Johnson, writing for a unanimous Court of Appeal, reversed, finding that Geoffrey’s had a duty to warn its customers and had notice of the dangerous condition. Particularly because of nighttime conditions, the likelihood of serious injury, the configuration of Geoffrey’s driveway, and the fact that customers are served alcohol.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiffs contended that Geoffrey’s or Caltrans should have warned customers at the subject driveway of the one-way highway.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Geoffrey’s contended the paddles (reflective median barrier) along PCH were sufficient to warn customers of the one-way traffic. Caltrans claimed they had no duty to warn.  

    .

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: To Peterson Enterprises, LLC: $1,000,000 on December 26, 2012; To Terry Turner: $125,000 on May 15, 2014.
  • Defendant §998 Offer: From Geoffrey’s Malibu: $500,000.

Additional Notes

As to Geoffrey’s Malibu, CCP 998 prejudgment interest totals $866,863.68.

As to Terry Allen Turner, CCP 998 prejudgment interest totals $892,463.79.

Per defense counsel:

Plaintiffs’ 998 offer to Turner is contested. 

Plaintiffs’ request for pre-judgment interest is contested because no economic damages were awarded and the 998 offer to Turner is contested.

Insurance carriers:

Farmers for Defendant Peterson Enterprises, LLC dba Geoffrey’s Malibu.

Geico for Defendant Terry Turner.

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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