Four partying men brutally beat on brother and sister outside LA restaurant; $72M. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Good Samaritans come to aid of a photographer who is being assaulted by patrons leaving a restaurant, they are then attacked.

The Case

  • Case Name: Greene v. Driz et al
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC643270
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, July 29, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, December 08, 2016
  • Type of Action: Assault and Battery
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Susan Bryant-Deason
  • Plaintiffs:
    Anne Greene
    Mathew Greene
  • Defendants:
    Maurice Driz
    Alberto Daniel Driz
    Shawn Driz
    William Joelson
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $72,645,402
  • Net Verdict or Award: $72,645,402
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    All four defendants are jointly and severally liable for the combined compensatory damages of each plaintiff in the total amount of $38,065,402.

    In addition, the jury awarded Anne Greene $4,830,000 in punitive damages against Alberto Daniel Driz, $5,800,000 against Maurice Driz, $2,300,000 against Shawn Driz, $1,400,000 against William Joelson. Total punitive damages award to Anne Greene: $14,330,000.

    The jury awarded Mathew Greene an additional $5,200,000 against Alberto Daniel Driz, $4,950,000 against Maurice Driz, $4,400,000 against Shawn Driz, $5,700,000 against William Joelson. Total punitive damages award to Mathew Greene: $20,250,000.

  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
  • Economic Damages:

    Anne Greene's economic damages: $426,127

    Mathew Greene's economic damages: $661,398

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Anne Greene: $20,023,920

    Mathew Greene: $17,564,400

  • Punitive Damages:

    Total punitive damages award to Anne Greene: $14,330,000. The jury awarded Anne Greene $4,830,000 in punitive damages against Alberto Daniel Driz, $5,800,000 against Maurice Driz, $2,300,000 against Shawn Driz, $1,400,000 against William Joelson.

    Total punitive damages award to Mathew Greene: $20,250,000. The jury awarded Mathew Greene an additional $5,200,000 against Alberto Daniel Driz, $4,950,000.00 against Maurice Driz, $4,400,000 against Shawn Driz, $5,700,000 against William Joelson.

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 3 weeks
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 days
  • Jury Polls: 12-0
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: None.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Dordick Law Corporation by Christopher Bulone and Terry Cole, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    All of the defendants were in pro per during all portions of the trial as their attorneys withdrew after discovery was completed.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Jonathan Eskenazi, M.D.
    Stepan Kasimian, M.D.
    James Rosenberg, M.D.
    Roberta Falke, Ph.D
    Gary Hoffman, M.D.
  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
    Roberta Falke, Ph.D., psychology.
     
    James Rosenberg, M.D., psychiatry.
     
    Jonathan Eskenazi, M.D., neurology.
     
    Stepan Kasimian, M.D., orthopedics.
     
    Gary Hoffman, M.D., rectal surgery.
  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    None.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Timothy Lanning, economics.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    None.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Twins Alberto Driz and Maurice Driz, owners of eleven Blaze Pizza franchises, celebrated their 60th birthday on April 16, 2015, by renting the private room at Ago with 35 party guests. From there, close friend and business partner, David Koral, invited them to his son Peter's restaurant/bar/lounge, The Nice Guy on La Cienega. Upon leaving the Nice Guy, the defendants – Alberto Driz, Maurice Driz, Maurice's son Shawn Driz and William Joelson, Shawn's close friend – began berating the restaurant's valet for not bringing their car directly to them. A TMZ photographer intervened and was attacked by all four defendants.

    Plaintiffs, brother and sister Anne Greene (model and actress) and Mathew Greene (restaurateur), were on the bar's patio when they heard a commotion outside. Anne looked over the fence to see all four defendants beating the photographer. She climbed the fence, followed by her brother, seeking to intervene. The defendants then attacked both plaintiffs, beating them past unconsciousness. The Driz defendants were later arrested and reached a plea bargain resulting in 45 days in jail for each. William Joelson's identity was not discovered until after the criminal Statute of Limitations had expired and was not criminally prosecuted.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That the four defendants battered Mathew Greene without justification.  Surveillance film captured portions of the beatings by one defendant. That Alberto Driz and Maurice Driz battered Anne Greene, according to the eyewitness testimony of the bar manager and the testimony of a party guest who claimed Alberto Driz admitted hitting Anne Greene during a conversation after the brawl. Although disputed, the bar manager testified that William Joelson and Shawn Driz attacked him when he sought to stop Maurice Driz's ongoing attack on Anne Greene. Further, that William Joelson and Shawn Driz were responsible for the attack on Anne Greene as aiders and abetters.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    All denied having any intentional physical contact with Anne Greene. Shawn Driz and William Joelson denied witnessing any of the model's beating and denied aiding and abetting in the beating. All defendants claimed that Mathew Greene attacked them first and that any intentional contact with Mathew Greene was done only in self defense. Maurice Driz denied having touched Mathew Greene at all but claimed that he was attacked first by plaintiff Matthew.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Mathew Greene: Blunt force trauma to the abdomen resulting in the eventual surgical removal of a 7cm portion of the small intestine, broken vertebrae, mild traumatic brain injury and PTSD.

    Anne Greene: broken orbital bone, fractured skull, broken jaw, mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and PTSD.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: Mathew Greene: $310,443, Anne Greene: N/A
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: Mathew Greene: $40,512; Anne Greene: $186,712
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: Mathew Greene: N/A; Anne Greene: $239,415
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $5,000,000

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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