Articles Tagged with negligence

Slip and fall cases can be challenging to prove in California. In many cases, defendants bring motions for summary judgment to get the case dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiff can’t prove crucial elements of notice or causation.

California Code of Civil Procedure § 437c read in relevant part, “Any party may move for summary judgment in any action or proceeding if it is contended that the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding…”

Essentially, if a motion for summary judgment is granted the trial court is dismissing the case and not allowing the parties to proceed in court. The trial court does not always make the final decisions on these types of issues. A party to an action can appeal or seek a ruling of a higher court, known as an appellate court.

Generally bar owners and operators in California cannot be held civilly liable for the acts done by their patrons while intoxicated. Liability that is extended to bar owners for the actions of their patrons is known as “dram shop” laws. Laws that protect the bar owners is known as “anti-dram shop” laws. In California, the general rule is that owners and operators of bars cannot be held civilly liable for the acts done by their patrons while intoxicated. (see Cal. Business & Professions Code §25602) However, there are limited exception, one of which is servicing minors alcoholic beverages.(see Cal. Business & Professions Code §25602.1)

Busiåness and Professions Code section 25602.1 reads, “a cause of action may be brought by or on behalf of any person who has suffered injury or death against any person licensed, or required to be licensed, pursuant to Section 23300,. . . who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage . . . to any obviously intoxicated minor (emphasis added) where the furnishing, sale or giving of that beverage to the minor is the proximate cause of the personal injury or death sustained by that person.” (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 25602.1.)

This means that the provider of alcohol must use reasonable care to ensure the person receiving the alcohol is not an “obviously intoxicated” minor. (Schaffield v.Abboud (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 1133, 1141.) Under this section the term “minor” means someone under 21. (Rogers v. Alvas (1984) 160 Cal.App.3d 997, 1004.)

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