Zaldivar v. City of Pico Rivera, et al. (2014) (Los Angeles Superior Court - Norwalk)


Plaintiff Isaac Zaldivar, a Sheriff’s Deputy, was driving his motorcycle off-duty. As he approached an intersection, a underinsured car pulled in front of the motorcycle. Isaac Zaldivar braked, but the collision was inevitable. Isaac Zaldivar died at the scene and his brother suffered a severe foot injury. The case was brought against the City of Pico Rivera by a former attorney who improperly provided notice to the City. This eventually led to a Summary Judgment as to the wrongful death claim by Isaac Zaldivar’s parents, but not as to the brother’s injuries. During discovery it was determined that Defendant City of Pico Rivera had restricted parking by painting the curb red before the intersection. However, on the day of the accident, a vehicle was parked along that curb which created a visual obstruction. On the day of the accident, the curb appeared grey. During depositions of the City Workers who painted that curb red, it was discovered that a business owner came out and protested the painting of the curb red because she needed the parking for her business. Plaintiffs then amended the Complaint to name the business owners adjacent to the curb. The business denied ever painting the curb grey or in any way encouraging anyone to paint the curb grey. The jury was out 9 days before rendering the decision. The jury verdict was 49% negligence for the car that failed to yield and pulled out directly in front of Plaintiffs, and 51% for the business owners.

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