Taylor v. West Coast Arborist
Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against our client West Coast Arborists (“WCA”) and the City of Jurupa Valley seeking damages for injuries allegedly sustained when he crashed into a fallen tree on a public roadway.
Plaintiff originally alleged that WCA had begun to cut the tree down and then abandoned their assignment leaving the partially cut tree standing by securing it with metal wires. WCA denied these accusations and denied ever even having been asked by the City to do any work on this tree before the accident occurred.
WCA filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of WCA arguing that WCA did not owe the Plaintiff a legal duty because there was no evidence that WCA created the risk that injured the Plaintiff. Further, that there was no special relationship that would warrant creating a legal duty to protect the Plaintiff from third party harm.
In his opposition, Plaintiff changed his liability theory against WCA and argued that WCA was negligent for failing to warn the City about the tree’s condition when WCA inventoried the tree even though WCA had notified the City of its condition.
At the hearing, Plaintiff’s attorney argued that the case was similar to a murder trial where the murderer could still be found guilty even though no eyewitnesses saw the defendant shoot the victim. Ultimately, the Court rejected the Plaintiff’s arguments and found that WCA did not owe Plaintiff a duty and granted WCA’s MSJ.