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Weidenfeller v. Star and Garter

California Court of Appeal
2 Cal. Rptr. 2d 14 (1991)


Facts

Allen Weidenfeller (plaintiff) was the victim of an unprovoked, armed assault in the parking lot of the Star and Garter, a bar owned by Floyd Andeel and Triple A Corporation (Star and Garter) (defendants). Weidenfeller sued his assailant, Vernon Broughton (defendant), for the assault. Weidenfeller also sued the Star and Garter, alleging that its failure to provide adequate lighting and a security presence had led to the assault. The jury found for Weidenfeller, awarding $250,000 in non-economic damages and $122,500 in economic damages. The jury allocated fault at: 75 percent for Broughton, 20 percent for the Star and Garter, and 5 percent for Weidenfeller. Because the defendants were jointly and severally liable for 95 percent of the fault, and Broughton had no money, Star and Garter was responsible for the entire 95 percent of the $122,500 economic damages that was due to Weidenfeller. However, for the non-economic damages, the trial court applied California Civil Code § 1431.2 to reduce Star and Garter’s liability to match its share of fault. Accordingly, Star and Garter was only responsible for 20 percent of the total $250,000 in non-economic damages or $50,000. Weidenfeller appealed the reduction of the non-economic damages owed by Star and Garter.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wiener, J.)

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