Driver can sue Newhall Land Co.

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Domel had been driving east on state Route 126 about 7 p.m. on April 21, 2001, when he turned onto Avenue Stanford, a sharp right turn at an intersection since revamped as part of freeway reconstruction. Domel testified he was speeding, but had slowed to the posted limit on Stanford before the crash happened. The two sides dispute the posted speed limit: The plaintiff claims it was 50 mph; Newhall Land and the city of Santa Clarita, which is also being sued, say it was 10 mph on the turn, according to court documents. Newhall Land contends that an hour after the accident, Domel’s blood-alcohol level measured 0.06 percent, the court record said. Domel conceded he had had one or 1“ glasses of wine before driving, the court record said. Under California law, a driver with 0.08 percent blood-alcohol reading is considered too drunk to drive. Domel lost control of his car as he shifted from second to third gear after negotiating his turn, according to the court document. The rear of the vehicle shifted – prompting a product-liability lawsuit – and his car slid off the road, onto the shoulder and down a slope, where it hit a berm some 10 to 20 feet from the roadway, the record said. The road was being reconstructed and as part of that work, Newhall Land had piled dirt to control rain runoff that otherwise would have to be treated before flowing into storm drains, according to the court record. A driver who had been drinking and admitted he took a curve too fast can sue The Newhall Land and Farming Company because his car skidded off a Valencia road and hit a berm on the firm’s land, causing his sports car to overturn. In a ruling issued Wednesday by the state Court of Appeal, justices overturned a lower-court decision relieving the Valencia-based development company of liability. The court did not find the company at fault, but reversed a judgment that summarily relieved it of responsibility. Motorist Douglas Domel of Santa Clarita also has legal action pending against the city of Santa Clarita and the manufacturer of the 2001 Dodge Viper he was driving. Dennis M. Elber, Domel’s lawyer, did not return a call seeking comment. Marlee Lauffer of Newhall Land declined comment because officials there had not reviewed the court ruling. Wednesday’s ruling reverses a summary judgment by Superior Court Judge Howard Schwab that cleared Newhall Land because it did not own or maintain the roadway where Domel skidded. According to the appellate court, Newhall Land may face trial to test Domel’s theory that the rollover was caused by the condition of the embankment and the shoulder of the road. — Patricia Farrell Aidem, (661) 257-5251 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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