Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani senior counsel Doug Van Blarcom along with partner Ken Perri obtained summary judgment on behalf of the firm's client, a nationally recognized, prominent gym. The plaintiff alleged claims of significant personal injury sustained when he was assaulted during a pick-up basketball game at the gym's facility in Los Angeles.
The plaintiff, a gym member, alleged among other things that the gym failed to properly staff/monitor the basketball game and to provide adequate security to prevent foreseeable criminal acts despite its knowledge of prior similar assaults occurring during basketball games. The plaintiff submitted a lengthy declaration by a recognized security expert in support of his claim that the gym was liable and/or that questions of fact existed as to the issue of causation.
In Gordon & Rees's motion for summary judgment, the firm's attorneys strategically chose to not address the issue of duty but instead argued that the assault upon the plaintiff was a spur of the moment, unforeseeable criminal act which the gym did not cause (i.e. no causation). Gordon & Rees objected to the basis for, and opinions of, the plaintiff’s security expert. The court sustained many of these objections and issued a tentative ruling that the assault upon the plaintiff was indeed a spontaneous criminal act which was not caused by any action or inaction of the gym. Following a very long, heated and contentious oral argument, the court sustained its tentative ruling and granted the client’s summary judgment motion.