Aneta Freeman obtained a rare directed verdict and nonsuit in a complex, high exposure action. The matter was one of the first civil jury trials to proceed to a live post-Covid in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Ms. Freeman represented a general contractor in an action which proceeded to a bifurcated trial, with the jury sworn in on June 14, 2021. Plaintiff alleged that the general contractor and the County of Los Angeles (which was dismissed earlier on statutory immunity grounds) created a dangerous condition when they allegedly allowed mosquitos to breed in 2015 during construction at a flood retention basin in Marina Del Rey. Plaintiff contracted West Nile Virus, and subsequently developed myasthenia gravis and a myriad of other conditions and ailments. Plaintiff relied heavily on a 2015 report from the Los Angeles West Vector Control District which suggested that the construction was the source of mosquitos which resulted in a “cluster” of West Nile Virus cases in the Marina Del Rey and surrounding areas. Ms. Freeman successfully excluded that report, opinion testimony from the executive director, narrowed the scope of plaintiff’s entomologist testimony, and excluded the plaintiff’s construction standard of care expert.
Following five days of trial and after both parties rested, Judge Mark Young granted the general contractor’s nonsuit and also, in the alternative, a directed a verdict for our client.
Plaintiff had demanded $10,000,000 of the County and the general contractor globally prior to trial, and $5,000,000 from the general contractor. The general contractor issued two CCP 998s, which were ignored by Plaintiff.