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Kaley v. Yellow Cab Co.

January 22, 2007

HARRIETTE KALEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
YELLOW CAB COMPANY; MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia U.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Harriette Kaley, filed this action alleging that she was injured and suffered damages as a result of the negligence of defendants, and each of them, in the incident occurring on January 26, 2003.

Defendants, Yellow Cab Company and Marriott International, Inc., have admitted liability with regard to the subject incident, leaving the issues of causation and damages for the Court's resolution. The parties consented to Judge Battaglia's jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

At the time of the incident on January 26, 2003, Dr. Kaley, a self employed psychologist and psychoanalyst, was leaving the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles to visit her two nieces who reside in that city. Dr. Kaley was then going to continue to Los Angeles International Airport for a flight to her home in New York City. Plaintiff left the hotel with her luggage and a taxi cab was hailed for her by a doorman/bellman at that hotel. The cab pulled up and plaintiff began to get into the passenger rear seat. Before she could seat herself, the cab began to pull away. As a result, plaintiff was pushed forward with the momentum of the vehicle and fell to the ground. She has described abrasion injuries to her hands, forearms and knees. The principal residual injury is to plaintiff's right knee for which she sought medical care and treatment and asserts ongoing persistent impairment.

The case came on regularly for a bench trial on January 5, 2007. Stuart F. Gartner, Esq. appeared on behalf of the plaintiff, along with plaintiff Harriette Kaley. Edward S. Wallace, Esq. appeared on behalf of the defendants. Based upon defendant's admission of liability, and in light of the indemnity agreement by and between Marriott International, Inc. and Yellow Cab Company, counsel stipulated to the dismissal of Marriott International, Inc. The dismissal was thereupon granted.

After hearing the testimony, reviewing the documentary evidence and agreed facts as set forth in the Pre-Trial Order, and considering the arguments of counsel, the Court now makes the following findings based on the credible evidence and the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. These findings are made based upon a preponderance of the credible evidence.

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

1. Plaintiff, Harriette Kaley, (plaintiff) is a 72 year old woman. She resides in New York with her husband, and until recently, her adult son.

2. Based upon the United States Department of Labor statistics, plaintiff has an average life expectancy of 14.6 more years.

3. On January 26, 2003, plaintiff was a guest at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles.

4. On that date, at approximately 9:00 a.m. that morning, plaintiff left the hotel with her luggage and a taxi cab was hailed for her by a doorman/bellman at the hotel.

5. After the cab pulled up, plaintiff began to get into the passenger rear of the cab. At the time, she was in the process of positioning her body to fully enter the cab and be seated, the cab unexpectedly pulled away from the curb.

6. The plaintiff was pushed forward with the momentum of the vehicle and fell to the ground striking her hands, forearms and knees. The right leg of her pants, near the knee, had what appeared to be tire marks on them.

7. Plaintiff was evaluated by emergency medical technicians at the scene and was provided first aid. She thereupon was taken by the Yellow Cab Company supervisor to visit her to nieces in the area briefly, and then on ...


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