Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cardenas v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

March 8, 2017

ROBERT CARDENAS, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

          ANDREW J. WISTRICH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         The court has considered the testimony and exhibits admitted into evidence during the non-jury trial, the parties' proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and the closing arguments of counsel. With that as its basis, the court makes the following ruling.

         Findings of Fact

         1. Plaintiff Robert Cardenas was born on April 26, 1951 [Reporter's Transcript of Proceedings (“RT”) 579:16-20].

         2. From 1972-1982, plaintiff worked for his sister at her Burnt Tortilla restaurant. [RT 376:8-377:8]

         3. In 1992, plaintiff started working as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) at the Redondo Beach Post Office. [RT 580:23-581:13]

         4. Since 2011, Plaintiff has been on extended medical leave from work after injuring his shoulder and wrist while delivering mail. [RT 580:23-581:13; Pl. Depo. 47:4, 7-9[1]

         5. The collision between plaintiff's vehicle and Susan Slaughter's vehicle occurred on July 2, 2012, at approximately 5:00 p.m. [Dkt. No. 54, Admitted Facts (“AF”) 5(a)]

         6. Plaintiff was traveling westbound on West Redondo Beach Boulevard near the United States Post Office located at 1455 West Redondo Beach Boulevard, Gardena, CA 90247 (the “Gardena Post Office”). [AF 5(a), 5(d); RT 584:6-16, 467:4-6]

         7. Plaintiff was driving a 1993 Honda Accord. [AF 5(b); RT 97:4-16]

         8. Ms. Slaughter has been a USPS employee since 1990. [RT 464:23-465:4]

         9. At the time of the collision, Ms. Slaughter was a letter carrier working at the Gardena Post Office. [RT 465:5-7, 465:11-16]

         10. Ms. Slaughter was acting within the course and scope of her employment at the time of the collision. [AF 5(f)]

         11. Ms. Slaughter was familiar with the Gardena Post Office location and its vicinity. She had worked as a letter carrier at the Gardena Post Office and had resided in a nearby neighborhood for about twenty years. [RT 468:1-16]

         12. On July 2, 2012, Ms. Slaughter was driving a Grumman Long Life Vehicle (LLV) (the “postal truck”), a standard postal truck used by letter carriers to deliver USPS mail. [AF 5(c); RT 466:5-14] The driver of an LLV sits on the right side. [RT 577:15-17]

         13. The Gardena Post Office is on the north side of West Redondo Beach Boulevard, between cross-streets Nuano Drive (to the west) and Normandie Avenue (to the east). [Trial Exhibit (“Ex.”) 106-2; RT 467:7-18]

         14. The employees' driveway is east of the driveway leading to the public parking lot of the Gardena Post Office. [Ex. 104-1]

         15. Plaintiff intended to make a right turn into the public parking lot for the Gardena Post Office, not the employee's parking lot for the post office. [RT 585:8-20]

         16. The collision between plaintiff's vehicle and Ms. Slaughter's vehicle occurred in the driveway leading to the employees' parking lot of the Gardena Post Office. [RT 466:18-467:3, 478:22-479:2; Ex. 104-1, 104-3]

         17. The section of West Redondo Beach Boulevard near the Gardena Post Office is lined with strip malls and businesses. [RT 39:10-24, 467:22-25]

         18. The strip mall immediately east of the Gardena Post Office (“the strip mall”) includes the Burnt Tortilla restaurant. [Ex. 104-1, 104-4]

         19. The driveway allowing traffic to enter and exit the strip mall from West Redondo Beach Boulevard is located approximately 90 feet east of the Gardena Post Office employees' driveway and approximately 140 feet east of the public driveway. [Ex. 104-4; RT 23:15-17, 95:12-17]

         20. The portion of West Redondo Beach Boulevard in front of the Gardena Post Office is heavily traveled and the traffic is often slow moving. [Ex. 104-9; RT 33:5-9, 34:7-18, 268:12-18, 318:23-319:9, 639:23-640:7; Pl. Depo. 168:10-12]

         21. As westbound traffic on West Redondo Beach Boulevard crosses Normandie Avenue, the three marked westbound lanes narrow to only two lanes. [Ex. 106]

         22. Two graphical lane-ending signs indicate to drivers on westbound West Redondo Beach Boulevard both east and west of Normandie Avenue that the third lane ends. [Ex. 106-2]

         23. Westbound West Redondo Beach Boulevard contains three painted pavement arrows just west of the Normandie Avenue intersection indicating that the third lane ends. [Exs. 104-8, 106-2, 109-39]

         24. In front of the Gardena Post Office, a designated left-turn pocket lane on eastbound West Redondo Beach Boulevard enables traffic to turn left into the public and employee driveways. [Ex. 104-2]

         25. In front of the Gardena Post Office, there are two marked lanes of westbound traffic on West Redondo Beach Boulevard. [RT 39:25-40:11] Those lanes are paved in dark asphalt and are divided by a single lane of raised ceramic lane dividers. [Ex. 104-1; RT 39:25-40:11]

         26. Between the strip mall and the entrance to the public parking lot of the Gardena Post Office, there are only two marked lanes of westbound traffic on West Redondo Beach Boulevard. [RT 40:3-41:5; Declaration of Eric Deyerl (“Deyerl Decl.”) ¶¶ 89-94]

         27. For the entire path of travel taken by plaintiff's vehicle (approximately 70-80 feet) along West Redondo Beach Boulevard, there are only two marked lanes of westbound traffic. [Deyerl Decl. ¶¶ 76, 93]

         28. No third lane or “merger lane” existed. [Deyerl Decl. ¶¶ 89-94; Ex. 106-2]

         29. There are no marked lane dividers for the purported “merger lane.” [RT 92:15-23]

         30. In any event, plaintiff did not use the paved shoulder as a merge lane to enter the two marked lanes; instead, plaintiff used it to pass stopped traffic on the right.

         31. Prior to the collision, Ms. Slaughter was traveling eastbound on West Redondo Beach Boulevard in order to return to the Gardena Post Office after completing her work shift. [RT 452:25-453:2]

         32. Ms. Slaughter turned on her left-turn signal and entered the designated left-turn pocket lane on eastbound West Redondo Beach Boulevard in front of the Gardena Post Office. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.