You’re attending an event at one location. But because there are so many cars, you are forced to park at an adjacent, overflow parking lot.
If you are walking to the venue from the overflow parking lot, and are injured in a pedestrian collision, is the venue you’re attending liable for your injuries?
That’s the question the California Court of Appeal discussed recently in Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church (3rd District, Sacramento, 2016).
Mr. Vasilenko was attending a church function in November 2010. The church’s main parking lot was full, so he had to park across the street at a parking lot the church rented for occasions like this.
The rented parking lot was across 5 lanes of traffic, with no marked crosswalk. As Mr. Vasilenko crossed the busy thoroughfare, he was hit and injured by a passing car.
He argued that the church was responsible because the arrangement with the rented parking lot created a foreseeable risk of harm to patrons attending church events who were required to park at the overflow lot.
The lower court dismissed Mr. Vasilenko’s case, concluding that the church did not owe any duties because it did not own the adjacent overflow parking lot.
The Court of Appeal reversed.
It noted that the church controlled the overflow parking lot, hired parking lot attendants to control the flow of traffic in the lot, and exposed those exiting the lot to a risk of injury by crossing 5 lanes of traffic where there was no stoplight or marked crosswalk.
Thus, a reasonable jury could conclude that the church breached its duty of care to attendees such as Mr. Vasilenko.
The ruling could clarify cases like these, especially in Los Angeles, where overflow parking is very common at concerts and other entertainment venues.
For questions about your Los Angeles overflow parking lot or automobile accident case, the Rabbi Lawyer is ready to assist, 24/6!