The defendant entered into a contract with Glendale to maintain the battery backup units for Glendale’s traffic signals so they would continue to function during a power outage.  Plaintiff was injured at an intersection in which the traffic signals were not operating because defendant negligently failed to install batteries in the backup unit.  This decision holds that defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care both under the Biakanja factors and under the test for negligent undertaking under Rest.2d Torts 324A.  There was at least a triable issue of fact as to whether defendant’s negligence increased the risk of harm to plaintiff, particularly as plaintiff suffered the very type of injury that defendant was hired to prevent.  Defendant also could not rely on immunities from tort suits available to Glendale as a public entity.  The Government Claims Act immunities do not shield private parties.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Five (Dunning, J.); November 2, 2017; 2017 WL 4993457.