A taco truck rented a gas station at night to ply its wares. Patrons parked in a portion of the gas station reserved for that purpose. It was crowded with cars when plaintiff pulled in. Unable to find a space to park, plaintiff backed up and bumped into another patron attempting to enter the lot. They both got out and started exchanging insurance information when the other patron suddenly entered his car and backed up at high speed out of the parking lot, catching plaintiff along the way and dragging him down the street causing him serious injury. This case holds that the taco truck and the landlord did not owe plaintiff a duty of care to guard against the injury he suffered. While injury from cars was foreseeable, and it was clear that plaintiff had suffered injuries, there was no close connection between the defendants’ conduct and the injury suffered since the injury was caused by unexpected and highly unusual and unforeseeable conduct. Furthermore, the cost of preventive measures such as posting security guards would impose a social cost that could only be justified by a high foreseeable of otherwise preventable harm. Here, plaintiff could not make that showing.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division One (Johnson, J.); February 8, 2018; 2018 WL 1101620.