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Verdicts & Settlements

June 17, 2011

Daily Journal


CASE / NUMBER: Sheryl Kellner v. California College of the Arts.

COURT / DATE: San Francisco Superior / Oct. 6, 2010.

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff - Christopher B. Dolan (The Dolan Law Firm, San Francisco).

Defendant - Stephen K. Anderson, Gina E. Och (Murchison & Cumming, LLP, San Francisco)

FACTS: In Feb. 2007, Michaela Kellner visited California College of the Arts in Oakland, California. While there, she walked down stairs on the premises, and fell down, sustaining injuries. At the time of this incident, Michaela was talking to her mother, Sheryl Kellner, on her cell phone. Sheryl later filed an action against California College of the Arts, alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS: Plaintiff alleged that she was present at the scene of the incident via cell phone communication and thus, suffered injuries as a bystander.

DEFENDANT'S CONTENTIONS: Defendant argued that plaintiff had to be present at the scene and aware that the incident was causing injury to her daughter. Defendant claimed that plaintiff did not have sufficient sensory awareness of the incident or that defendant was the cause of her daughter's injuries.

RESULT: The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment.