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Summary Judgment Granted in Personal Injury Case

April 2, 2012

In December 2011, Judge Lefkowitz of the Los Angeles Superior Court granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants and against the plaintiff. Corine Zygelman represented the defendants and Lisa D. Angelo prepared and argued the motion.

The case arose from an automobile accident between the plaintiff and a clothing company's employee who was running an errand for work when the accident occurred. The plaintiff sued both the employee, her employer (the clothing company) and its owners for injuries arising from the same accident. In her first lawsuit, the plaintiff's attorney agreed to a settlement with the employee's automobile insurance company. Although the plaintiff signed a settlement agreement and agreed to release all her claims against the defendants with prejudice, she filed a second lawsuit against the same defendants for the same injuries arising out of the same accident. She claimed that her former attorney agreed to the first settlement without her complete understanding of the terms.

In her written ruling, granting the defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, the judge found that the doctrine of res judicata barred the plaintiff's second lawsuit and dismissed the case with prejudice. Specifically, the court held that due to the plaintiff's agreement to dismiss her previously filed cross-complaint against the defendants, with prejudice, the plaintiff was barred from relitigating the same resolved issues.