Monday, January 27, 2020

Thimon v. City of Newark (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 27, 2020)

It's a testament to my particular location in California that I was thrown off by the caption of this opinion.

The case is about a tragic car-versus-pedestrian accident.  Plaintiff had no chance of winning the lawsuit, IMHO:  the City of Newark obtained summary judgment because the allegedly "negligently designed" street at issue was just like any other number of streets in California, and the nature of the accident (sun glare in the eyes of the driver) was just like any other number of days in California.

So plaintiff loses below as well as on appeal.  Big damages, no liability.  Waste of time and money for everyone involved to bring the lawsuit.  Notwithstanding the tragic circumstances, which we all (of course) wish had never transpired.

What struck me about the caption was the identity of the defendant:  the City of Newark.  Maybe I've watched too many episodes of The Sopranos.  Maybe I've flown into EWR too many times (e.g., last week).  But I immediately thought about the one in New Jersey.  And was wondering why such a suit was brought in California.

Of course, I recognized that there might be a city in California named "Newark" as well.  I just didn't know where.

And thereby betrayed myself as a longtime resident of Southern California.

Newark is in the Bay area.  Right across the Dumbarton bridge from East Palo Alto.  I'm confident that everyone up there knows about the place, even though it's small.  But not me.  Never been there before.  Never even remember hearing about it.

Sort of looks like the other -- larger -- "Newark" to me, too.  On the water (ish).  Small (ish) but extant.  Not in a fancy area or with fancy places, I suspect.

But definitely in California.  Not New Jersey.

Now I know.  Won't forget.