Court of Appeal grants motion to dismiss appeal from summary judgment in favor of GMSR’s utility client

Plaintiffs’ mother was struck by a car while crossing a street near a streetlight that was cycling on and off.  GMSR’s client, Southern California Edison, serviced the streetlight.  Plaintiffs sued, alleging that Edison negligently failed to keep the streetlight working properly.  On summary judgment, the trial court ruled that Edison had no duty to plaintiffs, and plaintiffs failed to raise a triable issue of fact on causation.  Plaintiffs moved for a new trial, seeking to modify the judgment to delete the court’s ruling on causation because Edison had not raised causation in its motion for summary judgment.  The trial court granted the motion and issued an amended judgment, in which it eliminated causation as a basis for granting summary judgment in Edison’s favor.  Plaintiffs appealed from the amended judgment after the deadline for appealing from the original judgment had passed.  Edison moved to dismiss the appeal, arguing that plaintiffs’ appeal was untimely because the amended judgment did not materially affect plaintiffs’ rights, and therefore did not result in a substantial modification of the original judgment.  The Court of Appeal agreed and dismissed the appeal.

California Court of Appeal Opinion – View Document