Luebke v. Automobile Club of Southern CaliforniaAnnotate this Case
After plaintiff was struck by another vehicle while waiting in his disabled car on the shoulder of the freeway for roadside assistance, plaintiff filed suit against Auto Club and Brent-Air for negligence. The trial court assumed, without deciding, that plaintiff could amend his discovery responses to state that Auto Club's delay in responding to his call was a substantial factor in causing his injuries. The trial court nonetheless held, as a matter of law, no special relationship existed between the Auto Club and plaintiff, and thus the Auto Club had no duty under tort law to provide any assistance.
The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's judgment in favor of Auto Club, holding that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment based on an issue not presented in the moving papers. In this case, the trial court improperly decided the issue of duty where the contract had nothing to do with the question of causation identified by Auto Club's motion and its separate statement, nor did the reasonableness of plaintiff's reliance on Auto Club to timely provide roadside assistance. The court affirmed the judgment as to Brent-Air because plaintiff does not address Brent-Air on appeal.