MALIBU—A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge declared a second mistrial for a case involving an injured woman and an alleged distracted driver on Monday, March 16.
The plaintiff, Rosana Levine, 58, was riding in the passenger seat of a motorcycle that was being driven by Frank Ross Samuels, 70. The defendant, Tia Jeri Hoberman made a left turn from Harbor Vista Drive onto Malibu Canyon Road striking the couple. Allegedly, Hoberman failed to yield the right of way injuring both Levine and Samuels. Samuels reached a settlement with Hoberman earlier in 2018.
Levine suffered leg and ankle injuries that required several surgeries. According to court documents, she claims she was unable to work at her job “in the same capacity as she did before the collision.”
Levine claimed that Hoberman was impaired due to an improperly placed Edison light pole that was installed by the city of Malibu Edison’s lawyers responded that Hoberman was using her cell phone at the time of the collision discussing a real estate deal regarding her nearby home.
Hoberman claimed that she waited five minutes in heavy traffic that was caused by nearby graduation ceremonies at Pepperdine University. She said that her vision was impaired by a curve and an incline on Malibu Canyon Road.
The jury selection process started last week. The plaintiff’s lawyer, Christopher Bulone said he was pleased with the jury selection. Only four alternate jurors were left to be picked and opening statements were expected to ensue. Judge William MacLaughlin dismissed all the prospective jurors early Monday morning and said there is no scheduled date for a retrial. Reasons for the mistrial are unknown.
Presiding Superior Court Judge Kevin Brazlie announced that there would be no new jurors summoned for civil or criminal jury trials for the next 30 days. The Los Angeles Times reported that trials delays are to be expected due to the cCronavirus pandemic.
Judge MacLaughlin declared another mistrial in the Rosana Levine vs. Tia Jeri Hoberman case on February 19. Levine was said to have fallen in front of prospective jurors. Hoberman’s lawyers moved for a mistrial stating that the jurors’ impartiality could be compromised.