Farmers market victims can sue Santa Monica

Reversing a lower court, a California appeals court “reinstated allegations that the city had failed to adequately shield marketgoers from motorist George Russell Weller, who was 86 when he crashed his car through barricades and into crowds of pedestrians at the popular open-air market”. (John Spano, “Farmers market crash victims can sue Santa Monica, court rules”, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 17; Terence Lyons, “City Back In Farmers’ Market Lawsuits”, Santa Monica Mirror, Oct. 18-24). Earlier: Jul. 14, 2004.


  • I don’t get it. Isn’t licensing and testing drivers the state’s job, not Santa Monica’s?

  • I wonder how this would not make cities in CA liable for ANY traffic accidents in public areas.

    If it had been a nut with a gun walking around shooting, would the city be liable?

  • Should the AARP be included as a defendant? Or whoever it is that blocks states from even mild attempts to keep old and incompetent drivers off the road? This is a classic case of a powerful lobby that is unconcerned about externalities.

  • Glad to see the city is being held accountable for its negligence. Banks install these barricades for obvious reasons, who would have thought people are more valuable then paper money?

  • […] City of Santa Monica and other defendants will pay $21 million to wrap up lawsuits from elderly driver’s 2003 rampage through downtown farmers’ market [L.A. Times; earlier] […]