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LA Judge Daniel Brenner Killed in Pedestrian Accident

pedestrian crosswalk

Earlier this week, a pedestrian-car accident in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood in West L.A. claimed the life of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Daniel Brenner. The accident occurred not far from his Beverly Hills home.

The 64-year-old judge was struck at about 6:10 p.m. while crossing westbound on Beverwil Drive near Pico Boulevard. He was pronounced dead after being taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. According to police, Brenner was not crossing in a crosswalk.

The car involved in the fatal accident was a 2015 Honda Civic that was headed northbound. The driver was an unnamed 38-year-old man from Calabasas. Police say the driver remained at the scene and was later released.

Colleagues remember LA County judge fondly

Judge Brenner had served on the bench since 2012, capping a successful legal career. He was widely-known as an expert in communications law and had served as Senior Legal Advisor to the chair of the Federal Communications Commission. He had also served for 17 years as the vice president of the regulatory department of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association before becoming a partner in the law firm Hogan Lovells LLP in its Washington, D.C. office.

Brenner also taught communications law at USC’s Gould School of Law and had headed the communications law program at UCLA. Colleagues remember him as a mild-mannered teacher who used humor to teach. He carried his humor outside the classroom as well, performing stand-up routines in comedy clubs around the country.

Liability issues involving pedestrian car accidents

A common myth is that the driver is always at fault when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian. While the driver is often responsible, in reality the question of liability is a little more complicated.

Both drivers and pedestrians are required to act reasonably. For drivers, this means operating a vehicle with caution, obeying traffic laws, and using good judgment. In order to recover for injuries, an injured pedestrian would therefore need to show that the driver was negligent (caused the accident by acting carelessly) or negligent per se (at fault because he violated a law that was designed to prevent that type of accident). For pedestrians, this means being aware of their surroundings, obeying traffic laws, and acting for their own protection.

There may be special circumstances in which another party is responsible for the injuries and damages in a car-pedestrian accident. For example, if a nearby construction crew contributed to the accident by turning off or altering the pattern of the crosswalk light, the contractor or engineer may be liable. The municipality that laid out the road may have used an unsafe design that does not use adequate crosswalks, stop signs or lights, raising a possible negligence claim against it. Each situation is unique and should be looked at with an experienced eye.

If you have been injured in a Los Angeles car or pedestrian accident, Ellis Law personal injury attorneys will help you understand your legal options and rights to damages.

Call 1-800-INJURED, any time day or night, for a free case evaluation with an experienced attorney.

  1. Los Angeles Times, L.A. County judge killed while crossing the street in Pico-Robertson, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-l-a-county-judge-killed-crossing-street-20160216-story.html
  2. Beverly Hills Patch, Beverly Hills Judge Killed Crossing Street in Pico-Robertson, http://patch.com/california/beverlyhills/beverly-hills-judge-killed-crossing-street-pico-robertson