Spring Valley, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law for California

Q: .” How did the appellate court decide on the trial court’s action? In the RKO v Weirum Case (1975)

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Toby Schreiber
John Toby Schreiber
  • Appeals & Appellate Lawyer
  • Benicia, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The California Supreme Court affirmed the trial court award of damages in plaintiff's favor. The appellant parent company of an LA radio station held an on-air contest as to who could find one of the station's djs, in which 2 teenage listeners drove so quickly through traffic they caused an accident, injuring the plaintiff.

On appeal RKO argued that it owed no duty to the plaintiff. The Supreme Court held that while duty is a question of law, one of the factors in determining duty is forseeability, and that forseeability is a question of fact, and that the record contained substantial evidence of forseeability. The Court held that it was forseeable that contest like this during the summer would draw young drivers who would drive too fast through LA streets in order to win the contest. As a result the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment in plaintiff's favor.

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