Insurance – Uninsured motorist whose coffee spilled on her in Jack in the Box drive-through is barred from seeking non-economic damages

Teckla Chude v. Jack in the Box Inc., 2010 DJDAR 7966 (May 27, 2010).

Plaintiff, uninsured driver suffered burns when she spilled coffee she had just purchased at a drive through window of defendant’s facility.  Her negligence action was resolved after the trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary of adjudication of the plaintiff’s claim for non-economic damages.  The court relied on Proposition 213, Civil Code section 3333.4 which bars uninsured motorists and convicted drunk drivers from recovering non-economic damages in certain cases.  At issue in the plaintiff’s appeal was whether section 3333.4 precludes the plaintiff from recovering an award of non-economic damages.  The appeals court affirmed the trial court’s judgment holding that this code section did bar a claim for non-economic damages.

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