By Lookout Staff
March 27 -- Victims of Santa Monica's 2003 farmer's
market crash and their families will have to wait until October
to have their day in civil court.
Judge William A. MacLaughlin moved the court date from May
17 to October 9 and consolidated the cases brought by 18 victims
and their families against the Bayside District Corporation,
which runs the Downtown.
Plaintiffs charge that the Bayside failed in their duty to
protect the public at the farmers market when 89-year-old
George Russel Weller plowed through the crowd, leaving ten
dead and 60 injured.
In addition to consolidating the cases, MacLaughlin said
he would rule on whether the testimony could be used by Weller,
according to Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, the law firm
that represents the plaintiffs seeking damages.
“The Plaintiffs had previously asked the prosecutor
in the criminal matter to grant Mr. Weller ‘use immunity,’
so that he could be deposed in the civil litigation, and that
request was denied,” said Kathy Pinckert, the firm’s
Last November, a criminal court jury convicted Weller of 10
counts of vehicular manslaughter. Superior Court Judge Michael
Johnson sentenced him to probation, because of his failing health.
Weller is appealing his conviction.
Plaintiffs represented by Greene Broillet & Wheeler filed
civil suits against City of Santa Monica, Bayside District Corporation
and Weller, but a judge threw out the case against the City